Riders’ final destination: Helping wounded warriors

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Local riders from the American Legion Riders will join riders from the state and Arizona for a ride from Carlsbad to San Antonio to escort a truckload of toiletries such as soap, shampoo and shaving supplies to soldiers at Brooks Army Medical Center.

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Johnny Harris loves to ride his motorcycle on the highway. Riding for a cause is even better.

President of the American Legion Riders Clovis chapter, Harris said eight local riders will join riders from the state and Arizona for a ride from Carlsbad to San Antonio to escort a truckload of toiletries such as soap, shampoo and shaving supplies to soldiers in the burn ward of the Brooks Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.

About 50 motorcycle riders will take part in the ride.

“When we’re doing a run for a good cause, the ride is a lot better, more fun for us,” Harris said.

Called Operation Wounded Warrior, the program provides soldiers receiving treatment at military hospitals with essential supplies so they can use their money to support their families, according to state Chairman Ed Summerall. The underlying goal of the program is to welcome home and comfort soldiers returning from battle, he said.

“One of the important things we do is we sit down with as many of these young troops as we can — men and women — (and) we thank them for their service, thank them for their sacrifices and welcome them home,” he said.

The motorcycle club has raised more than $50,000 and collected more than $7,000 in toiletries statewide so far, according to Summerall.

The campaign to collect supplies started in January, according to Clovis Chairwoman Lucy Harris. Harris said the club received donations from organizations from Clovis and Portales.