Bikers Ride through Texoma to benefit veterans

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The tight-knit motorcycle community rallies around the causes it's called to. Days after the Fourth of July, it was called to Red River Harley Davidson to give to veterans through Veronica Wilkins's non-profit, Texoma Paying it Forward.

"We want to thank the vets and for everything that they do for us. I think they get left out," Wilkins said.

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Bikers who wanted to participate had a $20 buy-in, which gave them access to the ride and a raffle for five different Harley-Davidson licensed products. Making it to each stop along the ride earned riders another raffle ticket, which is why Bobbie Gilmore with the Harley dealership made sure each stop fit who the proceeds were going to.

"We chose war memorials throughout the city," Gilmore said. "So, all of our stops tie into our local vets here celebrating them. So please get out and check out these new memorials."

Three of the stops were at memorials in Wichita Falls, one of which was the new memorial by Lake Wichita. Some of the riders in the prize ride are veterans themselves, like Roger Reeves. For him, the high point of the ride was the community aspect and being out together on the road.

"It seems like the motorcycle community, it kind of reminds us of the community we all had in the military," Reeves said. "But besides that, we get to ride. Nothing wrong with riding motorcycles. We all like it."

As their engines revved across Texoma, Wilkins saw people rally behind America's veterans. All of the interactions throughout the day showed her work with Texoma. Paying it Forward.

"This is just makes it all worthwhile," Wilkins said. "I mean, everybody called off and we were lost today. And just seeing those smiles and the handshakes, it's so overwhelming. This is like, thank you Red River, really, for coming up with this and helping us."

Paying it forward to those who did the same for us.

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