The all-veteran American Legion Riders are on their 13th Annual American Legion Legacy Run from Hutchinson, Kansas to Anoka, Minnesota, near Minneapolis. Bob Sussan, the lead rider, says they’re on a mission.
“After Nine Eleven, we started a scholarship to pay for the college education of anybody that lost a parent on active duty since Nine Eleven,” Sussan says. “Now, we’ve opened it up two years ago to children of disabled, 50% or more.” The needs-based American Legion Legacy Scholarship provides up to $20,000 per student per year for up to six years. Since the program was started in 2002, more than $13 million has been raised. Sussan says the Legacy Run and its riders are responsible for raising every dollar.
“They do local rides, poker runs, things in their states, plus people bring donations here and we collect donations every day,” he says. The American Legion Riders is a motorcycle association made up of more than 120,000 veterans.
“They ride for the children, they say, ‘For the cause, not the applause,’ and so they’re riding for the children of the fallen and children of the disabled and they’re passionate about it,” Sussan says. “Most of these people have been on the ride for over ten years.” The group made stops in several Iowa communities, including Audubon, Carroll and Spencer. The full ride will run about 11-hundred miles through Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The 2018 American Legion Legacy Run is expected to raise more than $1.5 million.
(By Nathan Konz, KCIM, Carroll)