A local motorcycle club rides with the purpose of giving back to the community.
The Brothers in Arms Motor Cycle, or MC, is a group of bikers made up of military veterans who share a passion for riding, serving and supporting other veterans and military organizations. The nationwide group seeks out those less fortunate and donates complete meals to thosedown on their luck, said Chris Gomez, president of the local chapter.
The goal is to donate complete meals, toys and gift cards during the holiday season, said Gomez. The Brothers in Arms gave out two complete meals here on Whidbey and one in the Everett area.
Javier Guzman, an active duty sailor and single father of two, works two jobs just to make ends meet. He was selected by the MC to receive a holiday meal.
“This means a lot to me,” Guzman said. “Its people like this that give me hope.”
Guzman said he plans to share his Thanksgiving meal with other single sailors whom he will be inviting to his home.
Gomez said that he himself was once a single dad who struggled, and was the recipient of a Thanksgiving gift basket.
Gomez said he will never forget the way he felt receiving the basket during his time of need.
With the help of his club “brothers,” Gomez said he and Brothers in Arms are honored to be giving back.
“It’s about paying it forward,” said Gomez.
Brothers in Arms identifies those in need through churches or other veteran or military groups, said Gomez.
Club member Dudley McNutt said that those in need are often too embarrassed to come forward and ask for assistance.
Gomez and McNutt said it’s important to identify those in need early and reach out so they don’t feel the pressures of affording food and gifts for the upcoming holiday.
“We’ve all been in the same boat at some time or another,” said McNutt.
“We want them to know we have it covered and they don’t have to worry about stressing over it.” Gomez said.
Gomez added that some people are extremely touched and may even be reluctant to accept the handout.
“I tell them, all I need you to do is say yes,” said Gomez.