The Gold Star Ride Foundation is a rather simple organization. We take 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.
Andrew was proud to be a soldier. He may have been persuaded to join, but once in, the friendships were like family. Not quite family, but close. Andrew took his role as the oldest of 4 pretty seriously too. His younger brothers looked up to him. He was like the father figure in the house, which didn't have a real father.
Andrew’s brother was about to drop out of school, because let’s face it; life just didn’t make sense anymore. With Andrew gone, it wasn’t worth it to work hard, to respect others, or pretty much do anything.
A strange group of people visiting this college freshman’s campus, all dressed in leather and bandanas approached the dorm. An organization of motorcycles paid a visit to Andrew’s brother, and shared stories of Andrew, and themselves. There were a lot of bikes there that day. And there were a lot of tears. With the help and support of total strangers, Andrews’s brother finished college.
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 is The Gold Star Ride 2018. One rider will travel to 100 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 cover more than 22,000 miles, travel through 49 states, and spend 8 weeks riding in wind, rain, cold, heat, 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.
If you wish to join the ride:
The Gold Star Ride 2018 will:
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.