American Legion Riders (ALR) Chapter 11
Francis Scott Key Post 11
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. 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. The American Legion established the National Riders Program on October 17-18, 2007.
Currently, over 110,000 American Legion Riders meet in over 2,000 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, Kan., 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. Many Riders, supported by their departments, conduct annual statewide Legacy Runs in direct support of American Legion scholarship program of Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW), supporting our wounded service members across the nation.
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.
American Legion Riders (ALR) Chapter 11
American Legion Riders (ALR) Chapter 11 was formed in 2008 and their Charter approved on July 11, 2013. They remain very active supporting FSK Post 11 and The American Legion Programs in addition to the many Rides. Members of ALR Post 11 have become the Post 11 Color Guard and Firing Squad. They represent the Post at various functions sponsored by Post 11, Ft. Detrick, Honor Details and outside organizations. Additionally, there are many social events. Some ALR Post 11 activities include:
- Burial Flag Details
- Honor Guard Details
- Color Guard
- Firing Squad
- ALR Rides
ALR Chapter 11 Membership Requirements
- All members of The American Legion Riders shall be current members of The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary or Sons of The American Legion.
- May not hold at any time membership in more than one ALR Chapter.
- Each ALR member shall establish and maintain membership by owning a legally registered motorcycle, or be the spouse of the legally registered owner, a motorcycle of at least 259cc, licensed and insured as required by laws. Any member who does not possess ownership of a motorcycle through spouse or not registered in his or her name would be considered a supporting member, and would have no voting rights.
- Members in good standing may continue to retain full active or supporting membership if they have given up motorcycle ownership involuntarily because of age, injury, or health.
- There shall be no form or class of membership except an active membership, and dues be paid as required by the chapter. There are no national dues, and currently no chapter dues.
- All members will obey the motor vehicle laws in which they are operating a motorcycle or riding as a passenger.
For details about ALR, Contact:
George Smith, III
or Tricia Swiderski