By Justin Schmidt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
Military veterans are getting an embrace that will help them reacquaint with life at home.
Operation Military Embrace is on a motorcycle ride with that mission in mind.
The threat of rain didn't keep dozens of bikers from rumbling onto Kansas city's streets for the Patriot Express.
"We are trying to arrange awareness and funds for Fisher House and Operation Military Embrace to help soldiers and their families with any type of help they need," Shelley O'Dowd said.
O'Dowd helped plan the Kansas City ride. It was the forth time the Patriot Express has come to Kansas City.
"I did not serve. My husband didn't serve. But this is one way we can give back and show support," she said.
Vietnam veteran Dave Barr founded the Patriot Express in 2010. When he came back from Vietnam, he knew veterans needed help.
"I know what we came home to. There are many Vietnam veterans and other concerned people that will not allow the treatment of our veterans and their families to ever experience what we experienced when we came home," Barr said.
Barr lost his legs to a land mine in 1989 while serving with the South African Defense Force in Angola.
"Some days are better than others, that was a bad day," he said.
Barr said his nine months and 20 surgeries inspired him to help honor everyone who serves.
"They send loved ones off to war, and they come home beat up and torn up. We need to tell them we stand with them," Barr said.
If you missed Sunday's ride but want to learn more about the Patriot Express, click here.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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