December 2020

What. A. Year.

And we’re not talking about the mess Coronavirus and politics made of it…we’re talking about what your generous hearts did to make it life-changing for others.

You know our goal: gift one Harley a year to an injured Wisconsin Veteran rider, thereby restoring peace, freedom and support as they return to riding. We rolled into 2020 with the stunning plan to buy four Harleys this summer and then, despite Covid, a shocking donation and fundraising effort allowed us to gift an unexpected fifth bike at summer’s end. That made for a grand total of 16 Veterans back on the healing road in a little over four years of gifting bikes! And while we find that unbelievably awesome, our good news doesn’t stop there.

The success of Hogs For Heroes depends on our supporters; and frankly, we were worried about the toll 2020 would take on our small organization. Like yourselves, nonprofits faced critical moments where donations literally stopped and fundraising events canceled left and right. But in the midst of a year that took direct aim on lives and livelihoods, events, gatherings, and financial security…you still rocked our world as we built for 2021. You came out in full force when you could, rode with us and hung with us. You showed up to welcome five more Veteran riders back to the road this summer and shared in the family camaraderie our mission builds. You, your groups and businesses reached deep during a crippling year to host and share what you could. We hoped we could still do one in 2021; but because of your supportive efforts this year... right now we will be gifting THREE HARLEYS TO THREE MORE VETERANS IN 2021!

Shut the front door! Three more? With fundraising during a pandemic year?

Yes. And as 2020 comes to a close, know that we’re now working toward a fourth.

Seems an unreal outcome for our tiny nonprofit given the year it was, but YOU DID IT.  
Our Founders cover our expenses so that 100% of what you share goes directly toward another Harley for an injured Veteran. And that “three” we plan to put back on the road… it’s not just three more motorcycles. It represents three more struggling lives that will be changed by regaining the therapeutic benefits of riding. It represents three more families that will benefit from the enhanced mental health and social support their loved one will receive. And that “three more” represents three more hopeful, personal interventions that reduce the tragic and growing risk of Veteran suicide by providing an alternative form of therapy: that of The Road. We don't just gift a motorcycle.

We’re just a couple of volunteer civilians doing our part to support and honor our Veterans. As we wrap up this year, know that we are incredibly thankful, and honored, to have had your support and friendship on this road we’re traveling. Should you find yourself contemplating year-end donations, or planning future charitable events, we'd be thrilled to have your consideration. And as we all look forward to a better year ahead, know we will continue working right along side you to make impactful life changes for our Veterans...
One Bike at a Time. One Hero at a Time.

Wishing you good health, joy and peace in the New Year!

Ride free---

Kevin & Audra Thompson, Co-Founders
Catch Who Was In
This Year's Rear View Mirror...
Easing His Fight to Keep Riding in His Life...
#16: Army National Guard Veteran Jarred West of Fond du Lac, WI has been fighting his entire life: to live, survive, break free, in combat, and to provide for his family. After 10 years and two combat deployments, his fight with PTSD got the better of him…until he found riding and the support that came with it. When his growing family needed him to sell his Harley to buy a home, he then borrowed friends bikes just to keep riding. Desperate to ride, he took out a loan for a bike that cost him more in repairs and down time and detracted from his tight family budget. Hogs For Heroes felt it was time someone fought for Jarred. We chose to ease his fight to keep riding, and it's healing support, in his life. In late August, on the very day we gifted him is bike, he fully patched into the U.S. Military Vets.
Regains a Piece of His Identity...
#15: A Force Recon Marine, Trent Endicott, of Wisconsin Dells, was in places we can't imagine, doing things that, for most of us, nightmares are made. For all he'd done, in combat and in training, he never imagined the toll his years in service would take. At just 30 years old, the brain damage from multiple TBI’s caused two different cerebral bleeds and abruptly brought his beloved career to an end. He immediately lost everything he knew life to be, along with the security, dreams, and identity that went with it. He sold his Harley out of an abundance of caution, relocated to Wisconsin and started a family. He leaned cautiously into civilian life… and never stopped longing to return to the road, his head clearing space. Hogs For Heroes felt this Marine needed to regain a piece of who he was and the brotherhood he was missing. We put him on “Blizzard” in early August to help him reconnect and find miles of control and peace.
Helping This CVSO Out-Ride His PTSD Demons...
#14: After 22 years of combined service in the Army Reserves, Navy and Army National Guard, with three combat deployments in his last 10 years, Sergeant First Class Army Veteran Todd Richter of Sheboygan, WI found himself retired from service and facing the many years worth of demons and experiences he tamped down. Riding provided him a release from his PTSD like no other, but the repairs his old ride needed, and frustrations caused, were more than the bike was worth. Hogs For Heroes felt this County Veterans Service Officer (CVSO) needed a bike worthy of supporting his own healing and that which he helps other Veterans gain. A District 2 Legion Rider, Todd returned to the road in July on a 2019 Street Glide that was fully paid for by the fundraising efforts of Wisconsin's International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 139. 
Finds Peace, Control & Brotherhood Back in The Saddle...
#13: From Kenosha, WI, Army Veteran Blake Buchanan served 10 years in the Army Reserves and found himself deployed for almost half of them. An incoming mortar knocked a framed wall onto him, causing back injuries that never effectively healed. Looking for relief from physical and mental wounds sustained during combat, he turned to alcohol. His life spiraled out of control: bad decisions and risky behaviors caused him to lose everything...his home, savings, his truck, and his beloved Harley. Having hit his rock bottom, he then found the strength and faith needed to redirect his life. Blake's since worked hard to better himself, and others, and remains sober five years later. Regaining a Harley was a dream far outside his financial means…but Hogs For Heroes saw it as key to furthering his personal success. Blake patched into Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association 45-1 this summer for the brotherhood he's long missed.
A Trike's Stability Allows Continued Healing...
#12: Under May’s quarantine radar, we swooped in and virtually gifted our first bike of the year— live from the dealership floor! After dropping his bike several times, this long-time rider realized he could no longer safely hold up two wheels. Unable to afford the the hefty pricetags on the Trike he needed, this Veteran found his depression worsening with the loss of riding in his life.  A Navy Veteran, Bill Swaney of Adams, WI, was horrifically attacked by shipmates at knife point: an attack that left him grappling with PTSD, anger and depression for the next 48 years of his life. Riding provided him the chance to clear his mind, manage his demons and find hours of peace on the rural roads he loves to travel. Hogs For Heroes felt it was important that this man continue riding and healing, and we put him on the first H-D Trike we’ve gifted to date.
COMING IN 2021...

One Harley Will be Gifted Compliments of Wisconsin's
Tavern League Members!
A chance New Year’s meeting with Keith Koehler, owner of The Keg & Patio in Wisconsin Dells, led to support, friendship, and the ability to roll out another Harley in 2021—fully paid for by Tavern League of Wisconsin (TLW) members! “It’s a natural tie for Wisconsin bars: Veterans, bikers, patriots and a local, Wisconsin charity— we love them all and they make up a huge part of our clientele.” shared Koehler, Third District President. “We can do this!” And he was off connecting with others to do just that.

Keith shared the plan first with his Third District Tavern League, who enthusiastically jumped on board, and then with State leadership, who followed suit, to fundraise the $22,000 needed to fully sponsor a bike gifting. A spring Convention roll-out was planned. Cool T-shirts with our logo were created by Sports Impressions in the Dells for bars to sell and direct proceeds to Hogs For Heroes. Further making dreams come true…the TLW joined forces with Wisconsin’s Capital Brewery to create a beer that, in a beautiful expression of gratitude to Veterans, would also rock our logo and direct a portion of sales to us. We were beyond stunned and excited, to say the least! And then...COVID. Plans were scrapped, modified and canceled again. Communications were hampered by changing focuses and restrictions. Members were losing family businesses and livelihoods in arguably one of the hardest times for their industry making sales, purchases and donations even tougher for all. And yet, under a scaled-back plan, they prevailed. 

Capital Brewery created a beer for us that had supporters combing the state for it! Wisconsinites consumed enough of this small batch brew in just four months for Captial to present us a check for $4,500! Adding to the effort, several County Tavern Leagues, particularly in the Third District, found ways to generously share with us in spite of the hardships they’re facing, and TLW Foundation’s Matching Funds have added to their efforts. T-shirt sales alone generated almost $8,500 to date! We are so deeply grateful for the collective, generous effort and can’t wait to put one more injured Wisconsin Veteran rider back on the road in 2021’s riding season, courtesy of the many different members of Wisconsin’s Tavern League. As contributions are still rolling in, when we introduce the Veteran receiving their sponsored bike, we'll be sure to list those contributors involved!

We LOVE our bars and restaurants and appreciate their efforts to stay open. We’ve encountered some of the most hard-working and generous people in this difficult year who are both grateful and compassionate. They are concerned about their guests and communities and they’ve gone through great effort, stress, and loss, to continue serving. They are our neighbors--business owners with families, responsibilities, and concerns--who, just like you and I,are trying to survive during these challenging times. Please, friends, continue to support your favorite local establishments in safe and generous ways.
Middleton, WI


Captial Brewery
This One
To WI Veterans
"The Hogs for Heroes Beer"
The concept made our jaws drop and then, when handed the first can, it reduced us to tears. Never, in our wildest dreams, did we imagine this. Capital Brewery's small batch, limited release Golden Ale was created specifically to support Wisconsin's injured Veterans through our nonprofit. It rolled out July 1 and Supporters immediately began searching for it, hounding bars, distributors and retailers to bring it in. Not only was the can a piece of patriotic art, it was a damn good, easy drinking craft beer. And get's limited, short run brought in $4,500 for our nonprofit...every penny of which goes straight toward another Bike and Veteran pairing. Thank you for drinking on our behalf!

Although production has stopped, some bars, liquor stores and grocers may still carry the beer. Due to it's limited nature...we absolutely encourage hoarding.

And to Capital Brewery...a giant thanks for your incredible support and,
more importantly, for caring for our Veterans. We are deeply honored.
Keep Your 2021 Eyes Peeled:
First Application Period Opens Late February

Our first application period will open sometime in late February, 2021 and our Advisory Board will select two recipients to roll out in May/June. A second, shorter application period will open in late spring to accommodate those just learning of our opportunity, and we will select at least one more to return to the road in July/August.

Interested? Head to our website for more information on our "Application & Selection" page. Click on the "Application Process" PDF link: there you can learn more about our qualifying criteria, process and expectations in advance. Only when we officially open our application periods will the actual materials be available to print, complete and mail in.

Remember...submitting your application once a year allows you to be considered for all gifting opportunities that occur in that calendar year without reapplying!
Consider Us as Your Beneficiary!
100% of your donation goes directly to the next Bike for a WI Veteran
Gearing up for another season of riding and want to share your charitable biker hearts with a new nonprofit?
Are you a Wisconsin business looking for its next local charity and want your dollar to stay in Wisconsin? Just feeling grateful and fortunate enough to be able to lift the lives of others? Consider us!

Hogs For Heroes is a registered 501(c)(3) WI nonprofit. Every single penny of your donation goes straight toward the next Bike & Veteran pairing--100%.

No salaries, overhead, gimmicks, or profit-gaining strategies. Your dollar stays in WI to assist our injured WI Veterans. Our Founding Family covers our few operational expenses so that your full donation goes directly to the next bike. Our Veterans deserve that.

We're good with whatever you think of!
Rides & Poker Runs,
Golf Outings,
Chapter Events,
Birthday Presents to Us,
Booths & Bike Nights,
Family Foundations,
Bake Sales...

your creative generosity can make a huge difference in another's life!
And remember... 100%
of your donation buys nothing but Bike!
Easiest Way EVER to Stretch Your Dollar For Good--
Make your shopping count even more. Buy whatever you or your business needs on AmazonSmile... and we can benefit from a portion of your totals--every time! Same great Amazon everything, made even better by helping others!

Sign up on (their charitable arm), choose Hogs For Heroes Wisconsin to benefit, and simply purchase your Amazon items through them. Easy as that!
That's our primary way of keeping you all in the know!