Record Number Ride To Support Troops

All proceeds from the fundraiser go to families of soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The group of bikers stretched for miles, making it the biggest the event’s ever been.

Rick Deman said seeing that many people is heartwarming.

“Everything starts and ends with our freedom, and this is what this is all about,” Deman said, “We have young men and women over in Iraq and Afghanistan right now and this is to show them support.”

Police escorted the riders to Offutt Air Force Base for a tour, then back out west to the Strategic Air and Space Museum. After that, the group rode to Gretna for a hog roast at the American Legion.

Deman said the event raised around $15,000 for families of our troops, but the support this event gives is not just monetary.

In the crowd at the American Legion in Gretna, Kellie Ayers, who's son, Bryan Shannon, is deployed in the Middle East right now is keeping conversation to keep her mind off of thoughts and worry.

"He left last December. He's supposed to be coming home this December, but it just got extended until next June."

Ayers says events like this, and being a member of the Patriot Guard, help her cope with her son being deployed for so long.

"It's overwhelming to see all this help. Even if they don't have someone over there, they come up and do this. They ride for so long, it's just awesome," she said.

"Jeff would love this. Jeff would have been riding with them," said Randy Chaney, "He had his own motorcycle and he'd have been part of this, if he was still around."

Randy and April Chaney lost their brother Jeff nearly 4 years ago. He was killed while serving in the Navy in Iraq.

A tear still comes to their eyes when they speak of Jeff, but events like the Yellow Ribbon Motorcycle Run help them heal.

Another show of support for the Chaney family will take place on Sunday, July 17th at 2 p.m., four years to the day that Jeff died.

A ceremony will take place and part of Thomas Drive in Bellevue will be named in his honor.

The public is welcome to attend.

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