“Got a motorcycle? Come on out:” Vets from around the country ride to MKE for national convention

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MILWAUKEE -- A special motorcycle ride in Milwaukee on Thursday, June 23rd was led by veterans from around the country. They're meeting in Milwaukee this weekend.

Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association

Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association

"The premise of this, our motto, is veterans helping veterans," said Mario Rodriguez, Milwaukee Chapter CVMA Public Relations.

This year, Milwaukee is playing host to the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association's National Convention. Last year, the group met in Kansas City and 600 bikers showed up.

Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association

Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association

Organizers hope the convention in Milwaukee will bring even more thunder.

"Come on out! You got a motorcycle? Come on out here and ride with us," said Rodriguez.

Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association

Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association

Veterans are riding in from all over the country and from every branch of service.

"We have retirees, we have folks who served only a few years, folks who are still serving," said Joao Aguiar, the Nnational VP of CVMA.

The group gathered first at the House of Harley-Davidson, where each rider was asked to make a $5 donation.

Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association

Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association

"The money is going to go to Dryhootch here in Milwaukee, to help in the battle against PTSD," said Rodriguez.

The large crowd rode from the Greenfield High School parking lot to a special ceremony at Wood National Cemetery.

Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association

Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association

"We take that time to stop for a minute and reflect about our friends, brothers and sisters who went before us and passed," said Aguiar.

Wood National Cemetery

Wood National Cemetery

For the bikers and veterans, especially those living with post-traumatic stress disorder, the thrill of sharing the open road with friends can often be the best therapy.

"That's my moment of calm. Some peace and quiet. You never see a motorcycle parked outside of a psychiatrist's office," said Aguiar.

The Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association's National Convention runs through June 26th here in Milwaukee.

To learn more about the event, CLICK HERE.