Riding for Veterans

Trucks such as the one seen here will be a part of the caravan of motorists joining the VFW Post 1144 Patriot Ride scheduled for June 1.

PRINCETON — If the weather’s good, about 100 motorcycle riders will be making a 140-mile round trip June 1 around southern West Virginia that honors the region’s veterans.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1144 Patriot Ride will leave the town of Iaeger about 10:30 a.m. on June 1, Charlie Lambert of the VFW 1144 said. Motorcycle riders participating in this year’s ride are scheduled to meet at the Iaeger Fire Department before starting their journey.

“It’s a free round, but naturally we accept donations to benefit our honor guard because we do a lot of military funerals,” Lambert said. “That morning, everybody who registers, we’ll give them a flag or a couple of flags to put on their motorcycles. And we’ll have a blessing of the flags or a riders’ prayers before we leave. And we’ll have a police escort all the way.”

If the weather’s good, the VFW Post 1144 Patriot Ride will put 100 or more motorcycles on the local roads. Starting in Iaeger, the caravan will head north on Route 52 to Hanover, and then will proceed along Route 97 to Pineville and the veterans memorial near the Wyoming County Courthouse. That ceremony is scheduled to start about 11:30 a.m.

“That will be a first stop,” Lambert said. “We’ll do a brief presentation at the courthouse in Pineville. We’ll do a 21-gun salute, and after the placing of the wreath, play ‘Taps’ to honor the veterans of Wyoming County.”

After the Wyoming County ceremonies are completed, Mercer County is the ride’s next stop.

“From there we will take Route 10 to cross Herndon Mountain into Princeton, and we will do a brief presentation at the Memorial Building in town,” Lambert said. “They will have the (Those Who Served War Museum) open for us on Saturday. We hope to be there at 2 p.m.”

“What we’ll do is a full presentation in Princeton and present the wreath to Dreama Denver (of the Denver Foundation) and Pam Coburn,” Lambert said. “And we’ll do full military honors there. That’s to honor the veterans in Mercer County. And then we’ll take Route 20 to Bluewell and hit Route 52. We’ll make a stop in Kimball and do a wreath presentation.”

The next stop will be the city of Welch where a full wreath presentation with military honors will be conducted at the local war memorial, Lambert said.

“That’s to honor the veterans of McDowell County,” he stated. “We’ll head back to Iaeger, feed everybody and have door prizes.”

One especially eye-catching feature joining the Patriot Ride this year is a pair of Volvo trucks painted with patriotic colors, Lambert said.

“They’ve been to (Washington) D.C. for Rolling Thunder,” he stated. “They’re beautiful.”

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com