The Green Knights Military Motorcycle Club No. 110 conducted its sixth annual honor ride for the fallen Saturday.
The riders met at the Fort Hood Memorial next to the Killeen Civic and Conference Center on South W.S. Young Drive and rode to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery to lay a wreath before embarking on a 120-mile ride.
Although intended to honor the memory of all fallen service members, the ride specifically honors Fort Hood fallen.
“The ride is to pay honor and remember the victims of the two Fort Hood shootings,” Chaplain Mark Branch said.
The money raised by the chapter goes to military family organizations, specifically the Fisher House located on Fort Hood adjacent to Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. The chapter purchases items and amenities to help the Fisher House replenish its supplies.
Chapter President Chris Wildes said the Fisher House is a place where family members can stay on post while their loved one is in the hospital, or is experiencing a medical emergency. The Fisher House offers the rooms and amenities at no charge.
“They’ll call Fisher House up and ask to get room and board, they get room and board, they can stay there for free,” Wildes said.
Every year the chapter has done the honor ride, it has supported the Fisher House.
The chapter has raised more money each successive year.
Wildes expected 200 to 300 riders to take part in the ride, based on other motorcycle clubs he had talked to.
Branch said the reason they do the ride is because of the unique circumstances of the incidents.
“The events surrounding their death was really unconventional,” he said. “We decided that it would be a special day, a special time to honor them in reference to this ride.”
Chapter Vice President Justo Andaluz had a personal connection to the honor ride.
“Some of the names out there are people that I actually know,” he said. “This event is very dear and near to my heart.”
Andaluz shared the story of how he had been texting and talking to Staff Sgt. Justin DeCrow the night before the 2009 shooting.
For those wishing to take part in the honor ride in the future, Green Knights No. 110 aims to do the ride in the first weekend in June.