LOS ANGELES - A lot can be said for the special bond that exists between motorcycle clubs and the U.S. military, but just where did this comradery between the chopper and the stars and stripes first develop?
Believe it or not, the relationship between motorcycles and U.S. soldiers can be traced back to the Mexican Revolution when Harley Davidsons were used to help track down Pancho Villa.
During World War I the motorcycle was a vital tool used to mobilize infantry, deliver medical supplies & ammunition, and were useful in reconnaissance and patrols. In an era that still used homing pigeons and often had unreliable communication, their most important role was the delivery of messages behind enemy lines.
During World War II its direct use declined because of jeeps and armored vehicles, but it continued to play a vital role in communication as the transportation of choice for messengers.
Although civilian motorcycle clubs existed, after the war they were joined by a generation of veterans. Many veterans found camaraderie at high speed amidst the adrenaline and adventure they came to know in war, while others found the commonality of PTSD. Different degrees of these brotherly bonds were found in the wide array of clubs. From mainstream joy riders to outlaw biker gangs, motorcycle clubs continue to be a haven for veterans to this day.
One doesn’t have to look far beyond the camaraderie to see other similarities between motorcycle clubs and the military. They have their own coat of arms, uniforms, and ranks, but more importantly it is a close knit group that continues to serve. Many clubs and groups serve their communities through volunteer work and charity rides, and some have a direct correlation to veterans. Be it raising money for PTSD, bulletproof vests for troops overseas, or helping wounded warriors -- motorcycles and veterans go hand in hand.
Among these groups are the Patriot Guard Riders. The group consist of veterans and non-veterans alike, that ride their motorcycles to honor those who risk their lives for their country. Their main mission is to attend funeral services of fallen military heroes, first responders, and honorably discharged veterans.
Watch the video to see Patriot Guard Riders help give an unclaimed veteran the funeral he deserved.