The culmination of the 2017 Harley for a Hero project was a real ‘doozy’ when Task Force Heroes unveiled and presented a modified Harley Davidson motorcycle to a military hero in recognition of his heroic actions performed during combat.
Our ecstatic hero of the day, SPC Giovanni Perez, suffered a traumatic injury to his left arm due to an RPG attack while in Eastern Afghanistan in 2013. Unfortunately, Gio lost his left arm in the event, but that did not slow him down. This decorated soldier provided first aid to another badly wounded fellow soldier before stabilizing his own traumatic injury. Gio said, “I wanted to stabilize my fellow warrior, who I knew had a family, and applied a tourniquet to his arm to slow the bleeding.” Despite only having one arm, Gio currently competes in the Baja 500, an off-road motorcycle race in Mexico.
Until recently Gio had no idea he had been selected for our Harley for a Hero build. Task Force Heroes CEO Shane Yates had prepared an elaborate deception by asking Gio to assist an “injured veteran” on the east coast by selecting a motorcycle for the Harley for a Hero presentation. Gio was spontaneously selfless and was eager to assist and support a fellow warrior. He was genuinely stunned and momentarily speechless when Shane said, “We don’t have another recipient of this motorcycle. You are the guy.”
Our veterans join me in thanking the generous Warren family for donating the motorcycle. Also, we wish to thank Warrior Built for providing the special automatic clutch and other work they provided for the build.
Our friends, Rex Hill and Chad Delasantos, of LA Harley Davidson of Anaheim, hosted the event and expended a lot of time and expertise on the build. A beautiful paint job and laser etching was provided by Troy McCleery, who is also a veteran. These folk all love our veterans and contributed towards the success of our Harley for a Hero endeavor this year.
Pastor Tom Longbreak, elder and state leader of Bikers for Christ, was scheduled to join us on the platform with a host of bikers from Bikers for Christ but passed away a few day earlier. Please continue to pray for Tom’s family during this difficult time.
It is a privilege to be a part of honoring our men and women in uniform and inspiring them to see their dreams come true!