RICHMOND, Va. -- Looks can be oh so deceiving. Behind their booming bikes and black leather, you will find a group of big-hearted brothers known nationally as the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association (CVMA). There are chapters across the nation, including four in Virginia and one in Central Virginia.
"We’re a little different because of our experiences," veteran and CVMA member Paul Smith said.
The veterans in Central Virginia chapter 27-3 are on a mission to help other veterans.
"I get personal relief that I’m doing something. I’m helping other people," CVMA member and Vietnam veteran Mike Geci said. "I get emotional when I see it. They mean a lot. They’re my brothers."
The group has adopted Sitter & Barfoot Veterans Care Center on Richmond’s Southside as its own. The CVMA visits the 160-bed state run facility on a regular basis. The CVMA members have befriended many veterans of wars from WWII to Afghanistan. Member have also donated their time and money to help. Whatever the veterans need, from a simple handshake to lending an ear, CVMA members are there.
"It is something you really can’t explain unless you’ve been there," veteran and CVMA Paul Smith aka “Fido” said. "I get personal relief that I’m doing something. I’m helping other people."
The CVMA’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. Navy veteran and Sitter & Barfoot resident Ken Hamilton said he is touched.
"It just says that they are a heck of a bunch of guys that shows their willingness to give and keep on giving," Hamilton said. "I would definitely view them as brothers. Definitely."
Whether it is buying small items like TV’s and microwaves, or spending $14,000 to refurbish an old school bus for field trips, giving to veterans is something that comes naturally to CVMA.
"Absolutely. Best investment ever." CVMA member Randy Boss aka “Boss Man” said. "All we ask is that someone does the same for us when we’re in the same situation."
It does not matter in which branch you served or on how many wheels you roll, if you are a veteran, CVMA promises to always have your back.
"It is the self-satisfaction that we’re there to help," Paul Smith said. "Just give us a call and we’re there."
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