View Full Version : Motorcyclists hit the road in support of local Marines and their families

08-13-06, 07:27 AM
Motorcyclists hit the road in support of local Marines and their families
Union Leader Correspondent

Londonderry – The roar of engines heard at the Londonderry Armed Forces Reserve Training Center yesterday wasn't coming from the planes at nearby Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

Instead the rumble was from more than 175 motorcycles whose riders came from across New England to ante up and saddle up in support of local Marines deployed in Iraq at the Family Support Poker Run for the Bravo Company 1/25 Marine Reserve Unit.

The Enforcers, a law enforcement motorcycle group, organized the rally to cover a myriad of potential costs for families in the unit, from organizing a welcome home ball to flying the family of a wounded Marine to Germany.

The event was organized John Mullan, a Boston police officer and Vice President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Enforcers, whose son, Patrick Mullan, is a member of the unit serving in Fallujah.

"I wanted to do something to raise a little money and let them know we care about them and we are thinking about them," Mullan said.

The riders, some of whom came from as far as Syracuse, N.Y., are "all very proud of (the Marines) and all pulling for them and understand what they are doing," Mullan said. "People that ride, if you give them a good cause and something to do where they can bring their bikes, they'll show up."

Bikers from Rolling Thunder, The Honored Few, Nam Knights and other veterans' organizations also took part in the run.

Each rider and passenger traveled to five posts -- two at the reserve base, one at the Waterhouse Country Store in Windham, one at Art's Cow Parts in Sandown, and one at the American Legion Post 27 in Londonderry -- to draw a card and create a poker hand.

At the end of the run, the person one with the best hand received a $1,000 prize and the one with the worst hand received $100.

"Anything to help support the kids over there in what they are doing," said Jim Davis, a Boston police officer and president of the New Hampshire chapter of the Enforcers. "In Vietnam we didn't get support, so here we have to show them we support them."

"And it's a beautiful day for a ride," he added. "The only other thing we could ask for would be that they all come home safe."

Michelle Proulx, whose husband, Staff Sgt. Daniel Proulx, is deployed with the unit, said, "It's great to see people come out to support our Marines and people in the military."

She said the money raised would be an assurance for those deployed that their families are being taken care of at home.

"They won't have to worry about their families," said Proulx, who is also a member of the unit's Key Volunteer Support group. "We're all here to support their families."

The unit is expected to return home in December, one year after heading on to active duty and off to Iraq.