Wounded Warrior Project helps veterans embrace freedom on the open road
For years, Harley-Davidson has partnered with and supported Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) through riding academy events, bike giveaways, and funds raised from sales of items in their Operation Personal Freedom clothing line.
Recently, that support also extended to a special event at Harley-Davidson headquarters in Milwaukee, where a group of warriors toured the facility and learned about the American icon’s history.
“Discovering the history of the motorcycle was fascinating, and the displays they have are incredible,” said Craig Caldwell, a Navy veteran served by WWP. “It took me and my wife, Kim, back to a time when life was much simpler, compared to today’s zero-to-100-in-six-seconds lifestyle. The museum had a lot of old black and white photos covering the history of how they got started and the old plant and where things used to be compared to now.”
The tour had such a big impact on Craig and Kim that they decided to buy motorcycles right then and there. Although he has only been riding for a while, he has found great enjoyment with his motorcycle.
“When I’m riding, I love the feeling of freedom it gives me,” Craig said. “I don’t feel trapped – it’s like riding a horse, out in the open, with nothing but you and the animal. With the bike, you’re in complete control and can focus on the road and enjoying the ride.”
Craig said WWP has helped him connect with other veterans, even if it took him a while to come out of his shell and put himself out there to be social again.
“Getting out and meeting other vets is still very hard for me to do even after all these years, but I still am trying,” he said. “It’s something Wounded Warrior Project has helped me with, and they’ve been patient with me. I would tell other warriors not to wait like I did. Get out, get involved, and you will never know until you try an event what you’re going to experience or even feel. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain by getting involved.”