Legion Riders thank borough
Group appreciates town saluting vets
Cranberry Eagle
Written by:
November 10, 2013

EVANS CITY — Clad in their motorcycle gear, eight members of the American Legion Riders of Butler County at last month’s meeting presented borough council, the fire department and the police with letters of appreciation.

The certificates were given because of Evans City’s participation in two veteran-related activities by the riders: the escort of servicemen and women from the Pittsburgh International Airport to their Butler County homes when they return from overseas, and the escort of veterans’ remains to the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies for military burial.

Dennis Christie, vice president of the club, also presented the EDCO Park Authority a check for $200 to show the club’s appreciation.

“We appreciate your help with escorting our veterans home,” Christie told the council, police Chief Joe McCombs, and fire Chief Mark Adomaitis.

The firefighters and police block traffic for the entourage as they travel through the borough on Route 68 after traveling Interstate 79 and Route 538, which lead to Evans City.

Officers and firefighters stand at attention as the entourage, which sometimes includes 50 motorcycles, passes through the town.

“On behalf of the fire department, thank you very much,” Adomaitis told Christie and his fellow riders. “It’s the least we can do.”

McCombs and council President Kim Armstrong also thanked Christie for the recognition and for their service to veterans and the families of deceased veterans.

Leroy Bunyan, president of the Legion Riders, said on Monday that he was shocked in late August when an entourage carrying the unclaimed remains of several veterans rounded the hill on westbound Route 68.

“The people of Evans City were standing there holding their flags, shoulder to shoulder, in the rain,” Bunyan said. “I can’t say enough about those people. I think they’re the most patriotic in the state.”

He said the veterans returning from tours of duty overseas are deeply touched when seemingly the entire borough turns out.

“It shows that people care about them,” Bunyan said. He said many of the American Legion Riders are Vietnam War-era veterans, and recall the poor treatment they and their comrades received in the 1960s and 1970s upon returning home from Southeast Asia.

“They take it very seriously to show these returning young veterans that we support them,” Bunyan said. “It means a lot to them, it really does.”