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Legion Riders to rumble into Port Sunday PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 07 June 2017 17:56

Public invited to greet motorcyclists, donate to fund for children of fallen soldiers

    The roar of motorcycles will fill the air in Port Washington Sunday, June 11.
    That’s when at least 75 motorcyclists, part of the American Legion Riders, will stop in Port during the final leg of the group’s three-day journey from Ashland to the War Memorial in Milwaukee.
    Legion members are hoping the public will line the streets to welcome the group, which is expected to come into the city about 10:30 a.m.    Local Legion posts will have their color guards stationed along the route, and Scouts are expected to join their ranks for the event.
    The riders, escorted by Port police, will enter Port from the south side, along Highway 32, turn east on Grand Avenue to downtown and then make their way to the Van Ells-Schanen Legion Hall on Lake Street.
    “We’re asking people to cover the main streets,” said John Jacque, a member of the Port Legion who will take part in the ride.
    The group will ride, rain or shine, he said, and sticks to its schedule, usually arriving within 10 minutes of its anticipated timeline.
    The riders will take a break at the Legion, sharing stories and enjoying fellowship and also accepting donations from local Legion posts and individuals for the Legacy Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to the children of soldiers who have been killed or who have been disabled since 9/11.     
    After about an hour, the group will head out of Port, following the same route members took into the city.
    Among the riders will be at least four members of Ozaukee County American Legion posts, including Jacque, who rides a black Harley Davidson trike, and Sheriff Jim Johnson.
    Jacque, who has participated in four Legion Riders Legacy Scholarship runs and three national rides, said this year’s ride is named Rev’s Run in honor of Wisconsin Legion Commander Dan Seehafer, who is a minister nicknamed “Rev.”
    A Vietnam-era veteran, Jacque was drafted in 1967 and joined the Navy, where he served on active duty for two years and 21 years in the reserves.
    He continues his service today by working with the Legion and participating in activities like the Legion Riders, he said.
    “Once you’re a soldier, you’re always a soldier,” Jacque said.
    He especially enjoyed the Legacy rides, he said.
    “It’s a rewarding thing,” he said. “I’ve lost a few friends.”
    Some of the best things about the rides are the friendships made along the way, he said.
    “It’s the camaraderie among the people,” Jacque said. “You get a feeling of pride when you travel through these small towns and there are 100 people standing there with flags.
    “It can choke you up once in a while.”
    This year’s ride starts in Ashland on June 9. On Saturday, the group will lead the Flag Day parade in Appleton, head to Fond du Lac for Walleye Weekend activities, and then head to Horicon and Port on Sunday before arriving at the War Memorial in Milwaukee.