George & Debbie Sherman (U.S.A. Coordinator/Texas Organizer)
Hello we are George and Debbie, we live in Fort Worth, Texas. U.S.A.
George currently serves in the U.S. Air Force as an F-16 Crew Chief maintaining aircraft, while Debbie is a Nurse working with Alzheimer's patients. Together we have 4 children, 2 daughters live in England, 1 daughter lives here in Fort Worth,Tx. and our son lives in Seatle, Wa.
Being a member of both the Royal British Legion Riders and the American Legion Riders, Bob and Norman informed me of the ride being planned in the U.K. and asked if the American Legion wanted to get involved, of course I said yes, then one day while working on the flightline, I told the story to a close friend of mine, Scott (Pech) Pecikonis, and he asked the question "If they can ride for our fallen airmen, why can't we ride for theirs" and so we did, with a great turn out !
Why do we want to be involved, well I currently serve, so this is "Our" history as well, the Army Air Corps separated into what is now the U.S. Air Force, My mum was one of those children taken out of London because of the bombing during the war, and my grandfather fought under Field Marshall Montgomery in WW II. My father was in the U.S. Air Force, stationed in the U.K., where he met my mum. And like Jon, we are currently at war again, side by side, and unfortunately with war we loose members of "Our" Armed Forces, this is a way to say you are not, and will not be forgotten !
Thanks goes to Bob, Norman and Jon for letting us be a part of this ! It is such an honour knowing that on the same day we are riding with British, Canadians and fellow Americans in other states for the same reason ! Respect to everyone who takes part in this event !
Ride Safe, Ride with Pride !
George & Debbie
John "Padre" Retos (Chaplain/U.S.A. Coordinator/Texas Organizer)
Hello, my name is John “Padre” Retos, I hail from Fort Worth, Texas. I am currently retired raising three of my grandchildren. I am a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served during the Viet Nam era, 1966 to 1969. I was a medic with the 5th US Army Medical Corps attached to the 101st Airborne Division.
I am a lifetime member of the American Legion/American Legion Riders of Post 297 in Benbrook, Tx. I currently hold the title of Chaplain for the 12th District ALR and for Post 297. I have been involved with the Allied Memorial Remembrance Ride from the beginning. Tank approached me with this idea of doing this run in conjunction with our British Legionnaires, and I jumped at the chance to be a part of this great memorial to all of our fallen comrades. I am also the guy responsible for leading our prayers and poems at the Memorial site. This is an honor that I am so thankful and privileged to be asked to do.
Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to travel to the UK and meet some of the Royal British Legion Riders, and personally thank you for allowing me to be a part of this Great Ride.
Chris "Hammie" Hamilton (Texas Organizer - East)
Chris "Hammie" Hamilton
I bought my first street legal bike in 1967 a 125cc Yamaha and have had a chronic and terminal case of road fever ever since.
Married my only wife, Virginia, in Feb. of 1978 we have been blessed with three wonderful children and six grandchildren, all living here in the DFW area.
Although I never served in the armed forces my family has always had close ties to the military community. My Grandparents rented rooms to airmen stationed at Castle Air Force Base in Atwater, Ca. for many years. Many of my freinds from school served in Vietnam and I did what I could personally to welcome them back home in those tumultuous times.
My father served in the Navy during WW II, a time he was always proud of. When asked, "Daddy what did you do in the war?" he would always answer, "Invaded Catalina Island twice a week whether it needed it or not." Dad never spoke of his combat experience, friends told me at his funeral that he made two landings in the Pacific early in the war. He did however talk of the sailors he instructed in operating the Higgins boats and how he hoped that he taught them well enough. Many of his students made the D-Day landings at Normandy and the last days of the Island hopping campaigns in the Pacific.
The way he spoke of the men he had trained and served with filled me with pride that my father had stood with such heroes and had a part in what they accomplished so many years ago on the beaches of France and the many landings in the war with Japan.
So when the opportunity arose for me to join and help in any way I could the Allied Memorial Remeberance Ride, there was no way that I wasn't going to be a part, no matter how small.
It is my honor and priviledge to be associated with the men and women who are the AMRR
Chris "Hammie" Hamilton
Jason Skeen (Texas Organizer)
Hello my name is Jason Skeen, I live in Fort Worth, Texas. My hometown is Plainfield, Ill.
I also serve in the U.S.Air Force as an F-16 Crew Chief, working with George Sherman and Scott Pecikonis and I also have my own assigned aircraft. So far I have done 12 years active duty Air Force, 5 years reserve. Assignments: Nellis A.F.B., Nevada, Kunsan A.F.B. ROK (Korea), Luke A.F.B., Arizona, Hill A.F.B.,Utah, and now at Carswell A.F.B., TX
I was aproached last year by George and Scott on the subject of doing this ride going to Greenwood cemetery here in Fort Worth, Tx. to pay respects to the fallen British and Canadian Aviators buried there, George also informed me of the ride which was happening in the United Kingdom. So I agreed to help organize the ride here last year on the 4th of July. Which turned out very well !
This year we are planning on going further out, to Terrell, Tx. to pay our respect to 20 Fallen R.A.F. training cadets. It will be a GREAT ride this year !
Ride Safe !
Chip & Shelly Thurston (Texas Organizers)
Hello, we are Chip & Shelly Thurston and we are currently residing in Fort Worth, Texas. Our birthplace is Baltimore, Maryland. We have one daughter who just finished her BS at University of North Texas for Social Work who also lives with us.
I am currently an SAL member with the American Legion Post 297; Shelly is a member of the Auxiliary, also with the same Post. We currently are American Legion Riders and both hold positions as Road Captain and Secretary.
We have been helping George Sherman with the Allied Ride since it started and will continue to do so, because it's the right thing to do. Neither of us has served our country however we both have family members who have. We strongly support and respect those that have served, or are active duty members, and those that have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. This is one way we can stand for those who stood for us.....
We both feel this is very special event to be a participant in and each year and we look forward to the day of the event. We hope to see this blossom into other countries and see this expand in the future.
We are very fortunate that George Sherman came into our lives and touched us and many others.
Bill "Mr. Bill" Wetmore (Assistant Director/Texas Organizer)
Hello. My name is Bill "Mr. Bill" Wetmore. I live in Fort Worth, TX. I am originally from Champaign, Illinois and I am retired Navy. I went in when I was 17, my dad had to sign for me back then. Served in the Sea Bees from 1973 to 1976, during the Viet Nam war. I was just lucky enough not to have to go in country. Got out 2 years, then went back in and made a career out of the Navy. My tour of duties saw; Iwakuni, Japan, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, Diego Garcia, Millington, Tennessee, Milton, Florida, and Dallas TX. I am currently working on my life membership with the American Legion, Post 297, Benbrook, TX. I am Sergeant-at-Arms for the Post, the Assistant Director for the American Legion Riders, a member of the S.A.L., and a member of the Patriot Guard Riders. I currently ride a 2003 FLHTC Electra Glide Classic. I am on my second marriage and have been so for 16 years. My current wife is the 1st Vice President of the Auxiliary for our Post and works hard at keeping me out of trouble.
I was involved with the inaugural ride that we did 2 years ago. George "Tank" asked me to write an article for the newspaper for him and that turned into the magazine article as well. He has asked me to write something for this year so I will try to live up to his expectations. My wife and I have made both of the previous rides and are proud and honored to do so. I can't say enough good about George and crew for all of the hard work that has been put into this. Along with that is an equally heart felt gratitude to those across the pond who got this started. In this day and age when it seems like the United States is the world's punching bag, no matter how much aide we pour out, we are truly blessed to have the U.K. as one of our staunchest allies. I only wish I had words to adequately express the deep feelings of honor that we have felt over those in England riding to Cambridge to honor our fallen and missing! We have been, and will continue to be, brothers in arms and in peace.
Why do we ride? To honor and remember those who paid the price for our freedoms that we enjoy. That is a huge dept to repay. Let us remember and honor our military for the job that they do.