Bikers turn out for Fallen Soldier Ride

Over 110 motorcyclist and their passengers participated in the 4th Annual Fallen Soldiers Ride on Father’s Day.

BY STACI WILSON

Over 110 motorcyclists spent their Father’s Day, June 19, participating in the 4th Annual Fallen Soldier Ride.

The 90-mile ride wove bikers and passengers through the Endless Mountains of Susquehanna and Wyoming counties. The ride started and ended at the Hallstead American Legion Post 357, with stops along the route at the 9/11 memorial at Crisman Park in South Montrose; the Elk Lake American Legion; and the Lenox VFW.

Event coordinator Bill Evans Sr. said he was pleased with the turnout for the ride – especially since it was held on Father’s Day.

“A lot of people are giving up picnics and their time to be here,” he said.

From atop a Humvee, Evans gave the route details to the riders and told the group, “It’s a special Father’s Day for me because my son was one of those lost.”

Evans’ son, Bill Jr., a member of the U.S. Army National Guard 109th Infantry out of New Milford, was killed Sept. 19, 2005 in Iraq.

Less than 10 days later, five other soldiers from the New Milford Readiness Center were also killed. Those soldiers were: Staff Sgt. Daniel Arnold; Staff Sgt. George Pugliese; Specialists Lee Weigand; Oliver Brown and Eric Slebodnik.

Sgt. Amos Dixon drove the Humvee in the ride. Dixon was a member of the unit deployed to Iraq when the six men were lost.

A memorial to those men has been built at the National Guard Armory, Rt. 492, New Milford. Proceeds from the annual event go to maintaining the Fallen Soldier Memorial and will also be used to help fund a scholarship which will be awarded each year on a rotating basis to a student from the high school attended by each of the six local men.

The annual event is sponsored by the Hallstead American Legion Riders.