MINNEAPOLIS, MN and LOS ANGELES, CA – Indian Motorcycle and the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis announced that two military vets will receive special honors for the cross-country motorcycle therapy adventure that begins on the West Coast and will arrive in South Dakota in time for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Chosen as the honorary Hero’s Ride of a Lifetime selectees are Corporals Joshua Stein (U.S. Army, ret.) and Neil Frustaglio (U.S. Marines, ret.). The two veterans, who reportedly are best friends, were chosen from more than 50 entries.
“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 bilateral amputees push and motivate one another halfway 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 Indian Scout Avenger Sidecar includes modifications from John Meade, owner of Azzkikr Custom Baggers, and his veteran employees in Phoenix, AZ. The rig will be outfitted with a Rekluse Clutch, which eliminates the need to pull the clutch handle for shifting, and a hand shift mechanism so an amputee rider can shift the bike manually. The rear brake system will be moved and adapted to a hand brake on the left handlebar. A custom Corbin seat will provide extra comfort and seating area.
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,” Indian said.
Upon arrival in Sturgis on Aug. 5, the group will be treated to a Heroes’ Welcome ceremony before taking part in a week of activities that further solidify the brotherhood and sisterhood formed during the ride.
About the honorees
Stein joined the Army in February 2005 as a 12B Combat Engineer, and deployed to Iraq the following December. On Easter Sunday 2006, Stein 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 his legs. Doctors in Iraq prioritized limb salvage, saving both 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 at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX. Following a long battle, and significant rehabilitation, Josh enrolled in the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI) and graduated on July 7.
Frustaglio joined the Marines after graduating high school and deployed in September 2005 to Ramadi, Iraq. While on a mission providing security during the Iraqi elections, his convoy sustained two IED explosions. Frustaglio lost both of his legs above the knee and received third-degree burns to 20 percent of his body, forcing him to undergo 24 surgeries and intense physical therapy. He eventually went back to work and then to school, graduating last December with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Arizona State University. Frustaglio grew up riding motorcycles and was constantly on a bike before his injury.
The Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis was conceived and developed by Frey, a veteran Army paratrooper, and Robert Manciero of Full Vision Productions to leverage the therapeutic effects of motorcycle riding to create an adventure of a lifetime for wounded veterans. Primary sponsors 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.
To follow the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis, visit http://www.indianmotorcycle.com/en-us/veterans-ride and http://www.veteranscharityride.org.