Interested in joining a motorcycle association? Rich “Diesel” Gregory, the public relations officer for the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Chapter 14-1, answered the basics for us about how this awesome groups works. Thanks again for your time and answers, CVMA!
- The Combat Vets Motorcycle Association has been active many years, can you tell me how the club started and with what purpose or goal in mind?
Our Motorcycle Association originally started about the middle of 2001, with our State starting its first chapter around the early part of 2006. Since then we had another chapter form which was later dissolved and the members added back to the original chapter. And recently around the beginning of this year Indiana 14 split into 14-1 and 14-2.
- How many active chapters are there currently?
We have a little more than a 100 chapters nationally with all 50 states having a chapter. These chapters are comprised of Full Members, some still actively serving in the military, (verified combat service) Support (veterans with out combat service but still a desire to help veterans) and Auxiliary (spouses members of full members). Indiana, our state, currently has two chapters 14-1 and 14-2.
- Do you need to be directly involved in the military to be a member? If so, are there any ways for supporters to get involved or contribute to your events?
To join our Association as a full member you must be a veteran with verified combat service. Support members can join if they are veterans with out combat service and a sincere desire to help veterans. Our support membership however can only be 10% of our Full membership. Both Full and Support members must own a motorcycle of 500cc or more. Auxiliary are spouses of full members in good standing. Other ways to help our mission is just to support our rides or events which usually raise money for veterans causes, like our Kokomo run later this year in Indiana raising money for HVAF.
- What types of charitable events does your club focus on?
Our Association does lots of different events across the country- mostly benefiting Veterans of Veterans assistance organizations. The events usually feature some sort of ride with a social time afterwards where there may also be raffles, auctions, or drawings to raise additional funds for the charity selected. In Indiana, September 15 is our Kokomo run which will be a dice run this year during the Howard County Vietnam Veterans reunion. It will help support HVAF. The flyer for this event can be found at this link. http://in.combatvet.org/kokomoflyer.html Find more events at our national site: www.combatvet.org.
- Are there any misconceptions about your club or military motorcycle clubs in general that you’d like to clear up?
In the motorcycle community I haven’t had too many misconceptions. Most of the time it comes from cagers who don’t understand the difference between MC, MA, RC, etc… They see a patch on your back and assume your a 1%er. Which we are not, we are a Motorcycle Association. We do not have mandatory rides or events, probate periods, or claim territory. We are an Association of Combat Veterans who enjoy motorcycling as a hobby.
- How could someone go about looking for a chapter in their area?
To try and find a chapter in your state or area, check www.combatvet.org. This is our national website, which will also give you the info you will need to get into contact with your state’s rep and get into the association. To try and start your own chapter, you would have to have 15 Full members in good standing with the CVMA and submit their application to the State Representative or to the National Board of Directors if there is no State Representative available.
- What do you like most about being part of this club?
I like this association for the common bond we all share through combat. Every story is different, but they all share a common thread. Brothers and Sisters don’t question why you act like you do, they just accept ya. I also like the fact we do not have mandatory events- my family comes first and then everything else. Not having anything mandated makes it easier to balance both. Most people don’t join something to not participate anyhow, but here you can just be as involved as much as you want.
- Do you participate in events with other military motorcycle clubs?
We try to participate in many other organizations’ events that support good causes, but obviously our main cause is Veterans and helping them. Some of our members are also members of other groups such as American Legion Riders, Patriot Gaurd, and so on.