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Danielle to "RED"

Some of you may wonder what it actually means to be a Legion Rider, I want to explain that definition in Red terms.

I started out as my husband's "Sinister's" wife, just helping out, being there, that went on for over a year. I have to say that made me perfectly happy. I couldn't wear the cut, and I wasn't on the roster, but I got to hang out with this amazing group of people. As Sinister's wife I was automatically accepted as well, everyone was nice to me, the guys without a backseat 'passanger " always offered me a ride when we had an event, and I got to know everyone rather quickly. My husband had been riding for years, and I really had never given a thought to riding alone, that is, until about 9 months into hanging around the Manchester NH Sweeney Post Riders.

There was this sense of family and loyalty I had never seen before, outside of my own literal family and close network of friends. Of course I had already been a member of the post which is a requirement for the Legion Riders, you have to be a member of the Legion family somewhere, but now I wanted to become part of the Riders. I wanted to fully belong. My husband of course couldn't have been happier, his wife wanted to ride a bike!!!! Yay! So during the process, which can take a little time, I began the waiting time, then Support, for those who do not ride, or are not up to pack riding standard yet, while I waited for my state riding course weekend! 

I was so excited for my weekend in Concord NH! Two days of 8 hour classes on a 250, and then the test....and bam, I had a license!!! During this time I was patched in as Support and given the name "Red" a name that still follows me today. My first bike was a Yamaha VSTAR 650 bought from one of my fellow Legion Riders, Bacon. I rode that about a month before selling it back and turning to ride my husband's kawasaki vulcan 900. I was in love with the VSTAR and missed it. The Vulcan just didn't do it for me and I missed the style bike the Yamaha was. About a month and a half after I started riding my husbands bike, I bought the bike I still ride today, my Yamaha Road Star 1700. 

I was also learning what my Legion Rider family was all about during this time. I had a solid three Legion Riders ( Bacon, Dolphin, and Shrek) and one CVMA ( Combat Veteran Motorcycle Association) rider (Poppa) who made the time and even canceled plans to get me riding and work with me to get me up to speed that first summer. I cant even explain the phone calls and message boards that were set up to keep people connected,  safe and aware, especially with newer people learning.  At the end of the day I ended up learning faster than most, I rode every day on my own, every day with experienced riders, in the pack and took the state course as well. I still have a lot to learn, but I have a very solid foundation in the motorcycle riding world. 

But of course the Legion Riders are not just about riding are they? We support our post, we support veterans,  children, families, and our community. We have one of the best "jobs" around. We get to help those in need, and ride!! What could be better than that! Of course there's more, we have meetings, we do fundraising,  events, etc. 

In the end, we are all here for one purpose, to help others, to have a good time doing it, and to do it while we enjoy riding. One thing I can say is no matter where you go, no matter the state you're in, if you walk into a Legion, you will always find family.

I have had my own journey from Danielle to "Red" as I went from an officer of the Auxiliary at the Sweeney Post in Manchester NH, to the Assistant Director of the Riders at Post 34 in Plaistow NH, what will your journey be?

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