A Father's Tribute Ride
Don Blanchard is making final preparations for the most meaningful ride of his life.
A bracelet with his son's name wrapped around his wrist, a necklace with his picture is tucked under his shirt, and his grandson Hunter helps put finishing touches on the motorcycle.
In less than 24 hours, he will hit the road on a tribute ride across the country.
"At first I decided the ride was an awesome thing, then I said, 'you know what? I need to do something constructive," said Don.
Don is the father of the late Captain Aaron Blanchard, a Selah soldier who was killed by missile fire in Afghanistan over 3 months ago.
From Owen's Cycle in Yakima, to Maine, to Florida, to California and back -- Don will ride his motorcycle to all four corners of the country to raise money for veteran aid charities.
It's a chance to share his son's story -- and finally move on with his life and begin healing.
"I just... I feel free on the bike," said Don.
15,000; that how many miles blanchard intends to travel starting at Owen's Cycle; where he'll tour the country sharing stories and reminding people of the sacrifices soldiers like his son make every day.
"It will help; talking about him, let everybody know who he was," said Don.
"Everyone in life that [aaron] Touched took something away from it," said Captain Blanchard's wife, Becky, "And if it can continue, that legacy that he left can continue, that would be the best thing that I think can happen."
As Don Blanchard prepares for the ride of his life -- he carries nothing but reminders of his son around his neck, on his body [a tattoo], and in his heart.
"This is something that I will finish," said Don, "It's not only life lifting, it's for a good cause."
If you'd like to help send don blanchard off, he will be leaving tomorrow morning from Owen's Cycle in Yakima at 8 a.m. -- a breakfast and farewell ceremony will be held starting at 5 a.m.
We'll keep you updated on his journey over the next few months.