Ride for Warriors brings awareness to veterans with PTSD

STURGIS, S.D. – Indian Motorcycles Sturgis hosted the Ride for Warriors which benefits the non-profit Veterans Charity Ride.

Motorcyclists from all over the area and the country cruised through Sturgis on their motorcycle. The event brings awareness to veterans affected by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, homelessness and more.

June is also PTSD awareness month, which is best known for its effects on veterans.

The ride is lead by Josh Hart and his dog Louie, who rides in a sidecar. They travel all around the country to visit veterans. 

“My partner Louie and I, we visit VA hospitals and veteran’s nursing homes and go to room-to-room and bed-to-bed and visit with our veterans,” said Hart.

Many issues such as homelessness and substance abuse stem from mental illness or physical disabilities.

People with PTSD typically experience fluctuating brain chemicals which causes them to be depressed, anxious, or sometimes careless.

This often leads to addiction or excessive spending, as a way to either drown out pain or provide a temporary high.

Riding motorcycles and being out in nature provides a healthy way to cope while still providing a tranquil yet exciting environment for the veterans who suffer from the disorder.

“Really we hope to help our veterans and get them out of the house and out into the world and seeing and seeing this country that everyone faught for,” said Ermin Husidic with Veterans Charity Ride.

According to the National Center for PTSD, about 30% of Vietnam veterans will have the disorder, and 11 to 20% who served during Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom will too.

Many veterans suffer in silence and an average of 20 veterans take their own lives each day.

The riders hope to bring awareness to the struggle many of our men and women in uniform face and to bring community to those who feel alone.

“You see joy, you see comradery, you see a little bit of relief in their world, you know and we’re happy to be a part of that. Throttle therapy is a real thing and we’re really honored that they chose us to be here,” said Lauren Hensley, the general manager of Indian Bikes Sturgis.

PTSD can affect anyone who has experienced trauma. If you or someone you know see symptoms such as isolation, depression, or anxiety reach out to a medical professional for help.

“I think just being able to talk about what we have going on inside of our heads and our hearts, being able to share that openly with another human being, I think we can find healing by just sharing our story and what we believe is our truth,” said Hart.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News