Biking for Bricks: Veterans to Receive Help in Paying for Memorial Bricks - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/10/03

Biking for Bricks: Veterans to Receive Help in Paying for Memorial Bricks

When the American Legion here in Lubbock heard some of their fellow service men and women needed help paying for bricks, they quickly sprung into action. On Saturday morning, dozens of them held a unique fundraiser with a Las Vegas twist. They each traveled across the South Plains to collect the best poker hand while biking for bricks.

"It's nice weather, a little breeze, a little cool. It feels good when you're riding," says Steve Brooks, American Legion.

A perfect day to start up a hog and go for a ride and raise money for war veterans of years past.

"Steve and I got together and discussed it and met with the American Legion and said they had a fund set up for veterans that couldn't afford those bricks," says J.D. McNamara of the American Legion.

"We had a bunch of people bring up that not all veterans can afford to purchase a brick for $125," says Steve.

So, Steve and some of his biker buddies are riding their Harleys and playing a friendly game of poker to make it interesting.

"The War Memorial is a big thing for Lubbock and the entire area, and this fundraiser is a poker run set up for the motorcyclists, and they'll cover five stops and this is a way to generate interest and money for the memorial," says Jerry Dickson, American Legion.

Each biker receives a card at each stop, to see who ends up with the best hand, but whether they're lucky or not, these bikers say hitting the road to help veterans is all in a day's ride.

"The reason I'm riding is I'm a vet, too. It's a good cause, and I'm really behind the veterans of America, I mean, for the last time we've served. I'm proud of who I am and where I've been and that's why I'm doing it," says Tommy Garcia, a war veteran.

"A friend and I wanted to get out and ride (Saturday), and I'm a veteran. I was in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970," says Stephen Bass of Muleshoe.

"Motorcyclists, there are a lot of those people that are veterans, and they like to be a part of things, too," says Jerry.

"I think we need to honor the veterans that have gone in the past. Our World War II veterans -- we're losing 1,500 a day, so we need to honor these guys. They did a tremendous sacrifice," says J.D.

The bikers trekked across the South Plains making stops in Post and Crosbyton before returning home to Lubbock. They raised hundreds of dollars to put towards the war memorial.

To see if you or a loved one financially qualify to receive a free brick, you can contact the American Legion at (806) 794-9006. You can also purchase a brick for $125. There are less than 1,500 bricks available and the memorial is set to be complete in August of this year.

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