Vietnam vets participating in 'Rolling to Remember' had their motorcycles vandalized

Julia LeDoux
May 27, 2020 - 4:32 pm
Biker White House

AMVETS

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A group of AMVETS motorcycle riders from Ohio who were in the nation's capital to mark the Memorial Day weekend by participating in the Rolling to Remember ride had an unwelcome sendoff from Washington, D.C. 

And now AMVETS National Riders President Tom McNamara is speaking out about the incident which left the bikes with thousands of dollars in damage.

“One heinous act diminished a weekend of remembering and reflecting,” he said.

NBC4 reported that the group of Vietnam War veterans had their motorcycles beaten with a hammer outside an Alexandria, Virginia hotel on May 24 as they were preparing to return home to Ohio. 

“As I’ve come to learn, the vandal beat their bikes with a hammer while the veterans were, shortly after visiting the Vietnam War Memorial, resting and preparing for their trip home,” said  McNamara.

When veterans returned home from Vietnam decades ago, they were confronted with hostility and disdain by a nation that had sent them to war, he continued.

“Never before had American heroes been treated in such a way, and we vowed to never so again,” said McNamara. “However, nearly 60 years later, Vietnam-era veterans are been failed by numerous Americans they took an oath to defend, on a national holiday in commemoration to their fallen brothers and sisters no less.”

Sponsored by AMVETS, Rolling to Remember replaced the canceled Rolling Thunder. The motorcycle demonstration was.s sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, AMVETS urged bikers to ride 22 miles in their local communities, one mile for each of the 22 veterans who dies by suicide each day in this country. 

President Donald Trump welcomed a small group of AMVETS riders to the White House on May 22. 

McNamara said he recognized those responsible do not represent American society as a whole.

“I ask that Americans remain respectful of the less than one percent who sacrifice for this country, especially those who gave their lives for it, and remain ever-vigilant of those who choose not to,’ he said.

Alexandria police have identified a suspect in the case and are continuing to investigate the incident, according to NBC4.

Reach Julia LeDoux at Julia@connectingvets.com.

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