NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The roar of a Harley-Davidson, the open road, and the wind in your hair. For a group of New York City firefighters, this is not your typical vacation.
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“We’ve got five of us from the fire department’s motorcycle club. We’re going 5,000 miles out to Denver and back to raise money and awareness for the Hope for the Warriors Foundation,” said Firefighter Matthew Sabini of Engine 71 in the Bronx. “Unlike the Wounded Warriors, which is also another great organization, these guys are a little bit smaller and up and coming. So, we’re trying to get the word out about them and they do a lot more with the families.”
The Hope for the Warriors Foundation raises money for post-9/11 veterans.
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They’re calling this odyssey Rumble to the Rockies, and they’re looking for donations – perhaps a penny a mile.
“It’s really not much in the scheme of things for people who are giving up so much that I think 50 bucks is, that’s nothing,” he said.
From a city scarred by terror and a fire department stung by loss, it’s a gesture of solidarity.
“We’d like to pay our respects throughout the country,” he said. “We’re all Americans, we’re all going through all this together. It may be different events in different places where these horrible things happen. But never think it can happen, and it happens in your backyard and it’s devastating when it does.”
On the way home, they’ll also make a visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
“So, our brothers from the 14th Battalion are going to come down and meet us there. It’ll kind of be like a homecoming, hang out with the troops, a little party and really looking forward to that. They’re really a whole other class of American. They deserve all the care and attention that we can give them,” he said. “First words out of mouth is ‘Thank you’ every time, especially when you go to like Walter Reed and a lot of them are just, they’re kids. They’re 18, 19-years-old and it really takes your breath away. Like I said, their outlook is usually really good.”