American Legion
American Legion Post 217
    Warsaw, Missouri
    For God and Country
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Legion Riders

May 26, 2012-ALR 131 Legacy Run

August 18, 2012-Weaubleau















American Legion Riders chapters are often well known for their  charitable work, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for  local children's hospitals, schools, veterans homes, severely wounded  service members and scholarships. Since 2006, Riders nationwide have  participated in the Legion Legacy Run, to annually raise money for the  Legacy Scholarship Fund, established to provide scholarships to children of U.S. military personnel killed since Sept. 11, 2001.

For the latest in Riders apparel and gear, including patches, go to Legion Rider Merchandise - Emblem Sales.


In Garden City, Mich., in 1993, Chuck "Tramp" Dare and Bill "Polka"  Kaledas, commander of American Legion Post 396, shared an idea to start a motorcycle enthusiasts association within the organization. The two  longtime riders wanted an environment where Legion family members could  come together to share a common love for motorcycles.

Dare and Kaledas wrote a letter to Michigan Department Adjutant  Hubert Hess, sharing their idea. Hess replied that he liked the concept  and wanted to pursue it. Later, he gave Kaledas and Dare instructions  for managing the program at the post level. He also explained how they  could be


approved to use the American Legion emblem, and how to gain  Membership's support and recognition. At a regular meeting, Post 396 members passed a resolution for a new program to be known as the  "American Legion Riders."

Joined by 19 other founding members from their post, Dare and Kaledas were flooded with requests for information about their organization.  They agreed to establish a central source for the Riders to ensure that  chapters formed not as motorcycle clubs or gangs, but as Legionnaires  and Auxiliary and SAL members joining to ride as Legion family. Pat  Babcock, an SAL member from Michigan, created a Web site with sample  by-laws and instructions for forming new chapters. remains the primary source of information and  assistance for new chapters.

Legion Riders Today

Currently, 106,000 American Legion Riders meet in over a thousand  chapters in every domestic department and in at least three foreign  countries. Riders in Iowa have formed an honor guard called The Five  Star Freedom Riders, and Riders in  Mulvane, Kansas, founded the Patriot  Guard to protect the sanctity of military funerals from protesters.  Riders in all states have escorted military units returning home from  combat tours overseas, conducted massive cross-country fundraising  events  for wounded warriors from all services, and have raised millions  of dollars for countless local, state and national charities.

True to the Legion's grassroots tradition, each chapter manages its  programs at the post level, where the best ideas are born. The Riders  are part of many projects and events, including:

  • Rolling Thunder, the annual POW/MIA rally in Washington on Memorial Day weekend.Annual regional rides such as Operation Wounded Warrior, sponsored  by Riders in Nevada, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, California and  other Western states.Local charity events in support of The American Legion and local communities.
  • Raising money for VA hospitals, women and children centers, children and youth centers, schools and other facilities.
  • Sponsoring or participating in motorcycle runs to benefit numerous charities.
  • Local memorial ceremonies and community parades.
  • The American Legion Legacy Run, an annual cross-country fundraising  ride from National Headquarters in Indianapolis to the national  convention city.
  • Riding to honor fallen military men and women, and to protect the  sanctity of their funerals from those who would dishonor their memory.
  • Escorting military units to departure airfields and airports for  combat tours overseas, and welcoming them home upon their return.
Freedom Is Not Free. All Gave Some, Some Gave All.
American Legion Post 217, Post Office Box 361, Warsaw, Missouri (660) 438-6925, Lounge (660) 438-6928
Copyright  © 2010-2012 American Legion Post 217, All Rights Reserved
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