American Legion Riders chapters are well known for their charitable work, which has raised
hundreds of thousands of dollars for local children's hospitals, schools, veterans homes,
severely wounded servicemembers and scholarships. Since 2006, Riders nationwide have
participated in the Legion Legacy Run, to annually raise money for the Legacy Scholarship Fund,
established to provide scholarships to children of U.S. military personnel killed since Sept. 11, 2001.
In Garden City, Mich., in 1993, Chuck "Tramp" Dare and Bill "Polka" Kaledas, commander of American Legion Post 396, shared an idea to start a motorcycle enthusiasts association within the organization. The two longtime riders wanted an environment where Legion family members could come together to share a common love for motorcycles.
Dare and Kaledas wrote a letter to Michigan Department Adjutant Hubert Hess, sharing their idea. Hess replied that he liked the concept and wanted to pursue it. Later, he gave Kaledas and Dare instructions for managing the program at the post level. He also explained how they could be approved to use the American Legion emblem, and how to gain Membership's support and recognition. At a regular meeting, Post 396 members passed a resolution for a new program to be known as the "American Legion Riders."
Joined by 19 other founding members from their post, Dare and Kaledas were flooded with requests for information about their organization. They agreed to establish a central source for the Riders to ensure that chapters formed not as motorcycle clubs or gangs, but as Legionnaires and Auxiliary and SAL members joining to ride as Legion family.
How to Participate - Contact your Department Headquarters to get information about American Legion Riders in your state, or how to start a new chapter at your post.
- Members must hold membership in and be in good standing with The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary or Sons of The American Legion.
- Members must be legally registered motorcycle owners or be the legally registered owner's spouse within the state of registration.
- All operators must be properly licensed and insured per state laws.
- All members must obey motor-vehicle laws in the state in which they are operating a motorcycle or riding as a passenger.