08/09/09 — Guardian Brotherhood rides for wounded warriors

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Guardian Brotherhood rides for wounded warriors

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on August 9, 2009 2:00 AM

The Guardian Brotherhood first introduced itself to Goldsboro on a September morning in 2007.

A group of motorcycle riders with military ties, bound together by a sense of duty to help others who have worn and still wear the uniform, is how they characterized themselves as they took part in a poker run that raised more than $500 for Seymour Johnson Air Force Base's Family Support Center.

"We were thinking that on the holidays, it is kind of tragic that some airmen have to make the decision, 'Do I buy my kids Christmas presents or do I buy them diapers? How tragic is that?" said Jamie Farnell, one of the Seymour Johnson airmen who founded the club. "You know, as a non-commissioned officer, you are supposed to take care of the little guy. That's how the whole thing started."

From there, the club's membership grew, and last year, they did a second run -- one that raised more than $1,200 for the Disabled American Vet-erans' local chapter.

And on Sept. 12 they will ride again, this time for another group of service men and women they consider heroes, the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

State Commander Mike Burris said he was pleased to hear that the Brotherhood will soon be making a donation to his organization.

And he assured those thinking about making a donation or signing up a sponsor for the event that every penny raised will be put to good use via the Warrior Christmas Leave Program, an effort that sends wounded troops stationed in North Carolina home for the holidays.

"We send them home for Christmas. All expenses paid," Burris said. "When you see the look on the troop's face when they get that check, it's priceless."

James Loper, another one of the Seymour Johnson airmen who helped form the motorcycle club, has high hopes for this year's 89-mile run.

"It should be a big event," he said. "We're hoping to raise more money than last year."

The riders are scheduled to leave from Heroes restaurant at the corner of Berkeley Boulevard and Ash Street at noon.

Events available at the restaurant during the ride include a car and bike show and a 50/50 drawing for a custom paint job for your "bike, car or whatever."

For more information about joining the Brotherhood on its ride, sponsoring the event or donating to the Military Order of the Purple Heart's Warrior Christmas Leave Program, e-mail Loper at jloper1@nc.rr.com or visit www.guardianbrotherhood.com