Local veteran helping other veterans through Combat Veterans Mot - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Local veteran helping other veterans through Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association

Source: Jewels Strickland Source: Jewels Strickland
Source: Jewels Strickland Source: Jewels Strickland
Source: Jewels Strickland Source: Jewels Strickland
Source: Jewels Strickland Source: Jewels Strickland
Source: Jewels Strickland Source: Jewels Strickland

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – As the celebrations for Veterans Day begin, one local combat veteran, Jewels Strickland, is helping many veterans in our own community.

Jewels served in the United States Army Infantry from 2007 to 2014 and now holds an executive officer position for the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association. According to combatvet.org, this organization is an association of combat veterans from all branches of the United States Armed Forces who all ride motorcycles as a hobby. The organization as a whole allows any veteran who is deployed to a combat theater that rides a motorcycle that is 500 cc's or greater to join the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association. In addition, this organization gives these retired veterans a tie to their military background and gives them purpose, motivation, and direction within their unit while all sharing a love of motorcycles.

As for a national organization, Jewels says, "We have a very broad focus. We support veterans that are in need no matter what their issue may be. Locally, we have decided to kind of champion the cause of the homeless veteran which is to us, completely unacceptable. So, here in Myrtle Beach we're working to make the lives of homeless veterans more comfortable and hopefully, eventually get them off the streets and back to being productive members of society." Jewels said having the ability to help make the lives of homeless veterans more comfortable gives him a fulfillment like no other.

Jewels says that through the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, he has had the chance to experience many fulfilling instances, but there is one really that stands out to him. The Myrtle Beach Stand-down is an event that his organization has each year where they partner with the AARP. Jewels says, "Doris Gleason from the AARP was telling me about a young girl she gave a McDonald's gift card to, who was remarkably excited because apparently in her current financial situation her veteran mother could only take her out to dinner on her birthday and she would do it to McDonald's, and so now she would get to go an extra time and those are just the things, I don't care how tough you are, it gets you every time."

As a retired Veteran, Jewels says he takes part in many events. He said as for his organization, "there are several events that we will be taking part in. Every year at the VFW we do a battlefield cross memorial on both Veterans Day and Memorial Day. It's a moving experience, if you haven't seen it, I recommend it to everyone. It will bring home the sacrifice that people make."

Jewels said he will also be speaking at Walkerwood's in Carolina Forest briefly in the morning after a veteran's free breakfast they're having there. Also, the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association holds a great relationship with Coastal Carolina University. Jewels said, "They love their local college and any chance they invite them out, they go." He said they form a large tunnel on field and the team runs out to a roar of the motorcycles and to the cheers of the crowd. It is a great start to the game.

Currently every Thursday night the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association holds a bike night at the Waterway Bar and Grill on Highway 17. As winter is quickly approaching, Jewels says their slow season is just beginning. Jewels joked, "and some of the older guys can't handle the cold."

Veterans Day, this year on Friday, November 11, is a day to remember all people who served in the United Stares Armed Forces. Though there are many ways to honor our military veterans, Jewels says this organization gives us, "the ability to serve our community again." It gives veterans a chance to find a purpose after serving.

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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