Veterans ride across western US to rally

Many are en route to the hills on their motorcycle for the Rally...and many have already arrived.
But one group had a special trip coming all the way from L-A to commemorate the 75th with Indian Motorcycles.
They call it the next great tradition; veterans riding across the western United States to commemorate freedom and love for our country.

Julie Elepano, Indian Motorcycles Marketing Manager says, "It was a good opportunity to celebrate our veterans, our country, and Sturgis' 75th."

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was founded by an Indian motorcyclist, so the company immediately jumped at the opportunity when approached about it in November.

Elepano says, "It was a really great opportunity for us to put some men and women on our bikes...people who served our country in combat and give them a chance to ride across this beautiful country and land in the best rally in the world."

They started in L-A, after being led out of the city by Jay Leno. They have since trekked it across Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado to arrive here in Sturgis this afternoon.

Elepano says, ""It's just been a traveling caravan of guys forming great camaraderie with each other...we're excited to be a part of it."

Veterans looked thrilled to arrive in Rally Town Sunday, and say it's a ride they'll never forget.

Richard Neely, veteran, says, "The ride was therapeutic and us riding together...it was a kinship. It helped me think about my problems and I helped my fellow vets, they helped me, it was great."

Neely says the friendships he's made along the journey are something that just can't be topped.

Neely says, "We all just came together, just like our military style traditions, bonding together, we all worked together to achieve this mission."

Neely says, "I don't know what it is about the hum of a motor...or when you hear that thing rev up and you get this thing synced up...it's just awesome. By the time I come back my mind is clear."

The vets who rode in will be participating in various activities all week and will ride in the Freedom Ride at the Buffalo Chip on Thursday.