ROYSE CITY — A group called the American Legion Riders is continuing its mission for community service and veteran care through shared interests in motorcycle riding.
The riders, who are all either part of the American Legion or a family member of someone in the organization, is not a club.
Louise Alderson, the secretary of the group, said the underlying mission of the riders is to promote the American Legion’s purpose. Members began meeting informally late last year, but has recently been picking up more members to join its ranks.
“We all have a pass for riding motorcycles,” Alderson said. “We just spend time together with the passion of riding with the mission of raising awareness of the American Legion and supporting its causes.”
Dan Smith currently serves as the director of the American Legion Riders. He said the group’s goal is to be a family-friendly organization that works in conjunction with the local American Legion post.
American Legion Post 100 in Royse City was first established in the1920s, but lost steam due to a lack of members. Post Adjutant Jason Castleberry had a big role in bringing the post back about two years ago. Now the post has about 100 members.
With the growth of the local American Legion, Smith said a need arose for the motorcycle organization, as it provided an extra venue for veterans and their families to get together.
“We want to be a family-oriented motorcycling activity for members of the American Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary, and the Sons of the American Legion,” Smith said.
The group currently has 14 riders and voted in officer vacant officer positions over the weekend. Through the rider group, Smith said he wants to promote the causes of the American Legion.
“We want to promote good and we are not a biker gang or club,” Smith said. “We’re nothing but common-minded people, and we just want to improve the image of the American Legion.”
American Legion Post Vice Commander Rosa Ortega said the rider group is another way for veterans with shared interests to get together for camaraderie and friendship. The group also provides the American Legion a unique way to recruit new members.
“They do what they do in their own way and they’re still part of our larger organization,” Ortega said.
John and Diana Lant, who were some of the first members of the American Legion Riders, said they are part of other family-oriented riding groups in north Texas. The couple travels from Wylie to attend meetings in Royse City.
“When you get into a group like this, there are so many opportunities to help people,” Diana Lant said.