One Bike at a Time. One Hero at a Time.

And it's Time...



Introducing Recipient: #42

Army Veteran Joshua Perkins

of Suring, Wisconsin



Joshua Perkins, of Suring, WI, was barely able to hang on, let alone reach the pegs, when he jumped on his first of many rides with his Dad. The thrill immediately took root in every fiber of his young being and created a lifelong passion. His parents told him he couldn’t buy a motorcycle until he was on his own and could pay for his own insurance; and so, Joshua bided his time planning. In 1995, he was a senior in high school sitting in the school’s auditorium one day, unexpectedly enthralled with the Army Recruiter’s patriotic speech and description of life in the Army. A career, freedom, guns, travel…and a paycheck? It checked every box for independence and excitement; and he enlisted in the U.S Army. 

Boot camp was tough on the Infantryman: a broken wrist just six months prior was re-injured by the physical demands of training. Joshua’s spirit was determined and focused on success; and he pushed through the physical challenge and pain it caused to earn his place. With Advanced Individual Training complete, he no sooner landed at Fort Riley, Kansas, when he withdrew his first $1,000 from a very sparse account to buy his first motorcycle. He left the lot with no idea how to ride and racked up hours practicing and building his passion. It wasn’t much of a bike, but it was the start he could afford and the next step toward the Harley dream and culture he wanted.   

The months rolled on and in August, 1996, while training in the Mojave Desert, Joshua jumped off a 5-ton truck and struck his tailbone on a metal protrusion which required six months of rehabilitation. The jarring back injury, compounded later by years of gear and service demands, caused the degenerative back pain he deals with today. Again determined to soldier on, he didn’t let it hold him back, then or now. Young and anxious for the experiences the Recruiter sold, and without responsibility or dependents to concern himself with, the then 19 year old eagerly looked toward his first deployment.  

In 1997, Joshua headed to Bosnia for seven months on a “peace-keeping” mission. Though the Bosnian War was technically over, the country remained viciously challenged by religious factions, violence and death. Snipers, caches of destructive weaponry, and terrain littered with landmines were more common than not, as was the brutal public killing and bombing of civilians. Unprepared for the sights and actions required of him, Joshua quickly learned to push away the emotions and anxiety and to focus on the job at hand. Unfortunately, the invasive memories would settle deep within and patiently wait for their chance to reappear. Upon his return to Fort Riley, although leadership made it a point to offer counseling to the group for the traumatic experience, it was his motorcycle that offered him the therapy he needed. Joshua rode as much as he could to release the demons and clear his mind of the strain they created. Wanting more power in his ride, he upgraded to a Honda CBR 900 soon thereafter, reveling in the adrenaline it created and the control it required, but never losing sight of his “someday” dream.   

Joshua was back just a few months before he left for a one-year tour to South Korea which, by comparison, was a “piece of cake” providing security escort for a Colonel on base. His weekends were typically free; and he hiked to clear his mind and achieved his Black Belt for physical release. He returned home refreshed and settled, and jumped back on his bike to keep it that way.  Joshua finished out his contract and, wanting a college education, transitioned into the Army National Guard in 1999.

Joshua moved into civilian life juggling construction jobs, classes and Guard commitments all while still riding to stay focused and fulfilled. Adjustment was awkward: social interactions and communication were different from Army life, but he adapted with time and his quiet nature. One day in the campus bookstore, Joshua saw a woman who took his breath away; and almost immediately realized the hole in his life– love. He joined the campus security team for the chance to meet and work with her; and four months later, he made Erika his wife and welcomed her two children as his own. They settled comfortably into their new family; and Joshua loved the blended life they created. The couple enjoyed riding together and made date-rides a priority…until the weight of bills and the need for a family minivan required Joshua sell his motorcycle. Heartache aside, the couple focused on their educational paths and expanding their family; and when they longed for time on the road, the two would borrow his father’s motorcycle to strengthen their marriage and shape their dreams. In 2005, Joshua was nearing the completion of his contract when he learned his separation would be denied by a stop-loss order and he would, instead, quickly deploy to Iraq for one year. That very same day Erika would tell him she was expecting their first child together. 

In June, 2005, two months after orders, Joshua landed at Camp Navistar, Kuwait. From there he would provide convoy security and lead a squad throughout Iraq delivering supplies to other bases. Two weeks after boots on the ground, their Company lost two men to IEDs: and from that point on, the constant barrage of attacks and unending flow of injuries and casualties quickly became his horrific norm. They rolled across war-torn land that highlighted its aftermath amongst the dead and destroyed. Their convoy line was typically two miles long, often moving at night to minimize threats the public posed. RPG’s and roadside IED’s dotted their paths, some noticeable and avoidable, others were not. Joshua spent hours sitting in highly-targeted convoys, paralyzed by radio calls from soldiers ahead and behind him under attack. Guilt, frustration and angst grew as emotions of long ago mixed with the grisly of today. And then they’d move again, staying at different bases in tents or connex quarters in the hot, arid country, only to repeat the same tense cycle over and over. For a year.

As if Joshua’s daily life didn’t have enough pressure, his youngest brother, a member of his Guard Unit, deployed with him to the same base. They traveled in separate convoys and different routes with little time together; but ever the protector, Joshua increasingly fretted over the safety of his family, here and back there. On January 3, 2006 at 0300, his two different worlds collided and Joshua was awoken to listen in as his first daughter was born.  Amongst the horrors of war, he found himself tearful with joy for the new life that was his; and equally angered for the missed opportunity and another toll taken. Without the ability to control or impact much, his mind began wandering with thoughts of “what if” for all he cared about and felt responsible for; and he could feel the anger building deep within. And then…he began questioning “the whys”. All Joshua could do was turn to his faith for strength and prayed for the safety of all he loved and cared about. His prayers seemingly answered, he completed his deployment and returned home.  

Returning home was everything Josh had prayed for: he’d made it home intact, along with his brother. His reunion with his wife and family, and first embrace with his daughter, filled his pained heart. His contract now ended, Joshua quickly closed that chapter, sealing its pages deeply within, and refocused on building their lives outside of service. He struggled finding good work and moved through different construction projects to make ends meet, growing more irritable each time. Although grateful to be home, he couldn’t understand the challenge in fitting back in. His temper was short, his patience lacking and his communications hurt others more than they helped–all of which began damaging family bonds. Joshua struggled silently: choosing not to talk about his time or the memories that plagued him or the anger that filled him. Despite the joy in welcoming their fourth child, home life grew tense and familial interactions strained further under an invisible hold he wouldn’t release. Joshua turned to alcohol and smoking to cope with his pain and anger, both of which deteriorated his already fragile family relationships. It wasn’t until he hit his rock bottom and was on the brink of losing all he loved that he finally acknowledged his struggle and sought help from the VA. In 2016, Joshua again summoned a faith that had been greatly tested and surrendered his life to his Lord’s will for guidance.  

Joshua has since done his best to only move forward. With years of counseling, he’s learned healthy coping mechanisms that keep his PTSD in check. He found steady employment as a Sawyer at the local lumber mill with a group he enjoys working with. Josh worked hard to rebuild trust and acceptance with his children; and he and Erika attended marriage counseling to restore their relationship. Realizing he still needed a different kind of therapy–one for his heart, mind and soul, Joshua finally bought his first Harley and regained the healing joy that a dream-come-true can offer. Erika loves riding almost as much as he does, and together they again found peace and healing on the road. With an improved understanding of himself and his traumatic experiences, he began volunteering within his church, his children’s school and within the nursing home. As his passion for serving others rose, he pursued his Masters Degree in Biblical Studies. Amongst the many good steps forward he was making, life with growing kids and a home in need of repairs eventually required he sell his Harley to pay the bills. Arguably his hardest day ever, it was the right and responsible choice; and the couple set upon a plan to save for their next bike. Unfortunately life has done nothing but intervene these past four years to exhaust their “someday” savings. Hogs For Heroes believed it was time we intervened instead.

Joshua loves spending time with their four children, two of whom are still in high school, and their three spirited grandchildren. Outside of work at the lumber mill and as his congregation’s Youth Director, he enjoys fishing, kayaking and disc golf. He considers his life full and blessed, but there remains a hole in his heart without riding. While we hand over keys to just one person, it was clear to our Advisory Board that the healing our gift provides would not only help Joshua stay on the good path he’s forged, it would further invest in their marriage and family. Joshua never saw us coming, but we were an answer to one of the many prayers he’s offered up. He’s long dreamed of a touring bike to comfortably take them on longer trips; and it just so happened that his local dealer, Doc’s Harley-Davidson in Bonduel, WI, had a plethora of beautiful bikes to choose from. His struggle was picking which fabulous color captured his heart: and in the end it was his love of chrome, and joy in polishing it, that connected him to the 2021 Ultra Limited in Midnight Crimson, with only 6,000 miles on it. Our friends at Doc’s not only made this dream come true for Joshua, but brought that bike in under budget for us. That means more fuel for the next Bike and Veteran pairing.

Friends, it's going to be a Double Gifting! Joshua will be our 42nd Recipient in just eight years of gifting Harleys and he will receive his keys in a joint ceremony with our 43rd Recipient on Saturday, May 11 at The Schoolhouse Bar in Mountain, WI– a point in between his home in Suring and that of his new Brother’s in Three Lakes, Wisconsin. The Presentation of Keys Ceremony will start at 12:00, but we’ll start hanging out at 11:00. Come on over and catch up with friends old and new as we honor all of our Veterans by supporting the lives of these two. Thrilled with the chance to host and support our mission, the Schoolhouse Bar will have a donation lunch available and will share the proceeds with us!  


It's Our First Air Force Veteran Recipient!

Meet #43:

Major Scott Williams

of Three Lakes, Wisconsin


A Gift To Change, If Not Save, This Veteran's Life

Scott Williams grew up in the small town of Eudora, Kansas, with hard working parents trying to make ends meet. He struggled to fit in “normal” high school traditions, always seeking to be different, smarter, better. A bit of a loner, his challenges ironically lit a fire in him to out-achieve others. Scott was inquisitive and bright, quiet by nature, athletic and resourceful; but he was a deeply unhappy teenager. Like many, he felt stuck; and all he wanted was to get out.  Scott explored options in high school, considered the Army, and then dared to consider the United States Air Force Academy. Laughed at and discouraged, he and his mom worked even harder to polish his application for the rare honor that would become his. The small town kid shocked everyone. Scott eagerly accepted the offer and left town in June, 1995, on his very first airplane ride, for four years at the USAF Academy in Colorado. Told to keep his head down and not stand out to survive, Scott chose the opposite path and stepped forward a completely different person. He would be confident and strong; no longer quiet and depressed. He would amass acceptance and earn respect; and he would use his voice to advocate and advance through leadership positions, trainings and missions to become his best version. Scott never looked back; and instead, embraced his new identify in the call sign given him: “LB” for “Little Bastard”, and plowed through every challenge put in front of him. 

LB lived a larger-than-life story and he developed the character to go with it. His was a fast paced lifestyle, unpredictable and up-ending. Airborne. Jumpmaster Instructor. Air Assault. Pilot. Advocate. Diplomat. LB was a combat-flying, Special Operations force: thriving on high-risk, high-reward missions and feeding off the adrenaline created. He was intense, competitive and achievement-oriented in approach to all things. LB was spirited, feisty and self-assured with a healthy dose of conscience. Cool in aviators and a flight jacket, LB even rode a motorcycle. He much preferred the flight suit to the dress uniform that boasted 30 medals; and yes, he also got the girl—meeting Greta in a dog park while still in training and marrying three years later. 

Between his four years in the USAF Academy, his 7 1/2 in active duty as a Rescue Pilot, and his 6 1/2 years in the New York Air National Guard, and his time following separation, we can’t cover all he did. But we can tell you that in his years of service, LB racked up over 2,000 flight hours with half of them in night vision. He estimates at least 500,000 miles under his belt and has circumnavigated the globe, covering roughly 300 special operations and combat command missions. LB was deployed at least 12 times to combat zones, as well as in covert operations he can’t acknowledge. LB stepped foot in countless countries including both our Northern and Southern caps. But perhaps his career pinnacle, he helped develop the Sexual Assault Training for the USAF Academy, saw it spread through the Air Force, personally taught over 75 classes and served as a Victim’s Advocate. 

Time and accomplishments like this don’t come without a steep personal price tag. In 1998, still in training, LB survived two major accidents: the first a mid-air collision with another jumper in a free fall. He was lucky to walk away with dislocated ribs and a back injury. Six months later on a night jump, another’s equipment mixed in air with LB’s: his chute collapsed and he fell 150 feet to the ground. Determined not to lose his medical rating, he walked away with a severe concussion and physical injuries to his back and elbow that wouldn’t fully make themselves known until several months later. LB rebuilt physically and fought to maintain eligibility status, then moved into Pilot Training and was eventually stationed at over eight different bases over the next seven years. It would be 22 years later that he would realize the long-term impact of his traumatic brain injury and structural damage to his back, knees and elbow…let alone the highly invasive PTSD that would begin to build. LB had no time for injuries or weakness to derail his plans; and so, he began an arduous career of hiding his pain—physical and mental.

Truth be told, being a pilot was not his passion; but it was a job, a stressful and demanding job at that, and LB excelled. Specialized as a Search & Rescue Pilot, LB flew the plane that supported helicopter refueling midair following critical operations. They worked clandestine missions, combat deployments, rescues and disasters. His HC-130 Rescue Aircraft carried 15,000 gallons of fuel and was without weapons, but frequently took artillery rounds as it “stalled” mid-air for refueling. In between flights and trainings, LB volunteered for every extra assignment and opportunity to learn he could. From 2002 to 2012, LB regularly flew into geographic areas now deemed toxic zones and was repeatedly exposed to the area’s environmental and chemical toxins. After a severe sinusitis in Turkey required nasal surgery and his soft palate removal, he’s been plagued by sleep apnea since. Fast forward to the present, and he struggles with exposure-related facial nerve neuropathy and neurological challenges that haunt, and limit, his abilities and comfort today. 

In the midst of job demands and movements across the world, life offered its own rollercoaster of experiences for LB and his family. In 2004, while living in New York, and expecting their first child, he and Greta went through a catastrophic home fire and lost everything except their three lives. LB estimates that he was away from home roughly 75% of the time; and after realizing he wasn’t supposed to be home that fateful night, his mind spiraled with concern and turmoil, leaving him vulnerable and depressed. There was no room for weakness in his work; and so LB pushed down the surfacing emotions by throwing himself into work. Working as many hours possible allowed him to both excel and escape his own thoughts.  In 2006 they welcomed their second child; and mixed with great joy and love came more signs of PTSD breaking through the cracks of his strong, collected facade. For years LB had successfully crafted several work-arounds to hide his physical ailments and keep his flight status. As he found himself falling deeper into depression, his mind filled with thoughts of suicide; and the more pain and sleeplessness he endured, the more prevalent those thoughts became. LB was worn down, despondent and angry his depressive family genes had found their way to him. It would only be with the benefit of hindsight years later that he would he realize his own drive both masked and exacerbated his mental health struggle.  Panic seeped in: and rather than seek help and risk eligibility, LB locked it all down, transitioned to Gabreski Air National Guard in Westhampton Beach, New York and did his best simply to survive.  

With an impressive resume and ethic, the Guardsman quickly earned the respect and trust of those around him and rose to the rank of Major. It was LB’s nature to immerse himself in work; and the busier he was, the more he avoided the dark places in his mind. In 2009, LB sustained a critical injury to his dominant hand severing one finger completely, and nearly another, leaving both with extensive, permanent nerve and tendon damage. Although surgery restored good function, the injury abruptly ended his flying career. Life as a pilot was all LB had known for the past 13 years; and desperate to stay employed within the Guard, he became their Mission Support and Security Forces Commander. LB pivoted hard to reinvent himself this time and take on life behind a desk.  LB never flew another plane after that far-reaching day: the injury severed more than just his fingers…it slowly separated LB’s identity as well.  

In 2010, LB was selected for a two-year deployment to South Africa, a highly coveted position within the NYANG, working at the U.S. Embassy as the US Military Diplomat to the Ambassador. As the family moved over, their shipping container of material goods and furnishings was hijacked by local thieves; and losing everything once again, they rebuilt again. In acclimating to their new home, the family grew interested in wildlife and began volunteering in anti-poaching efforts. As his contract neared completion, the NYANG struggled to find him a job; and he wasn’t eager to return to New York. After 17 dedicated years, he separated from service frustrated with how he was treated; and believing they could make a better impact on the world if they stayed, he and Greta created, and self-funded, an anti-poaching nonprofit. Although they didn’t amass funds, their efforts gained sponsorships, media offers and productive traction…and eventually, the attention of illicit traffickers who began threatening his family. After six years of hard work they’d exhausted their personal savings and shut down their nonprofit in 2018.  Deflated and now a mere shadow of who he once was….Scott Williams re-emerged. Vulnerable and exhausted, yet fiercely protective, he realized the need to provide differently for his family. They packed the few items they wanted and moved to Three Lakes, Wisconsin to settle near Greta’s family.  Amongst the many things they left behind was “LB”, a painfully conscious choice Scott made to bury his military persona. 

Scott returned to the States a shattered person; and he sadly started, yet again, to rebuild their life and his identity. They found a home, work and public high school for the kids, but readjustment was hard on them all. Scott took the first job he could find, then found better, but struggled every step with civilian interactions, wanting to push and expecting better of others. He moved through jobs, obtained a Masters degree and even created his own drone business; but amongst it all, Scott was miserable. He hurt physically, struggled with suicide ideation and became consumed with deep anger and frustration that fed his overwhelming depression.  Memories and nightmares began flooding in, reminding him of the loss he felt and the resentment he held. After years of resisting help, it wasn’t until 2020 that Scott finally decided to pursue his VA benefits and get treatment for his PTSD and physical ailments. It’s been a long haul with a quick demise these last few years and Scott eventually found himself fully disabled and unemployable.  

After the toll of a high-impact life, Scott courageously acknowledges that he is an at-risk Veteran; and every day is a challenge and battle that must be won.  Humbled by life’s changes, he welcomes counseling, has modified his life, and adheres to a complex schedule of medications and appointments as they search for answers to neurological challenges believed to be a result of physical injuries and exposures throughout his career. Scott’s self-esteem has fallen many rungs from days gone by; and his current lifestyle is a far cry from his past. It is still, however, Scott’s courage, his tenacity and his constant drive for improvement that summons the strength he needs to push forward and the courage it takes to help others. Scott and Greta have been married for 21 years, and what a rock of support she has been as together they’ve navigated an unbelievable life. Their two children are their world’s focus and pride and joy.  Scott has been teaching his son to ride and has spent time coaching his daughters track team; but the best thing they’ve been doing is talking about life. They talk openly in their family about his mental health struggles, just as they do his physical, hoping to reduce its stigma and proactively address a healthy response.  As Scott has explored his needs and future in depth, what he realized was missing was his ability to ride. 

Scott grew up riding dirt bikes. His grandfather collected vintage motorcycles and Scott spent hours admiring them, listening to his stories and learning to wrench. As a USAF graduation present to himself, he bought a new 1999 H-D Road King, loaded it up and put on 11,000 miles in the nine months before it was stolen. Scott had lost and rebuilt so much during the years, that purchasing a new model was never a responsible option. After settling in Wisconsin he found a 1968 H-D Sprint 250 to wrench on and ride locally, but it wasn’t the bike to provide the miles he longed for, nor the comfort that he needed. And while he’d borrow bikes throughout the years and participated in rides when he could, it wasn’t the consistent answer he needed to settle his mind, release his pain and return some joy to his life. Hogs For Heroes believed our gift could be the tool that not only supports his healing, it could be the one that changes, if not saves, his life. 

After sharing our news, we sent Scott out to test ride models and find his perfect fit. On his way home from visiting their son, they swung into Milwaukee H-D just to throw a leg over a few bikes to hone in his search closer to home. And wouldn’t you know this Northwoods guy found his love on the first bike he rode. This Reef Blue and Vivid Black Heritage Softail Classic is a beauty with its blacked out frame and wheels; and it is a new, 2022 holdover model with only 12 miles. It immediately captured Scott’s heart; and once he rode it said, “…it was like coming home”. Nothing else even compared after that. This bike was listed within our budget, and our friends at Milwaukee H-D not only took that price down to support our efforts, they paid the freight cost to move it up north for us.  

Scott will be our 43rd Recipient and he will receive his keys during a double-gifting ceremony with Recipient #42. Join us on Saturday, May 11, 2024 at The Schoolhouse Bar in Mountain, WI. Our Presentation of Keys Ceremony will start at 12:00 pm, but we'll start hanging out at 11:00. Come on over and help us welcome two more injured Veteran riders back to the healing road. The Schoolhouse Bar will be offering a donation lunch and sharing the proceeds with us! 

Click here for a PDF of the flier to share or print and post!






What better way to spend a Sunday than behind your bars helping others! Our friends at Sloppy Joes & Smoke on The Water sister restaurants are crafting another spectacular event just for us. Put on some Lake Country miles with cool stops and join the LIVE MUSIC FESTIVALwith the amazing Milwaukee Tool Shed upon return to Smoke on The Water in Lake Okauchee. Registration opens at 9 at Sloppy Joes in Hubertus, KSU at 11.

Hit up the ONLINE EVENT for details and early registration (it includes an end of ride meal if you're fast enough!) by clicking HERE!

And for those keeping score at home.. Our 44th Presentation of Keys will follow the ride at 5:00 pm and we will gift this Veteran the Harley made possible by last year's fundraising event and amazing supporters!





Our IUOE Local 139 friends are hosting their annual Poker Run to benefit Hogs For Heroes, and exploring the beautiful roads of Wisconsin's Driftless region.

New this year, a Separate UTV Route doubling our fun & support!

It's OPEN TO EVERYONE and trust us-- this is one well-done ride with unbelievable swag and raffles... and a BIG chance for a bike gifting at ride's end, compliments of their stunning fundraising in 2023!

Catch the event details by clicking here!





The VFW Post 6003's Veterans, Riders Group and area friends are working hard again to make this one heck of a ride around Wisco's beautiful rural roads. They are a great, welcoming Post that is home to two of our Recipients. We'll roll in and out of here, and return for dinner and LIVE MUSIC!

Stay tuned for more details, friends!




The family and friends behind

this ride come together to celebrate a rider's life well-lived by paying it forward and helping our Veterans... specifically our nonprofit this year!


Watch for More Upcoming Events on Our News Page


Always Remember...

Freedom Isn't Free.

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