The mission is to support troops on deployment with care packages. This July 4th weekend, The Hugs Project of Western Kentucky hosted it's 6th Annual Patriots Run at 4 Rivers Harley Davidson. The sound of support was the sound of engines revving up to hit the road
Veteran and 4th year Patriots Run rider, Brian Gibson is surrounded by support. Gibson knows better than most how comforting the small things in life can be. "Whether it be deodorant or just toothpaste or just a card saying we are thinking of you," said Gibson.
It's the thought of those actively serving which has motorcyclists out at the 6th Annual Patriots Run. Organizer, Gayron Ferguson, tells Local 6 it was his own son's deployment which opened his eyes to what soldiers go through away from home. "We've had some guys over there 8 or 9 tours who never got a letter from home. We find them and make sure they get a care package every month," said Ferguson.
The Hugs Project of WKY mails out 50 to 100 care boxes each month. With the growth of the Patriots Run more soldiers will benefit. In 2014 91 bikes took part. In 2015 it was 96. This year more than a hundred bikes helped raise more than $2,500. "A lot of times that's all they really need is to know that somebody cares about them. And that's what we do, we care about them," said Ferguson.
The biggest treat for a soldier is mail. Gibson recalls a fellow soldier opening up his care package. "I remember he took a shining to, we had a third grade class adopt us and send letters. He would sit there for hours and just read letters. it was an amazing thing," said Gibson
Money raised at the 6th Patriot's Run will make it possible for more soldiers to find comfort in a package.
At final count, of the more than 160 entries, 101 bikes were on the road. It's estimated the event raised about $3,300.00.
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