‘Operation Homecoming’ Alumni Join Inaugural ‘Veterans Charity Ride for Sturgis’


Media Contact:

Shasta Willson (for Jack Lewis)

Robert Manciero, Full Vision Productions


Authors Ride to Reengage Veterans with Life 


Sharon D. Allen on an Indian motorcycle.

(LOS ANGELES, CA—June 22, 2015)  Iraq war veterans and writers Jack Lewis and Sharon D. Allen will join the inaugural Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis, created by Indian Motorcycles and Full Vision Productions. Previously contributors to the Emmy award-winning Operation Homecoming, Lewis and Allen will participate as both riders and documentarians to tell these veterans’ stories of reconnection during this epic journey.Lewis will ride 1,576 miles with the group from the L.A. Basin to North Dakota on one of several sidecar rigs provided by Indian Motorcycles and Champion Sidecars to accommodate veterans who are too injured to operate their own bikes, but who still want to ride to Sturgis in booming style. Allen, one of two female combat veterans involved, will ride a traditional Indian and will speak at several events. As only fellow service members can do, Allen and Lewis hope to focus attention on the human potential of wounded and disabled veterans, and to promote this event so that many more service members can participate in coming years.

A combat veteran, Seattle-based author Lewis will participate as an embedded journalist for Motorcyclist magazine, where he is a contributing editor. His latest book, Head Check: What It Feels Like to Ride Motorcycles, is a collection of extended essays about his riding experience that includes the story of Montana-based veterans program Camp Patriot. Lewis’s previous writing includes “Road Work,” which appeared in two feature films based on Operation Homecoming, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and was featured by NPR, PBS, and the New Yorker Online.

Jack Lewis clears his head on a lonely Oregon road.

“For a long time now, motorcycles have been the way I pull myself through my dark times,” Lewis said. “On the Veterans Charity Ride, about a dozen of us will get that opportunity to clear our heads in the clean wind of the road, but that’s only part of the point. What’s really important is to connect many more veterans with resources they can use to reengage with life.”

Chicago-based rider Allen, a noted speaker on the issues facing female veterans, contributed work to Powder: Writing by Women in the Ranks, from Vietnam to Iraq and has had two plays based, in part, on her writings. Sharon’s works have been reprinted in numerous newspapers, including the Washington Post, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the Cincinnati Enquirer. She serves on the board of directors for the Chicagoland Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade.

“We’re excited to have two veteran writers onboard,” said ride organizer “Indian Dave” Frey of Full Vision Productions. “Our goal is to get the word out about what these wounded warriors can do — the great things they’re capable of — when we get them connected to the resources that can unlock their potential.”

All Veterans Charity Ride participants will also participate in the time-honored Sturgis Buffalo Chip Freedom Celebration Ride on August 6th to honor those who have served our country and to share the freedom of the road with 600 fellow veterans.


Links to more information:
Veterans Charity Ride web page: www.veteranscharityride.org

Images and video:
Images: http://shasta.smugmug.com/Press-Releases/Indian-Motorcycle-and-Veterans/
Veterans Charity Ride launch video: https://vimeo.com/117545199
“Road Work” video, PBS : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBwy8aK2JNY



About Jack Lewis: jacklewis.com, facebook.com/jaxworx, @jaxworx

Jack contributed to Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan and the Home Front (ed. Andrew Carroll, Random House 2006), and participated in documentary films based on that book including Lawrence Bridges’s Muse of Fire and Richard Robbins’s Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience. Those writings stemmed from his service leading a tactical psychological operations team in NW Iraq during 2004-2005.

Jack writes a regular column “Behind Bars” for Motorcyclist magazine and has also penned many feature stories, including “See Americans First” about riding with disabled veterans in Montana.

Jack has authored two books: Head Check: What it Feels Like to Ride Motorcycles (2014, Litsam) and Nothing in Reserve: True Stories, Not War Stories (2011, Litsam). Nothing in Reserve was selected as a Midwest Book Review Reviewer’s Choice in January 2012.

Jack is a life member of Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars, and a member of the American Legion.

About Sharon D. Allen: sharondallen.com, facebook.com/sharon.d.allen, @sharondcrazy

Sharon contributed writing to Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan and the Home Front and Powder: Writing by Women in the Ranks, from Vietnam to Iraq, and appeared as herself in the film Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience. A sought-after speaker, she gave the keynote address at the 2013 Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run.

Sharon is a member of the American Legion and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, where she serves as chaplain for her post.

About Full Vision Productions: fullvisionproductions.com

Full Vision Productions is an 11-time Emmy award-winning, full-service production company. Our goal is to provide the highest level of production value to all of our clients. We provide a wide array of in-house services, from pre-production and development to post-production and delivery. This allows us to provide the highest quality of work within the budget specifications of our clients. We specialize in producing Public Service Campaigns (PSA), commercials, educational, government, corporate image videos, promotional videos, and documentaries.

About Indian Motorcycles: indianmotorcycle.com

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 new brand stewardship.

Keri DeTore