Annual Ride Honors Families of Fallen

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 29, 2007 - Since 2004, a group of Minnesota motorcyclists has visited more than 40 families throughout the state who have lost a loved one while serving the country, and this year will be no different.

The fourth annual "Tribute to the Troops" ride and concert will begin Sept. 7 and conclude two days later.

"This year, on Sept. 7 and 8, (more than) 90 motorcyclists will participate in three separate rides that will be visiting 18 families from Lake City to Moorhead, including seven families in the Twin Cities area," said Gregg Schmitt, the group's executive director and co-founder of the ride. "Our mission is to demonstrate to them that this group of fellow Minnesotans care and we will never forget their loss."

Riders will present each family with a specially framed photo of their loved one, a commemorative flag and a copy of recording artist Rockie Lynne's music video "Home."

"Not enough has been done to recognize the loss these families have suffered," Lynne said. "We all need to do more to let these families know that we, as ordinary Americans, recognize their loss and the sacrifice they have made for our country."

Lynne, co-founder of the ride, produced the DVD to honor all fallen servicemembers. It also served as the inspiration for the three-day tribute event.

The event concludes Sept. 9 with a memorial ride that will take the group to visit military personnel at Minnesota National Guard's Camp Ripley, in Little Falls. A concert featuring Lynne and the bands High Noon and the Killer Hayseeds will conclude the fourth annual Tribute to the Troops ride and concert.
Annual Ride Honors Families of Fallen [ ]