All Gave Some. Some Gave All

BY CARMEN ROBERTS  Nov 9, 2014

NEW YORK — We honor all our veterans who served, who protected our freedom. We also honor their families who sacrificed with them. Without our soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and coast guard the world would be a darker place.

Vietnam War Memorial, NYC

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Preparing for the Veterans Day Ride

photos: Carlos V, Betty S, Fabian C & Lolly S
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For a third year NYC Harley Owners Group rode to visit the Vietnam Memorial in downtown Manhattan. Director Joe S. started the ride in 2012 to give our members a personal way to say thanks.
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Twenty-seven bikes rode slowly through the City as the club’s wreath, respectfully carried on the back of the director’s Harley, brought up the rear.
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FDR Drive, Manhattan

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Arriving at the Vietnam Memorial, members quietly assembled and stood before the memorial etched with letters home from ‘boys’ in the war.  In one case that was literally true. Private First Class Dan Bullock was a 14-year-old boy when he joined the Marines after altering his birth certificate. He died in action at young age of 15.

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Members’ voices joined in The Pledge of Allegiance as the wreath rested gently against the wall.
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NYC HOG Director Joe S. thanks the members for honoring our veterans

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Members attached the wreath to a fence surrounding the memorial so it could be viewed through Veterans Day on November 11.  Director Joe S. said it was good to see so many members turn out to honor our nation’s veterans.
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He said most of the NYC HOG members were too young to have served in Vietnam, but most of them know people or had family that were in that terrible war. A war that officially claimed 58,220 American lives during the conflict.
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But I know from personal experience the death toll extends beyond the war. My older brother Stan, a Corporal in the US Army, died from cancer caused by exposure to Agent Orange.

Road Captain and Webmaster Carmen Roberts is the daughter of an Army officer, was a Navy wife for 20 years and is the sister of a Vietnam Vet who died from Agent Orange

Spraying Agent Orange in Vietnam

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The US sprayed the chemical dioxin extensively in Vietnam to defoliate trees and make the enemy more visible.
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My brother died at age 39 leaving behind a wife and two small children. That was in 1992, exactly 20 years after he shipped out to Vietnam.

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The Vietnam War’s Agent Orange took 20 years to take Stan Roberts’ life.

Just months before his death, Congress finally acknowledged that some cancers were indeed caused by Agent Orange. Some veterans are still suffering from illnesses caused by that deadly chemical — and some are still waiting on benefits from the Veterans Administration.
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Helicopter pilots had the most dangerous jobs in Vietnam

My father Fred, a US Army Chief Warrant Officer did two tours of duty in ‘Nam – flying helicopters – the most dangerous duty in the war. When the Army wanted to ship him back for a third tour, he retired. After decades of fighting for his country, he could give no more.
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Fred Roberts was a veteran of WWII, Korean, the Philippines, and Vietnam

My dad, like the young Marine on the memorial wall in NYC, lied about his age to join the military. He was only 17 years old when he joined the Army.  Within months he was fighting in the Battle of Anzio, World War II’s bloodiest battle. The fighting was so horrific that the Italian beach literally ran red with blood.
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Allied forces land at Anzio, 1944

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Shortly after retiring from the US Army – and from what had been his family and support for nearly 30 years – my dad died at 46.

I was also a Navy wife for 20 years. I was married to Senior Chief Petty Officer P. Cooper who also served during the Vietnam War.  He flew as a flight engineer in P3 Orions. He also died after retiring from the service.

Cooper, served 27 years in the US Navy

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US Navy P3 Orion

  
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Assistant Director Carlos recalled how he worked to help a soldier back from Vietnam deal with the immobilizing effects of Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  The former soldier so frightened by the images and sounds of war filling his dreams, that he slept with a knife under his pillow.

Assistant Director Carlos recalls helping a vet cope with PTSD

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After somber devotion to the nation’s veterans, NYC HOG members rode to The Cloisters in NYC’s Fort Tryon for some beautiful scenery to refresh the soul.

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A short break overlooking the Hudson River and it was time for lunch in Harlem at the Dinosaur BBQ. Members ended the ride eating, talking and being happy for the freedom given to them by the nation’s veterans who fought in so many wars, and by all the military still guarding our country.  Still, thank you is never enough.

Veterans-Day

“The struggle between happiness and unhappiness is the story of human existence. The struggle between peace and war is the history of the human race. The power that lends us to victory amid these struggles is the power of good within us.” ~ Dr. D. Ikeda

Thanks to Road Captains Nick L., Dave G., Nicky R.,  Carlos V. and Director Joe S. in safeguarding our safety during the NYC HOG’s Veterans Day Ride. Road Captain Carmen R led the ride.
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Fall Foliage in Living Color

From the Director’s Desk:

Each year the Celtic MCC lays out a long route for riders to experience the fall foliage north of New York City.

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On October 26 eighteen NYC HOG members left the diner under crystal clear blue skies to head to the Celtic clubhouse in the Bronx.

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Our 20 riders and passengers would have grabbed the best represented club again, but unfortunately Celtic did not offer the award this year.
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The skies were still blue when we left the Celtic clubhouse but as we headed north clouds began to build and temperatures started falling. It looked as if it would rain. We were lucky though and it stayed dry..

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We were unable to download the route to our GPS  and that created a few problems staying on course. Nonetheless we had a good time riding the gentle curves of Westchester County.
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Several members took turn leading the ride: Head Road Captain Hans as well as Gil, Mike, Carlos and John.
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The twisties lined with bright colors of yellow, orange, red and a few lingering patches of green – made the ride enjoyable.

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When we got back to the clubhouse the Celtic members had hot food – including the famous Shepherd’s Pie. Too bad Postman Richie was not there to dig in. He’ll be happy to know Kim took a doggie bag for him.
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Thanks to all those who lead the ride and to RC Nick for keeping us safe.
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With respect,
Joe
NYC HOG Director
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Fall Foliage Ahead

NYC HOG will join our friends at the Celtic MCC on Sunday, October 26 for their annual Foliage Run.  Join us for breakfast at the Buccaneer Diner at 8am – then we’re off for “Great Roads, Food, Drink & Fun!” Some of our guys give great kudos to the Celtic Shepherd’s Pie.

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Cool Ride to Claudio’s

The weather is definitely cooling. When we rode out from the diner Sunday, October 5 the temperature was in the 40s.
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It only warmed to the low 60s but that was enough to make it a great day. Minus a few mishaps with Carmen’s 41-year-old Harley and a near miss when a small white dog ran across the Long Island Expressway (directly in front of us!), we made it safely to our destination. We all hope the terrified little dog made it to safe ground. Thanks to those who called 911 to report the danger.
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About 17 wrapped up with our warmer gear and headed out east to Greenport to have lunch.

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Even though the morning was cool the sun was bright. Still by the time we arrived, we were all ready for something warm – like delicious cup of Claudio’s clam chowder.
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Later we walked around the small town of Greenport – checking out all the shops.
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It was a relaxing day spent with good people and lots of laughs. Thanks to Jeff and Dino for the photos.

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With respect,
Joe
Director, NYC HOG

 

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“Soup’s Up” Ladies

NEW YORK — The NYC Ladies of Harley (LOH) zoomed out to the beach September 6 for chowder on what started out as a cloudy and hot day, but turned into a perfect seaside afternoon.
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Three members of LOH rode along Ocean Parkway and Robert Moses Causeway to The Chowder Bar renown for its soup. As they say, “Once you’ve nibbled, we’ll have you hooked.”
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It was a fun day of getting to know each other better for Maria, Cheryl and Kathleen.
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For Those Who Served

BY CARMEN ROBERTS  Sept 7, 2014
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NORTHPORT, NY — The Leathernecks Motorcycle Club ride to support US veterans is one with special meaning, according to NYC HOG Director, Joe S. It is one that NYC HOG members happily give their time and donations each year. “The veterans stood for us and now we ride for them,” said NYC HOG Assistant Director, Carlos V.
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Another perfect day for riding as the sun lit the sky but temperatures stayed below normal. A dozen NYC HOG bikes rode out from the diner September 7 to rally with other clubs assembled at the Leathernecks MC clubhouse in Massapequa.
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From there the stream of bikes road northeast to the Northport VA Medical Center to deliver socks, T-shirts and other needed items to the vets.
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Some 14,000 veterans visit the Northport VAMC emergency room each year, according to the most recent survey data available. More than 3,800 of them are admitted for treatment. Vets from all the military branches who live in the area seek help for problems ranging from surgery and psychiatry to rehabilitation and nursing care.
 
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The Long Island Chapter of the Leathernecks MC held registration for the ride at their clubhouse which is filled with US Marines memorabilia. The club’s members are current or former Marines, but as a sign says inside the clubhouse door, “Once a Marine, Always a Marine.”
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This was the Leatherneck’s 13th annual VA Hospital Run. Each year the club lays out breakfast pastries and coffee for the riders. The registration fee of $20 for riders and $10 for passengers also includes chow after the visit to Northport VAMC.
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                                                                             Leathernecks MC Clubhouse, Massapequa, NY 
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The ride to Northport VAMC was ‘semi-escorted’ according to Joe S.. After visiting the vets, the riders were on their own to get back to the Leatherneck MC clubhouse.
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A variety of motorcycle clubs showed up to support the VA Run.
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Chow time gave riders a chance to catch up with familiar faces and check out the new ones. Joe S. said, “Camaraderie is what riding is all about.”
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In this case it was also about extending a hand to veterans in a time of need.
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Hooah, Hooyah and Oorah!

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Riding Against Breast Cancer – 21 Years Strong

By CARMEN ROBERTS   |  JUNE 8, 2014
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   The first among hundreds of motorcycles reach NYC’s Verrazano–Narrows Bridge
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NEW YORK — Hundreds of motorcycles roared through the streets of New York City June 8 to raise money for NYC Harley Owners Group (HOG) Bikers Against Breast Cancer.  The weather was perfect: warm and sunny. The streets the best: no traffic.  “It was great to ride through New York City with a police escort,” said NYC HOG’s Jaime F. originally from Madrid.
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                                    Riders register for 21st annual NYC HOG’s Bikers Against Breast Cancer 
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.                                                                        New York’s Finest provide escort for the ride
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Eighteen New York City police officers led the way from Long Island City through Brooklyn to the Forest Park in Queens. New York’s Finest on their white Harleys held back traffic giving the 220 riders a perfect view of iconic sights, including the Manhattan skyline, the World Trade Center, and the Statue of Liberty. Riders were able to glide past the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge, feel the ocean breeze, and enjoy the tree-lined parkways without dodging the normal chaotic NYC traffic.
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                                                                              Richie “Blue Eyes”and son give thumbs up
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Autumn S. just bought a Harley and was happy to join the ride. “It’s awesome. My first group ride is more than 200 bikers. That’s really cool.”
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Riders of all types of bikes came for many reasons. Special Assistant to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
 Peter Vallone Jr. led the ride as grand marshal. “Bikers get a bad rap occasionally. It’s good to show people there are far more good bikers than bad. That’s what it’s all about — raising money for a great cause.”
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NYC HOG’s 21st annual Bikers Against Breast Cancer (BABC) raised $18,252 dollars on Sunday for the nonprofit group,
SHAREing & CAREing. This is the fourth year BABC has worked to help the Astoria, New York group.
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New York State Assemblywoman
Aravella Simotas spoke to the riders as they gathered at NYC Harley-Davidson in Long Island City. “It’s wonderful to come to an event that supports SHAREing & CAREing and see so many people out here on a beautiful morning. It means so much to people who are touched by breast cancer.”
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Aravella Simotas encourages the riders

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Vallone said that it also means a great deal to the group. “SHAREing & CAREing is a small group and needs this money. This group doesn’t survive without the money that you guys give to them, and because they survive, they help others survive.”
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BABC has been going strong since 1994. Former NYC HOG Director, Joe “T” started it to honor women riders in the club. “We were the first motorcycle group to do a breast cancer run. Before NYC HOG you never heard of anyone doing it.”  The loss of his wife and daughter to breast cancer inspired him to dedicate the ride to fight the disease. His wife Edina died in 1979; his daughter Sue Filice died in 1995. ”It happened to my family. It shouldn’t happen to anyone else,” he said.

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.                                                              Support, care and more from NYC HOG members
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More than 39,000 women were expected to die from breast cancer in 2013, according to the American Cancer Society. Only lung cancer accounts for more cancer deaths in women.
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NYC HOG’s “Little Al” has been participating in BABC since 1999. “In the first 17 years we raised a little more than $1.2 million for the American Cancer Society. Now we work with SHAREing & CAREing, where every single dime goes to direct patient care, rehabilitation and counseling. Everything the cancer patient needs.”
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                                                                                                                 Betty S. registers riders
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SHAREing & CAREing provides those services and more for free. “We know this money will touch others’ lives. People who are struggling, be it with transportation or getting hair pieces or even access to another opinion, we are there to help them and this goes to help them,” said Anna Kril, SHAREing & CAREing co-founder and breast cancer survivor.
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Some riders had personal reasons for supporting BABC.“ I feel great being here. My mother passed away from breast cancer eight years ago,“ said NYC HOG’s Calvin B.
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Every rider donated at least $25 and one rider collected thousands. NYC HOG’s Jeff G. contributed a whopping $9,193. “My company, my employees, my vendors, my clients — they also support the group and the work it’s doing.”
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                                       Jeff presents donation to Shareing & Careing’s Anna Krill (left)
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                                           Enjoying the NYC skyline without the normal frenzied traffic
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The long and short of it. Riders get to spread out and take in the sights.

 

 

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After a 52-mile ride, bikers chowed down on delicious Italian food catered by Cascarino’s of College Point, New York and rocked out to live music by the Steve Marshall Band with Simon Kirke from Bad Company sitting in on the drums.
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NYC HOG awarded three trophies for motorcycle skill games: slow ride and cone weave. First place went to Lou M. with Star Touring and Riding Association on his Yamaha. Only riding for six years, he said, “If you practice riding the right way, you can relax and enjoy the ride.” Second place was earned by NYC HOG’s Richie “Blue Eyes”; third went to Gotham Disciples’ “Rev.Sal” on his Harley Road King Custom.
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After months of planning and one long day of making riders welcome — NYC HOG Director Joe S.  congratulated the chapter for its hard work. My HOG chapter is the best. They all pulled together with everybody jumping in where they can. It’s just a great group of people”

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A couple of riders captured the mood. “It was great to meet all the people,” said Harley rider Tommy C. “I came to support breast cancer, be with good people, ride with my buddies, and enjoy the beautiful weather,” said C. Johnson of Westchester County, NY.
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No matter how great the ride the bottom line is fighting breast cancer said Joe S., who has also lost family to the disease. “That’s why I do this every year, and as long as we have this run, I’ll continue to do it.”  He says NYC HOG’s Bikers Against Breast Cancer will be back for its 22nd annual event in June 2015.

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                                                                                    NYC HOG’s George P. sums up the day

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