Combat Center hosts 4th Annual Freedom to Ride

Bill Smith, Combat Center drug demand reductionist, gets participants of the 4th Annual Ride for Freedom, Freedom to Ride (Sober) Motorcycle Ride ready to return to the installation after having lunch at Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneer Town, Calif., May 18.

The 4th Annual Ride for Freedom, Freedom to Ride (Sober) Motorcycle Ride took place aboard the Combat Center, on May 18. The event was held in an effort to spread awareness for safe and sober riding.

The ride began in front of the Protestant Chapel aboard the Combat Center, where a safety brief and prayer was conducted by Bill Smith, base drug demand reductionist prior to riding.

“One of the reasons we do this is to take a long, sober drive to go out and have a good time,” Smith said. “It gives new riders a chance to ride safely in a pack and show them how to navigate the area. It’s like 101 Days of Summer—except sober!” 

The riders convoyed to Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneertown, Calif. where they enjoyed lunch together. 

Carleen Dickson, alcohol prevention specialist, has had a large part in the organization of the event for the past four years. She reminded riders that the day was all about safety and what was best for them.

Marines who attended the event were happy to participate in a good initiative that raised awareness for a cause they could get behind.  

“I liked where the ride ended up,” said Lance Cpl. Edward Dixon IV, light armored vehicle crewman, Comanche Company, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. “When I found out I could get the day off while raising awareness for sober and safe riding, I was more than excited to do it.”

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