There's a strong bike culture in the military community. Many have their own that they enjoy riding when they're home from deployment, and some find comradery with others to fill that void of brotherhood they felt while in the armed services.

Sadly, though, some make sacrifices beyond their control - whether that's having to give up their motorcycles to pay the bills, or can no longer ride due to being wounded, or even losing limbs in battle. That is where Sgt. Brad VandenBerg and his Wheels for Warriors comes in.

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Wheels for Warriors is a non-profit organization, that specializes in building adapted motorcycles for wounded veterans. Sgt. VandenBerg has been working on these motorcycles for years, and said it's his way to give back to his veteran brothers in a unique, and meaningful way.

Each year, a recipient is chosen through a painstaking process, and BrandenBerg custom makes the motorcycles to the needs of the person who will receive it. The most recent recipient is Travis Gambee, who is a medically retired Army combat veteran from Battle Creek.

Gambee may be discharged from the military, but he still serves his community by donating his time and materials to build a disc golf course on the VA grounds, and mentors and coaches his neighbors at the local gym and encourages a healthy life, both physically and mentally through exercise.

In thanks of his service, VandenBerg built him a specialized 2006 Harley Davidson 883 Sportster to accomodate for his medical needs.

Wheels for Warriors
The Harley Sportster that Sgt. VandenBerg before it was customized for Travis Gambee./Wheels for Warriors

In fact, every bike VandenBerg builds is customized for the veteran chosen for Wheels for Warriors. Some have neurological conditions that don't allow them to grip the bars as well, and some are even missing legs or arms. To adapt, Vandenberg has built customized controls, and even trikes for the deserving veterans who thought they'd never be able to ride again.

"If you can imagine losing a limb in combat, defending this nation... and you come back home, you got a bike sitting in the garage... to lose that, is like losing freedom, and I want to be the guy that provides that for Vets."

His most recent build for Gambee is now finished, and will be unveiled and presented to him at the Delton VFW Post 422 on June 30th, during an event that starts at noon and goes until 6 pm. It will include food, activities, and of course, plenty of motorcycles and comradery.

But once that's over, it's back to work for VandenBerg, who is already planning his next build.

If you would like to donate to Wheels for Warriors, you can do so on their website. Any amount goes a long way toward building these bikes for worthy wounded warriors, and has a HUGE impact on each of their lives.

Warrior Wheels Sizzle from Mactavish Pictures on Vimeo.

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