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Members of 'Rolling Thunder' honor veterans, collect donations on Memorial Day

Posted at 7:04 PM, May 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-25 19:14:59-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Before the thunderous sound of about 100 motorcycles started rolling down Hull Street on Memorial Day, Samantha Livingston had an idea to help out veterans who are hospitalized in VA hospitals.

"I'm trying to get the supplies that they need, they're sitting in the hospital, sometimes months to years, rehabbing, and then they go to their own apartment, and they don't have anything," Livingston said.

A full time truck driver, Samantha also Volunteers at McGuire VA Medical Center, where she saw a need and began to try and fill it.

"Her heart is absolutely in the right place and I for one, don't know her very well, but I'm very proud of her," said Traci Hackley, with Rolling Thunder, one of the motorcycle groups taking part in the Memorial Day Ride.

Right now there's about $10,000 in items destined for Veterans.

"Pots, Pans, Dishers, Sheets, Air Mattress', everything that's new," Livingston said.

To help spread the word about the donations being collected and to cheer up Veterans at McGuire VA having to spend the day inside, American Legion Riders and Rolling Thunder let everyone hear about it via their mufflers.

"They're sitting in the hospital, they're sick or whatever but to see someone support them would be, I'd be happy to see it," said Brian Lacy, American Legion Riders.

Along the drive, support from the public rang out.

"Rolling Thunder Virginia Chapter 5, became my family 10 years ago, when my husband was killed in Afghanistan, he was killed March 22, 2010 on his fourth Deployment" said Kristen Santos-Silva.

"It's my healing process, it's my healing process, because I'm also a Veteran."

Livingston said she will continue to collect new items at the trailer after 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Abilene Trailer is parking in the Walmart Parking lot located at Hull and Winterpock in Chesterfield County.