Motorcycle ride to honor fallen friend and soldier - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Motorcycle ride to honor fallen friend and soldier

SMITHS STATION, AL - A group of local veterans are revving their engines doing something special to honor the memory of a friend and fellow soldier they lost.

"There's days that it doesn't feel like it is real."        

Angelia Picard lost her husband in a tragic motorcycle accident. It will be 2 years ago this weekend.

"I can't call him up.  I can't hold him.  I can't lean on his shoulder.  You know when things have gotten very difficult.  He was my best friend."

32 year old First Lieutenant Josh Picard was stationed on Fort Benning. He served in the Army 12 years, deploying to Iraq 5 times.  Picard's wife says he was only months away from being promoted to Captain when his accident happened.

Josh was a member the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association chapter 28-1 in Alabama .  So is Houston Stephens, who says Josh was like a son.

"Josh was intense.  He loved his family.  He loved the military way of life, and he loved his veterans," said Stephens.

So, this close group of local motorcycle riding soldiers and veterans, wanted to embody Josh's passion by holding a ride in his honor this weekend. It will start at the VFW at Smiths Station on Lee Road 240, stopping at Josh's favorite spots in Phenix City, and ending at their headquarters, the Al 28-1 Hunting Lodge.

Nick Silva, the event's organizer, says the ride was inspired by Josh but also has a bigger idea behind it.

"Not only for Josh, for his family that was left behind, and then obviously for all our veterans who have passed away."

Silva says the money they raise with the ride will be used to help veterans and for memorials they want to put in the Alabama State Veteran's Memorial Park.

Picard says this is exactly how her husband would want to be remembered.

"Anything that can be good and done good in his name, he would want that done.'

Silva says registration will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 30th at the VFW in Smiths Station. 

The fees start at $10 per rider.  If you do not wish to ride, but still wish to give to the cause, donations will be taken at the registration at the VFW and at the 28-1 Hunting Lodge at 3 p.m.

Copyright 2011 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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