Harley Thanks Troops w/ Bikes Over Baghdad
Thursday, December 2, 2010
has a long and storied history of supporting the American military. During World War I, almost one-third of all Harleys produced in 1917 were in support of the military campaign. The following year that number bumped up to almost half of all Harleys produced. World War II came along and once again Harley-Davidson was enlisted to support
Harley-Davidson has a long history of supporting the American military. The WLA model was the workhorse of military motorcycles during World War II. Harley-Davidson produced over 90,000 WLA's for the war effort. (Courtesy of Harley-Davidson Archives)
the cause. Over the course of the second World War, H-D provided the military almost 90,000 WLA models and in 1943, The Motor Company received the first of its Army-Navy “E” Awards for excellence in wartime production.
So it’s no surprise that Harley has stepped up to the plate again in support of US and Coalition forces serving in the Middle East with its Bikes Over Baghdad (BOB) Tour. The tour is composed of some of the best BMW riders around who have volunteered to go overseas to do what they do best – ramp it up, catch big air and put on an entertaining performance for the troops while showcasing their two-wheeled skills. Service members in Iraq and Kuwait get little down-time and are always on-guard, so Bikes Over Baghdad will provide them a couple of hours of escape and the chance to share camaraderie with their fellow soldiers.
“Our mission in Iraq is simple. We want to show the troops that we care, that America hasn’t forgotten about them,” said Brian Kachinsky in the Harley-Davidson press release.
Kachinsky is an X Games bronze medalist who has already participated in the first two BOB tours. He calls the experience “exhilarating, intense and life-changing” and will never forget performing in 120-degree heat and shaking hands with soldiers who thanked him for being there.
Harley-Davidson and the Stars & Stripes.
“It’s crazy when the troops thank us for performing,” Kachinsky continued. “We’re the ones who should be thanking them. They’re the real heroes, not us.”
Joining Kachinsky on the tour are fellow extreme athletes Chad Kagy, Mike Escamilla, Anthony Napolitan, Drew Bezanson, Zack Yankush, Mykel Larrin, Ron Kimler and Nate Wessel. The tour is also bringing over pro ramp builders and energetic announcers to hype up the crowd. They will perform seven shows at military bases in Iraq and Kuwait for approximately 20,000 troops.
“Harley-Davidson shares a deep sense of freedom and patriotism with the U.S. Armed Forces, and we are grateful for their many sacrifices, dedication and hard work,” said Mike McCann in the press release. McCann is director of core customer marketing at Harley-Davidson who joined the tour on November 28 for its sweep through the Middle East.
The Bikes over Baghdad Tour 3 press release finishes with “Kachinsky’s highlights of past BOB tours include flying in a Blackhawk helicopter, sleeping in Saddam Hussein’s palace, detonating C4 explosives, and experiencing what daily life is like for the troops in Iraq. But it was time simply spent hanging out with the troops, talking about their families, homes, and war zone experiences that really made an impact on BOB team members. They were told time and again by service men and women that, for just a few hours, they were able to forget they were in Iraq.”
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