Paying Homage to those families who made the ultimate sacrifice
Paying Homage to those families who made the ultimate sacrifice
 

Welcome to The Gold Star Ride Foundation!

#whatdidyoudotoday

We're not done! We are home for a few days, but the work continues! (scroll down to see news clips and videos from our Ride!)

 

Send an email if you'd like to join us riding to Arkansas in September!

 

And we always need and we are always very thankful for your generous donations!

 

PRE-ORDER!  A book is being written to describe the details of our 2018 Ride, which will include photos and great stories of the Road, specifically stories from our Gold Star Families!

Pre-order yours today!

Printed copies (hard cover) $21.99 (projected shipping date November 15, 2018)

Printed copies (soft cover) Coming Soon!

Electronic copies (emailed, pdf)  $14.99 (projected email date November 10, 2018)

Audio Book format (mailed CD)  $21.99  (Projected shipping date December 1, 2018)

Audio Book format (emailed mp3) $14.99  (Projected email date November 21, 2018)

All prices will go up after printing!

 

For bulk orders, autograph signings, interview opportunities for podcasts, radio broadcast, TV, or newspaper, please send email inquiry to info@goldstarride.org

 

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Fox 29 News San Antonio, TX, August 1, 2018

Let's see what Tom has to say about his son Nathan...

 

Helping veterans' families is why we get up every day.

For us, every day is Memorial Day.

 

We're saddling up to honor 100 families, and we'd love it if you could come along.

 

When you give to us, we give to you!!

Thanks to a wonderful donation from a private corporation, you can enjoy a wonderful Caribbean beach vacation**when you make a donation!

**not valid with above "matching" grant.

 

Donate $3,000 and choose any* four days to getaway to a wonderful beach property. You'll also get to ride*** a Harley through the mountains with a local English speaking guide, and choose one of many other excursions available on the beach! Just click this PayPal button to make your donation.

 

Donate $5,000 and choose any* seven days to getaway to a wonderful beach property. You'll also get to ride*** a Harley through the mountains with a local English speaking guide, and choose one of many other excursions available on the beach! You'll also get dinner at a fine dining restaurant!** Just click this PayPal button to make your donation!

 

Donate $7,500 and choose any* fourteen days to getaway to a wonderful beach property. You'll also get to ride*** a Harley through the mountains with a local English speaking guide, and choose one of many other excursions available on the beach! We'll throw in a very nice dinner at one of our favorite restaurants!** Just click this PayPal button to make your donation!

Donate $10,000 and choose any* THIRTY days to getaway to a wonderful beach property. You'll also get to ride*** a Harley through the mountains with a local English speaking guide, and choose one of many other excursions available on the beach! We'll throw in a very nice dinner at one of our favorite restaurants!**

 

A little small print for the above offers:

Airfare is not included with any of the above packages/vacations. Ground transportation is included via taxi to and from the airport in Punta Cana. Ground transportation from any other airport is not included.

Days must be consecutive.

*Dates are always subject to availability and are booked on a first come, first served basis. Availability for your favorite dates can be determined by sending us an email or calling the Gold Star Ride Foundation offices.

**Various restaurants are available within a 10 minute walk of the condo on the beach. Our concierge experts will help you choose your favorite dining experience. This restaurant experience is for up to four persons only.

***Harley motorcycle excursion comes with its own responsibilities. Motorcycles are provided (usually Low Riders or similar). Helmets must be worn in Punta Cana. You must be an experienced rider, and you must be able to demonstrate this prior to the ride. This excursion is for up to four people on two motorcycles. If your group needs more than that, please reach out to us and we will try to accommodate you.

 

The Gold Star Ride Foundation is anorganization that takes care of people with invisible wounds. We visit and pay tribute to families who grieve over the loss of a member who lost their life while serving in the United States Military.  We give money to other organizations which do the same and similar work with veterans and their families, but mostly we give education benefits to surviving brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters.  And this website is designed to explain that in detail.

 

Some of our Stories....

                

             

            Viola was a young mother in 1966 when her son was killed in Vietnam. And a week after her 92nd birthday, Tony stopped to honor her for her sacrifice in the name of freedom.

 

            The visit went on, as the visits do, with small talk about motorcycles and a few comments about the Hero's favorite childhood activities. They talked about traveling and a few other comments about life and events.  Then, the fifteen or so other Riders gathered close as Tony read the plaque that was presented to Viola.  After which, conversations changed to seemingly unimportant antidotes as before.

          

            After enjoying the company of each other about 90 minutes, the other Riders, family and friends began to depart, one at a time. With only a few left, Tony rose to leave, gathering a few things he had set on the table for the conversation. Without anyone else seeing it, the 92 year old Gold Star Mother, who was showing the signs of age and walked with assistance of others and a walker, reached out with a single finger and touched the back of Tony's hand, inviting him to look at her.

 

          She gently held his arm as he looked her in the eyes, and she mouthed the words, "Thank you." 

 

          No one else saw this, and no one heard the words. Someone said something about pictures, and Tony held her hand gently and quietly whispered, "It was my honor."

 

          Poses were presented for pictures, and the guests, including Viola, walked him to his bike. There were a few hugs, and some moist eyes as he started the bike and rolled away.

 

          Tony's thoughts wondered as he thought about riding in the rain, dangerous mountain roads, forest fires and smoke, extreme heights, cold, extreme heat, and 10 to 12 hours a day, every day for 49 days, to get there. "It was totally worth it," he said out loud to no one there.

 

                   Nathan was very patriotic. If you asked him, he'd say there was no one who loved the United States as much has he did. But not only did he love being a marine, he loved dogs, too. He had two of his own, Harry and Smokey, and they nearly attacked him when he came home for leave. You couldn't get the smile off his face.  His wife has pictures. She can’t look at them without crying. How do you explain to Harry and Smokey that Nathan isn’t coming home anymore?  Nathan’s wife didn’t know how to tell people what she was going through.  Then one day, loud motorcycles showed up at her house, too. She still misses Nathan; that will never go away. But somehow, it’s a little easier to face each day, because she knows he didn’t die for nothing, and other people in the country are grateful for the sacrifice.

 

 

                    Dave's son Brian wanted to be a marine since the first time he saw a uniform on TV when he was five. When he was killed in action in the middle east, the burden was more than Dave's fragile marriage to Brian's mother, Teresa, could bear. The marriage ended in an ugly way.

 

                    A few years went by with a great deal of pain and sadness. Then one day, Teresa went with her new husband on a motorcycle ride. The group stopped at Gold Star Families and paid tribute to those families. They cried, they shared, they healed. 

 

                   Teresa went home and called Brian. After three hours on the phone, they had found a way to be friends again. Not because the pain and sorrow went away, but because they were no longer alone. They found a way to cope with their loss.  

 

 

                      Billy enjoyed two tours in Afghanistan then switched over to try his hand in the coast guard. He served with nobility in the coast guard and during his days off, he worked as an EMT in his hometown. He died tragically at the age of 27, and after his death, a stranger told his family that Billy was called to a car accident in his ambulance just a week or two before he died. He struggled to save the life of the man in the car, but sadly, he couldn’t be saved. Then Billy turned his attention to the man’s dog, which was a passenger in the car. He managed to stabilize the dog and take the dog, in the ambulance, to the veterinarian’s hospital. That man’s family was amazed that Billy would work so hard to save the family’s dog. That was the sort of man Billy was.

 

 

                   Christopher gave his life to the navy.  Not just like these others mentioned here. He served in the US navy for nearly 30 years. He was looking forward to retirement, watching his grandkids grow up, since he missed watching his own children grow up. The navy isn’t an easy place to raise children. It was all before him. The easy life; the good life.

 

                  Operation Enduring Freedom needed him for just one more tour, and now his grandkids will grow up without him. It’s difficult to explain to kids what happened to their grandfather.

 

 

                  Mike was from the smallest state in the Union, geographically, but loved being a soldier.  Being from the smallest state doesn’t stop The Gold Star Ride. He was a hero, a soldier, a son, and a brother.  He lost his life in the defense of our country and we want to make sure his family knows how grateful we are, and how sorry we are for the loss of Mike. The Gold Star Ride Foundation will stop there.

 

 

                 It’s difficult for widows and orphans (as Lincoln so elegantly put it), just like it’s difficult for sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers, and "step" siblings.

               We’re all in this together. And we know you are too busy, so we’re going for you. We’re going to see families just like these and a lot more.

                 The Gold Star Ride 2018 will embark on a national journey to visit these families, and help them understand that the rest of us are grateful. We are grateful beyond words, just like they are filled with sorrow beyond words.

                 Do something. Give a little. Sign up to Ride with us. Send a card to be passed on to a family. Just Do Something.

 

 

     

           In the United States, 7% of the population voluntarily put their lives in harm's way to protect the other 93%. Sometimes, harm wins, and they come home in a box.

          The Gold Star Ride Foundation is a motorcycle-riding organization that has been set up to pay tribute to these families, helping with tuition costs, and providing some emotional support.

 

          The Gold Star Ride Foundation first major ride was The Gold Star Ride 2018. One rider will traveled to 60+ families, thanking them for the sacrifice they have had to endure, supporting them emotionally, reminding them that their sacrifice is not forgotten, and providing a little financial help with education benefits.

          One rider will covered more than 14,000 miles (so far - we will Ride to Arkansas September 26), traveled through 43 states (so far), and spent 50 days riding in wind, rain, cold, heat, high altitudes, smoke, and anything else mother nature has to offer, to remind these and all military families, that their sacrifice is not forgotten by the rest of us.

          And to remind the rest of us that Gold Star Families exist. So many people don't know.

 

       If you wish to join the ride:

  • First and foremost, we will respect the families we visit.
  • You can saddle up and join the ride anytime on your motorcycle. We ride staggered and obey all traffic laws. We are respectful above all else when we are on the highway.
  • You may stop at anytime. You know your schedule, and we would love to have you ride longer, but we get it.

       The Gold Star Ride 2018 did:

  • burn through 2 sets of tires on the motorcycle;
  • consume more than 300 gallons of gasoline (that's a lot for one bike);
  • rode in the rain for approximately 800 miles;
  • stopped to change the oil 3 times;
  • promised to give away an estimated $600,000 in education benefits;
  • Lots of hugs, lots of strangers who are now friends.

        If you know a family that would like a visit when we come to your state, please ask them to send us a confidential email. We will never use anyone's email for anything except to respond.

 

When you click the "Donate" button, you will be directed to a PayPal page that will allow you to donate any dollar amount that you wish. You are not limited to any amount.

       Paying tribute to families that paid a lot more

than we did, one doorbell at a time.

 

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