Bikers Honor Fallen Special Forces - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/24/06

Bikers Honor Fallen Special Forces

Riders hit the road to pay tribute to the Night Stalkers and Navy Seals. Riders hit the road to pay tribute to the Night Stalkers and Navy Seals.

Many of the men and women who have served our country over the years have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Earlier this month, the Night Stalkers lost four of their own when their Chinook helicopter crashed in Southwest Georgia. In June 2005, eight more Night Stalkers and Navy Seals lost their lives when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. On Saturday, they were honored with a moving tribute through the streets of Savannah.

Bikes lined up one by one, all the way through Daffin Park. One hundred and twenty-seven in all, in honor of the Seal 160 ride, a tribute to the Navy Seals and 160th Night Stalkers Regiment who died serving their country.

"We're a very tight knit community," explained Lieutenant Colonel Fred Little from the 160th Special Operations Battalion, "and we don't forget our fallen and the sacrifice they made."

Before riders got on their bikes, there were a few brief words of thanks and a moment of silence for the fallen military men. People of all ages came out to show their love for these fallen heroes, including Tre Ponder, a Night Stalker who was killed in June 2005. His daughters, Samantha and Elizabeth, kicked off the festivities.

"I had tears in my eyes because you could hear that (cheers) all over," said Linda Rodgers of the Night Stalkers Association. "I'm sure our guys fighting in Iraq could hear that too."

Rodgers is helping out with the other side of this event, fundraising for the Night Stalker and Navy Seal families left behind. All the money raised goes to help make the future better for these women and children. People she now calls family.

"I get to know all of them personally and they make me part of their families," she explained, "so when something happens to them, it's like me losing one of my children. It really hurts."

With fundraisers like this one, the Night Stalker and Navy Seal family associations have paid for schooling, trips to memorial services, and set up scholarships for fallen soldiers' children.

To find out more, log on to www.nightstalker.com

Reported by: Andrew Davis, andrewdavis@wtoc.com

 

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