Riding For A Reason: The American Legion Riders

Thre are more than 250,000 American Legion riders spread across 48 states and two countries and they all ride for the same reason.

The American Legion is a community service group made up of veterans and their families who are working to serve other veterans, military groups and the community.

"In the military we are always taught leave no man behind, look out for your brother, take care of those who can't take care of themselves and I think that follows you the rest of your life. You get out here in the real world and you're not military anymore but you still have that kind of mentality," said veteran Gary Pemberton.

The American Legion Riders are probably the most recognizable members of the group.

They ride in parades, charity events , for soldier homecomings, and memorials.

Veteran David Reitz said riding in those memorials never gets easier.

Reitz carries with him the pictures of soldiers whose memorials he has ridden in.

"I've got 13 on my bike and have done about 25 altogether, too many."

He said it is his way of honoring the soldiers

"Just reminds me that there are heroes and they deserve to go for a ride," said Reitz. 

Members of the American Legion come from all over the world and have served in various branches of the military, but under the roof of any American Legion hall, they are all one family.

Jeff Madsen just got out of the Army in March and moved to Pasco with his wife.

Not knowing anyone when he got here, he said the American Legion has been his support group and the members have become his family.

"When I got out of the military and went back home for the first time there was no one to talk to, relate to, no one understood what I went through. My wife and I had some help from various groups in the past and I wanted to give back. I wanted to be part of something," said Madsen.