When a lot of people see me and my biker brothers rumbling down the road they often times think we are a bunch of thugs. And while there are inevitably biker thugs, there are plenty of thug lawyers (Duh, Captain Obvious), business executives, salespeople and politicians (another BIG Duh!). What these apprehensive non-bikers don’t realize is that most REAL bikers are family men (and women) that have great friends, hold down real jobs and are very active in their communities.
We are also very generous with charities we believe in. One of our local groups is Bikers Who Care. This great organization hosts a summer camp for children battling illness and injuries called Camp Rainbow. They also run the BWC Toy Run – which every September collects thousands of toys for needy families in the area. There are plenty of great charities supported by the biker community – another of which is one of my favorites: Bikers Against Child Abuse. But, by far, my favorite charities support our armed forces. Every Memorial Day Weekend your ever-lovable Grey Beard Biker rides to the mountains to take part in Smoky Mountain Thunder – a charitable organization which for the past 20 years has worked to raise awareness for POWs, PTSD and other veteran causes. But here I am rambling on when what I really want to do is tell you about another great charitable organization which helps veterans – Code of Vets.
Code of Vets
Living near Fort Campbell, I have many brothers and sisters in either the 101st Airborne Division, 5th Group Special Forces or 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR). We ride together, break bread together and once in a while throw back an adult beverage with a nice cigar (okay, sometimes it’s more than one adult beverage). Our veterans and active duty military service members are great people and very genuine. But often, they are away from home on deployment for long period of time – leaving family behind. Some suffer from the long term effects of injuries and PTSD. And worst, some never make it home – leaving a family behind. Additionally, there are financial struggles, family issues and many other difficulties they face on a daily basis.
I first heard about Code of Vets on Twitter. If you were to type in #CodeofVets in the Twitter search box, you will find thousands of Patriots who support this 501(c)(3) organization. Most of us know of several national veteran organizations such as Wounded Warrior Project, the USO, Homes for Our Troops and Tunnel to Towers. These organizations are all well known for their work, but larger organizations also have lots of expenses and staff salaries. This reduces the amount of support they can provide our veterans and families. What makes Code of Vets so unique is that it’s a grassroots organization. Your donation to them is not slashed by the heavy expenses incurred by the large charitable veteran organizations.
About Code of Vets
One of the strengths of Code of Vets is their ability to use social media to reach out to veterans in need. As its founder, Gretchen Smith, has stated, the organization’s output is literally “virtual boots on the ground.” They are able to connect veterans in crisis with other veterans who have experienced similar challenges. Code of Vets, and its partners, can assist veterans trying to navigate the bureaucracy which is the VA, get professional help for their medical and emotional needs and even help with their financial needs. Their staff is comprised of volunteers dedicated to helping veterans. Gretchen has told me that 99% of donations go to support veterans with the only real costs being credit card processing fees and accounting services.
But, there is no one who can tell you about Code of Vets any better than Gretchen:
Our veterans need our help. Your ever-lovable Grey Beard Biker encourages you to donate to the charities of your choice. But for veteran causes, you cannot find a better organization to donate to than Code of Vets. To learn more about them, or to donate, click HERE. You can be assured that almost your entire donation will go to support our veterans – which is why we donate in the first place. Please feel free to reach out to me via email with any questions. I will forward these directly to Code of Vets for response.
Until next time, keep the shiny side up!