Indian Motorcycle®, America’s First Motorcycle Company®, and “Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis,” announced today veterans Corporal Joshua Stein, U.S. Army (Ret.) and Corporal Neil Frustaglio, U.S. Marines (Ret.) have been named as the honorary “Hero’s Ride of a Lifetime” selectees. The two post-9/11 veteran heroes were chosen from over 50 total entries in a nomination program that called upon friends and family members to submit deserving veterans for an once-in-a-lifetime motorcycle therapy adventure.
Corporal Joshua Stein, US Army (Ret.) joined the Army in February of 2005 as a 12B Combat Engineer, and was deployed to Iraq in December. On Easter Sunday of 2006, Josh and his team were struck by an Explosively Formed Penetrator bomb that blasted through their armored Bradley vehicle and immediately severed and cauterized both of Josh’s legs. Doctors in Iraq prioritized limb salvage, saving both his arms, and transported him back to the U.S., where he eventually woke up out of a medically induced coma with his family surrounding him a the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio Texas. Following a long battle, and significant rehabilitation, Josh found a purpose at the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI) from which he’ll be graduating in Phoenix, Arizona on July 7, 2017.
Josh’s best friend, Corporal Neil Frustaglio, US Marines (Ret.) joined the Marines right after graduating high school and was deployed in September of 2005 with his unit to Ramadi, Iraq. While on a mission providing security during the Iraqi elections, Neil’s convoy sustained two massive IED explosions. As a result of the blasts, Neil lost both of his legs above the knee and received third-degree burns to twenty percent of his body, forcing him to undergo 24 surgeries and intense physical therapy at the young age of twenty-two. In a significant effort to turn around his life, support his family and maintain a regular life, Neil went back to work and eventually to school. He graduated in December 2016 with his Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Arizona State University. Neil grew up riding motorcycles, was constantly on a bike before his injury.
“We’re extremely excited for this year’s ride to Sturgis. We have a great group of veterans joining us, and each and every year is special in its own right,” said David Frey, Veterans Charity Ride Founder. “Our Hero’s Ride of a Lifetime selectees, Josh and Neil, know a thing or two about resiliency. It’ll be incredible to witness two above-the-knee bi-lateral amputees push and motivate one another half way across the country as they trade off riding an Indian Scout Avenger Sidecar. That indomitable spirit and nature will be powerful for our entire group of veterans.”
The two heroes will pilot an Indian Scout Avenger Sidecar with modifications made by John Meade, owner of Azzkikr Custom Baggers, and his veteran employees in Phoenix, AZ. The Indian Scout Sidecar rig will be outfitted with a Rekluse Clutch, which eliminates the need to pull the clutch handle for shifting, a hand shift mechanism so the amputee rider can shift the bike manually, and the rear brake system will be moved and adapted to a hand brake on the left handlebar. The Scout will be complete with a custom Corbin seat to provide extra comfort and seating area for the long journey.
The Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis will depart from Los Angeles on July 28, on Indian Motorcycles and Champion Sidecars. The therapeutic adventure provides participating veterans the opportunity to work toward overcoming their post-war challenges while out on the open road. Riding through the most scenic back roads of the western United States, veterans will not only experience the great outdoors and the beauty this country has to offer, but also make stops to meet with other veterans, supporters, riders, and participate in various adjacent adventures. Upon arrival in Sturgis on August 5, the group will be treated to a special “Heroes Welcome” before taking part in a week of activities that further solidify the brotherhood and sisterhood formed during the ride.
The Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis was conceived and developed by veteran Army Paratrooper Dave Frey and Emmy Award-winning producer and director Robert Manciero of Full Vision Productions, leveraging the therapeutic effects of motorcycle riding to create an adventure of a lifetime for wounded veterans.
Primary sponsors of the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis include Indian Motorcycle and Champion Sidecars & Trikes, with additional sponsorship and support provided by Monster Energy Drink, Bates Footwear, Cycle Gear, Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys, Avon Tyres, and the Sturgis Buffalo Chip.
ABOUT INDIAN MOTORCYCLE®
Indian Motorcycle, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII), is America’s first motorcycle company. Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle has won the hearts of motorcyclists around the world and earned distinction as one of America’s most legendary and iconic brands through unrivaled racing dominance, engineering prowess and countless innovations and industry firsts. Today that heritage and passion is reignited under brand new stewardship. To learn more, please visit www.indianmotorcycle.com.
ABOUT VETERANS CHARITY RIDE
Veterans Charity Ride (VCR), started by veterans for veterans, is a non-profit organization that uses Motorcycle Therapy and holistic programs to provide a healing and life changing experience for wounded, severely injured and amputee veterans from all branches of service who need support. VCR provides veterans motorcycle therapy excursions through the most beautiful scenic back roads of this great country, exploring America, getting our veterans outdoors, connecting veterans with mentors and other veterans, groups and supporters. VCR programs include; MCT – Motorcycle Therapy Rides & Excursions, WELL VET – Veteran Health and Wellness Program, TRUSTED VET – Veteran Mentor Program, SAFE VET – Veteran Motorcycle Safety Program,, SPEC OPS – Special Events and Activities for VCR veterans, VET FAM – Veteran Family Support Program, and MOTO DONO – Veteran Motorcycle Donation Program.
ABOUT FULL VISION PRODUCTIONS
Located in La Crescenta, California, Full Vision Productions was founded in 1994 by producer/director Robert Manciero. Since then it has grown into a full service production company and agency with 11 Emmy awards and several festival awards to their credit. Originally specializing in extreme sports, Full Vision Productions has expanded into commercial, promotional and documentary film work for networks, major corporations and government agencies. Please visit www.fullvisionproductions.com for more details.
ABOUT CHAMPION SIDECARS & TRIKES
Champion Sidecars & Trikes, established in 1984 and located in Garden Grove, California, has achieved recognition throughout the motorcycle community for innovation, leadership and advancement of motorcycle sidecars and three-wheel motorcycles. Champion will continue to break ground in the motorcycle industry by delivering the highest value sidecar and three-wheel experience to motorcyclists around the world. For more details visit www.championsidecars.com.
Text and images courtesy of Indian Motorcycle.