2021 is the “Come Back Year”. In its 37th year, The Heroes Ride Bike Tour took place Jul. 30 through Aug. 1, with 114 riders completing over 700 miles total and raising over $57,000.
With The Highground as their final destination, a few of the riders from the Northern Route began their journey from Chili to Hayward on Wednesday, July 28. The remaining 29 riders with the Northern Route were led out of Hayward by Mike and Kathy Gleisner, covering 170 miles. The other three routes began their journey on Friday, July 30. Cole Peterson and Jerry Simon led 47 riders with the Western Route out of New Richmond, completing 165 miles. Traveling east for 155 miles, Jim and Curt Braatz led 17 riders with the Eastern Route from Appleton. Kathy Heit and Mary Boortz led the way from Cottage Grove for the Southern Route, covering 182 miles with 14 riders. Terri Stott, the leader of the Southwestern Route from La Crosse, was unable to ride this year; however, she is making plans for 2022 and joined The Highground on Sunday, Aug. 1 to welcome her fellow routes to the Park.
After the two and a half day trip, every route was met by family, friends and guests cheering them on as they rode down past The Highground Liberty Bell. The riders enjoyed a filling meal which was followed by the traditional ceremony. As the riders and SAG personnel packed up their bikes, said their goodbyes and headed home, it became abundantly clear that it’s never about one person, one event, one success or one failure; it’s about WHY—for our Veterans.
Every one of the 37 bike tours has supported The Highground’s efforts to provide Veterans and Veteran families support and resources to help them heal from the wounds of war through post-traumatic stress (PTS) programs, Veteran retreats, and most of all through the tranquility of being at The Highground and Camp Victory at no cost.
“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.” – Kalu NDukwe Kalu
To all the Heroes who rode previous years and this year, everyone with The Highground is truly grateful and looks forward to seeing them in 2022. The Highground also thanks the event sponsors, past and present, whose support has helped make this event a success: Central Wisconsin Broadcasting, Neillsville; Falls Meats Services, Pigeon Falls; JBC Screenprinting & Embroidery LLC, Neillsville; The Sports Den, Marshfield; Edward Jones-Joe Mueting, McFarland; Doar Drill and Skow, Woodbury; VFW Post #1037, King/Waupaca; Oak Avenue Community Center, Marshfield; American Legion Lorretta/Draper Post #394, Draper; Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School, Ladysmith; American Legion Post #268, Bruce; Bruce Kiwanis, Bruce; VFW Post #9464, Cornell; Kwik Trip; American Legion Post #118, Cornell; WWIS Radio, Inc., Black River Falls; J & L Auto Repair, Menomonie; Skyward, Stevens Point; American Legion Bohlman Grimes Post #1904, Fond du Lac; American Legion Post #301, Woodville; American Legion; VFW Post #6550, Eleva/Strum; American Legion Post #324 & VFW Post #8514, Osseo; Lowe Advertising, New Richmond; and all the individuals who sponsored a rider or route.
Information about upcoming events, current news and more is available online at thehighground.us.