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 Story and photo by Evan Parton

The first Saturday in May started out with some fog as the Ride Of Pride trucks rolled into town being escorted from the plant in Cleveland, NC, by Donny Bradley and myself. As the sun began to burn off the fog, the sounds of motorcycles arriving at Crossroads Harley-Davidson, in Wilkesboro, NC for the 11th Annual Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association 15-5 Ride filled the air. 

Registration began to heat up as everyone was getting ready to ride to Mooresville, NC. The band got cranking and even had a guest vocalist., A special display was also set up for Ronald "Smiley" Wilson as this ride was dedicated to him. The announcement was made for all to gather around for the National Anthem, a ride briefing, and we were soon saddled up and ready to ride. The group ride was escorted through the back of roads of North Carolina by state and local law enforcement.  

We were welcomed to our destination: Shoals Grill. As always, Michael Lipford, and Micha Dunlevy from Crossroads Harley-Davidson went all out again this year, to provide us with a great place to end this ride. One by one the bikes, welcomed by a huge American Flag for all to see rolled in. Lunch was served as the band began to rock it out. 

We were blessed with an accident free ride to accomplish what we set out to do. Eventually, rain arrived, and the bikes began to leave. The CVMA Annual Ride’s purpose is veterans helping veterans in need. In the past, they have donated to the Fisher House of NC, Purple Heart Homes, Veteran Restoration Quarters, Project Healing Waters, Project Patriot Hunt, Welcome Home Vets, and many others.

If you are inclined to support any of these organizations, donations are welcome. To participate in future rides and events contact combatvets155@gmail.com.