Motorcyclists ride for safety, fallen comrades

| May 31, 2013 | 0 Comments
KUALOA POINT — Service members from all branches of the military pass near Chinaman's Hat, the halfway point of the 2013 USARPAC Ride for the Fallen and Safety Validation, May 23.

KUALOA POINT — Service members from all branches of the military pass near Chinaman’s Hat, the halfway point of the 2013 USARPAC Ride for the Fallen and Safety Validation, May 23.

Story and photos by
Spc. David Innes
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

More than 200 military and civilian riders from across Oahu participated in the U.S. Army-Pacific Command’s “Ride for the Fallen and Safety Validation Ride,” May 23.

The annual event kicks off the “100 Days of Summer”; it also heightens awareness of the motorcycle safety rider and honors the military’s fallen brothers and sisters in arms.

“We really want to get people realizing that summer time is going to come,” said Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Halsey, the noncommissioned officer in charge of motorcycle safety for the U.S. Army in Hawaii. “As the summer time arrives, the motorcycles on the roads are going to increase, and people are going to be out joyriding and really enjoying the weather and the open roads out here.

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“You just want people aware of the motorcycles, so they look twice before they enter an intersection and turn,” Halsey explained. “That’s the main thing that we want people to focus on.”

Besides the safety aspects of the ride, many riders used the time as an opportunity to remember fallen comrades, their friends and family members who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

This is a very special ride for a lot of people, said Master Sgt. Jerome Simmons, the senior transportation NCO for the 8th Theater Sustainment Command’s support operations. The dual purpose of the event is to promote safety and, more importantly, to remember those who served before us and those who never made it home, he added.

Many of the riders were new, but for the few who have been coming every year, they were treated to something new.

“One good thing about this is that we did the route backwards; we went the opposite way,” Simmons said. “We started last year at the USARPAC headquarters on Fort Shafter; this year we started at Wheeler Gulch. We just did another good scene, another safe ride; to me the scenery was different.”

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — Servicemen and women from all branches of the military set out from here to kick off the 2013 U.S. Army Pacific Command’s Ride for the Fallen and Safety Validation Ride, May 23.

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — Servicemen and women from all branches of the military set out from here to kick off the 2013 U.S. Army Pacific Command’s Ride for the Fallen and Safety Validation Ride, May 23.

Regardless of the each rider’s reason for participating — whether it was for the safety aspect, to remember their fallen friends or merely to take a long ride with friends — each rider had a good time and is excited for more events to come.

“I think it was a very fun ride,” said Sgt. Khmla Chanaphang, transportation NCO for the 8th TSC’s support operations. “No one was trying any dumb stuff, like doing wheelies or something. Everybody was safe. It was a really nice enjoyable ride for everybody.”

USARPAC’s “100 Days of Summer” continues throughout the summer months.

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Category: News, Safety

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