By Amanda Kim Stairrett
Fort Hood Herald
Fort Hood is set to host its second Phantom Thunder motorcycle ride and concert Friday.
The post's first mass motorcycle ride was in November when more than 1,100 riders lined area highways for a 60-mile route that stretched from Fort Hood to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery to Stillhouse Hollow Lake and back to Fort Hood.
The ride also included 275 special guest riders from the Patriot Guard and the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.
This week's route is expected to follow Texas Highway 190, FM 2657, FM 963, Texas Highway 183 and back to 190 before returning to Fort Hood.
"Phantom Thunder is not only about safe riding practices and encouraging others to do the same but also about having fun," Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, III Corps and Fort Hood commander, said in a November letter to the Fort Hood and Central Texas community.
Friday's ride will also emphasize safety and motorcycle mentorship. Mentorship was just one of several points in a new motorcycle safety policy Lynch unveiled in August. It required soldiers' commands to take an active role in their riding and safety training. If a soldier was involved in a motorcycle accident, his commander was required to personally call Lynch.
The policy also called on all motorcyclists who wanted access to Fort Hood to carry and present a Motorcycle Safety Foundation card, valid registration and proof of insurance. A safety card is granted to those who completed the foundation's riding course, which is taught on post and in several locations in the area, according to Herald reports.
Carrying the card ensures that all motorcycle riders have the proper training and licensing on the vehicle they are riding prior to riding at Fort Hood, according to information from Fort Hood.
It is unacceptable that soldiers survive battle, only to come home and die on the highways and byways, Lynch said in November.
"I refuse to allow that to happen," he added.
Officials are expecting 1,000 to 1,500 riders Friday. Those eligible to participate include service members, Department of the Army civilians, family members, retirees and contractors, according to information from Fort Hood.
The post conducts the ride to "reinforce safe motorcycle operation and demonstrate to the community our commitment towards disciplined operation," said Capt. Teresa L. Marvin, deputy operations officer for the 13th Sustainment Command's 15th Sustainment Brigade.
Friday's ride will end at Hood Stadium where riders and local community members will be treated to a free concert by the Grammy-award-winning Los Lonely Boys and country artist Michael Scott.
Riders are set to take off from Hood Stadium at noon and the concert begins at 3 p.m. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and food will be available at the concert.
Los Lonely Boys is made up of three brothers from San Angelo, according to information from Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR), the post directorate hosting the concert. The trio hit it big in 2004 when their single "Heaven" reached No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart and No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100. It crossed over to the Hot Country Songs chart, where it peaked at No. 48.
The group won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 2005 and were also nominated for Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Best Rock Instrumental, according to information from FMWR.
Scott has performed on the same stage with some of country music's biggest entertainers, including George Jones, Reba, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Montgomery Gentry, Sugarland and Neal McCoy, according to information from FMWR.
To obtain more information about the concert, call (254) 287-0337.