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Armed Forces Tribute bikes bring out stories from veterans of all generations

Armed Forces Tribute Motorcycles
Posted at 7:56 AM, Jul 09, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Jay Allen has been racing motorcycles for decades.

But since 2012, he has been sharing some special bikes with veterans across the country.

“In 2012, Rolling Thunder had their 25th anniversary, 555,000 motorcycles followed these bikes out of the Pentagon parking lot to the Vietnam wall,” says Allen.

The bikes were at building 50 Monday at the Tucson VA, telling the story behind the bikes, while also helping veterans tell their stories as well.

Dozens of veterans stopped and took pictures with the bikes throughout the morning.

“It makes me feel great. People are willing to take time out of their day to show appreciation and support. So that's what it's all about,” says Shawn Amen, an army veteran.

But for Allen, as accomplished of a racer as he is, bringing these bikes around the country gives him the most satisfaction out of anything he has done.

“It's the best thing I've ever done, and I've done and I've done a lot of cool stuff in my life, but I love touring with the VA with the Armed Forces Tribute bikes,” says Allen.

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Blake Phillips is a reporter for KGUN 9. Originally from St. Louis, Mo., Blake grew up in Sierra Vista. During his college tenure at the Missouri School of Journalism, Blake worked for the NBC affiliate KOMU-TV in Columbia. He is excited to return to a place he calls home and give back to the community in which he grew up. Share your story ideas and important issues with Blake by emailing blake.phillips@kgun9.com.