It’s easy to think of this organization as just a group who ride their motorcycles to Washington DC every Memorial Day weekend. While their mission statement focuses on the POW/MIA issues, as you can see; THEY ARE A WHOLE LOT MORE:
· In 2007, Rolling ThunderÒ Charities, Inc. was established as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt, non-profit organization which enables individuals and corporations to receive a tax deduction for funds donated to Rolling Thunder® Charities, Inc. These funds are used for veterans, active duty military and their families in need of help. No officers of Rolling Thunder® Charities, Inc. receive compensation; we all donate our time.
- Rolling Thunder® Charities, Inc. spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in financial aid, food, clothing and other essentials to veterans, homeless veterans and veterans’ families in need, women’s crisis centers and toys for children.
- In 2005, Rolling Thunder®, Inc. united with the National Alliance of POW/MIA Families to petition the U.S. Government to use the designation “Prisoner of War/Missing in Action” (POW/MIA) – a designation recognized by the Geneva Conventions – not “Missing/Captured”. This will ensure that prisoners’ rights and protections remain consistent under the Geneva Conventions.
- Expenditures exceed over half a million dollars a year, nationwide, to educate the public and increase awareness about the POW/MIA issue and other injustices suffered by veterans. The organization regularly donates POW/MIA flags to local area schools, youth groups, non-profit organizations, special interest groups and organizes flag raising ceremonies. Veterans speak to youth groups about the honor of serving their country and educating them about the POW/MIA issue.
- Rolling Thunder®, Inc. sponsors search missions into Southeast Asia for POW/MIAs and the remains of those killed in action.
- Thousands of hours are logged in by Rolling Thunder®, Inc. members at local VA hospitals nationwide. Members visit and provide moral support to nursing home veterans and patients suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
- Rolling Thunder®, Inc. helped facilitate the publishing of a POW/MIA U.S. postage stamp through the U.S. Postal Service that displayed dog tags with the declaration – “POW & MIA – NEVER FORGOTTEN”
- Rolling Thunder®, Inc. participated in the dedication of the World War II Memorial in 2004 and assisted with organizing the World War II parade that took place on that historic date.
With that said, let’s enjoy this year’s thunder: