Twentynine Palms -- The Substance Abuse Program held the 2nd Freedom to Ride, Ride for Freedom Motorcycle Ride May 20, 2016.
SAP held the event to raise awareness of substance abuse and encourage camaraderie among Combat Center motorcycle riders.
More than 40 riders, including Marines and sailors, veterans and community members, met at the Combat Center’s protestant chapel. They proceeded to ride their motorcycles through Twentynine Palms, Calif. and concluded the event with lunch at Pappy and Harriet’s in Yucca Valley, Calif.
Before the ride, Lt. Col. Dennis A. Sanchez, commanding officer, Headquarters Battalion, spoke to the riders about the importance of substance abuse awareness and why Marines should look out for each other.
“When it comes to awareness of substance abuse, rank does not matter,” Sanchez said. “A private first class and a sergeant major can have problems in their lives. It’s up to you, their coworkers, noncommissioned officers and friends to help when they’re down.”
According to Petty Officer 2nd Class Naviel Rogers, religious personnel, Headquarters Battalion, it’s always important to drive sober because everything doesn’t always go as planned. By staying sober, you are more alert and keeping yourself and other drivers safe.
“It’s amazing seeing all the riders together,” said Carleen Dickson, substance abuse specialist, SAP. “As individuals, they support sober riding, but as a group they’re making an impact.”