About Us

Founding Board

Kevin and Audra, Craig and Michelle. Two brothers and their wives. Two ride and two don’t. All four solid Wisconsinites. Parents to a collective mass of five amazing people. One lawyer, one nurse, one government employee, one communications specialist. Not one of us served, but all are grateful to those who have protected our freedoms, and continue to do so, on our behalf. Looking to combine two long time passions of Veteran support and motorcycle riding, Kevin had been looking for a way to make a large, impactful difference in a small number of lives rather than a slight difference across many. In the fall of 2014, he read an article on the therapeutic benefits of motorcycle ownership amongst Veterans with PTSD, particularly when faced with different challenges upon returning to civilian life.  Choosing to specifically focus on Wisconsin Veterans, Kevin’s vision came to life and Hogs for Heroes was born.

Working in conjunction with everyday citizens, businesses and other veteran’s organizations, we have already seen tremendous results for Wisconsin Veterans. Hogs for Heroes is truly a grassroots effort, impacting the lives of our veterans and those that support them. Please join us on our journey as we continue to positively impact the life of another deserving Veteran rider.

Our Advisory Board

Enlisting volunteer members of our community, an Advisory Board collaborates with and provides direction to our Founding Board in three primary areas:

  1. Participate in decision making as it pertains to the selection of a Veteran candidate in the gifting process.
  2. Advise on any operational or strategic matters brought to them by the Founding Board.
  3. Serve as community liaisons, fundraising advocates and organizational ambassadors for Hogs For Heroes throughout the state of Wisconsin.
Learn More

Latest News

Hogs For Heroes came to life in late 2014 with a small family vision and our nonprofit designation. We raised our first dollar in the spring of 2015 and hoped to reach our goal of giving one Harley a year. Right on plan, we gifted our first bike in May of 2016…and with the close of our 2021 riding season, this small family nonprofit put a total of 22 injured Wisconsin Veteran riders back on the road with beautiful Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Riding is an alternative therapy and our gifts are the tools by which one gains it’s healing benefits. These pandemic times have been tough on everyone and despite this, you, our amazing Supporters, have generously shared to provide these life-changing gifts to struggling Veterans. In 2021 alone, you returned SIX injured Veteran riders back to the road! That’s six more lives fractured in service that will regain peace, freedom and control from riding. That’s six more families who will benefit from their loved one’s healing gains. And that’s six more Veterans that will reconnect with the supportive brotherhood found in riding…all because a motorcycle re-entered their lives.

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WE GIFT MORE THAN JUST A MOTORCYCLE
We work year round to raise funds for bikes and are currently fundraising for our 2022 Giftings. FOLLOW US & SHARE US on Facebook—this is how we communicate most news! The more others know what we’re doing, the faster we can make our vision a healing reality for another injured WI Veteran rider.

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AND JUST ANNOUNCED: #30, ARMY NATIONAL GUARD VETERAN NICK BREWER TO GET KEYS TO KEEP HIM ON THE ROAD! Nick Brewer, of Oshkosh, WI, is our eighth recipient of the year; and our gift will replace his broken, unreliable and small-fitting 1999 Kawasaki he currently has…with his first Harley-Davidson motorcycle, and a kick-ass Ultra Limited at that! With this upgrade, Nick will recapture the passion he has for riding, along with the stress-relieving and mind clearing needs this Veteran has. Nick spent seven years in the Guard, and his last year in the hostile, southern region of Iraq as a helicopter refueler. The hostility, repeated threats and dangers left him struggling with PTSD and depression, and a combative training exercise gone wrong left him with two herniated discs that took ten years to surgically repair. Nick returned home in significant pain and with easy signs of his emotional turmoil cracking through his tough persona. He took a riding class for the release he needed, and on the 30 year-old Honda his brother-in-law gave him, learned just what kind of healing power the road could provide him. Using his inner turmoil and counseling to push through his challenges, Nick successfully graduated with two degrees, is raising a young family, and has devoted his professional career to serving Veterans. Riding, however, on a dependable bike and one that allows him to capture those long distance miles he longs for, is out of reach for this young family’s tight budget. We felt that our healing gift would enhance Nick’s personal struggle and support his efforts to be a better family man and Veteran’s advocate. Unique to his bike, it has been fully paid for by…wait for it…quilters across our nation! In a unique fundraiser out of Primitive Gatherings Quilt Shop in Larsen, WI, quilters created a patriotic quilt and in lieu of paying for the pattern and tutorial, donated to the fundraiser’s goal of sponsoring a bike. They more than did so, and raised over $43,000 for us! We will gift this bike on their beautiful grounds on August 7 2022. Read Nicks story here and catch his Gifting Ceremony invitation here.

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BREAKING NEWS: WE JUST PULLED AN UNSUSPECTING #29 OUT OF THE CROWD AND RODE THE TRIKE HE NEEDED TO STAY ON THE ROAD RIGHT UP TO THE STAGE! MEET MARINE & ARMY VETERAN KEVIN ROPSON: Kevin Ropson, of Wrightstown, WI shared this in his application: “I’ve been riding since I was 18. That’s 43 years of wind therapy. I rode while I was at bootcamp, in between deployments, and while at home. I’ve road in wind, rain, snow and sun. My bike is my refuge; it’s my place and my release. I’ve had many bikes through the years. Unfortunately I’m 61, my back is getting worse and I’m having trouble keeping it up when I stop, getting the kickstand up and backing it up. I know my two wheel days are numbered, and I can not imagine my life without my much needed road therapy…and we don’t have the means to handle another payment.” Hogs For Heroes does. Since we knew what he needed, we covertly worked with his wife to plan the surprise, buy the pristine 2014 H-D TriGlide with only 3,300 miles on it, and then surprised him with our healing gift in front of his CVMA Brotherhood. Between the Marine Corps and the Army Reserves, Kevin had 19 years of service in when in 2003, at age 41, and in his last year before he was eligible for retirement, he was deployed to Kuwait to drive convoy supply missions into Northern Iraq and back. Life in a combat zone frayed every one of his nerves, affected his mental health, and physically compromised his already aging body, eventually forcing military retirement. Learn more about Kevin, his service and his strength in moving forward by clicking here.

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#28: NAVY RESERVIST KEVIN KUHN: As a child Kevin Kuhn of Abrams, WI admired the uniformed Veterans who walked his parade and knew he would be like them one day. In 2008 he joined the Navy and left for boot camp one week later. After completing his individual training as a SeaBee, he transitioned to the Navy Reserves for a home-life balance, learned to ride and bought his first motorcycle, and then deployed to Kuwait and Afghanistan six months later. His Battalion built Command Outpost Sanjaray in the midst of war, insurgents and primitive conditions. He returned home with debilitating back pain that he pushed through…and a deep depression that he ignored. It wasn’t until he learned of another deployment to Afghanistan in 2015 that he found himself happy again and excited for the structure and brotherhood he thrived in. His second year-long tour, however, aggravated his degenerative back disease and left him with a broken ankle and damaged sinuses that would cause sleep apnea and migraines for the rest of his years. Returning home, however, left him struggling even more as he bottled up memories and emotions and fell further into depression and suicide ideation. He rode as much as he could through it all, but it was connecting with Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association (CVMA) that gave him the support and understanding he needed to continue pushing forward. With an Electra Glide that is unreliable and nearing its end of life, Kevin’s greatest fear is the breakdown that makes it his final ride and the loss of membership that would mean. As family needs, debt and a limited income do not allow Kevin to buy another bike, Hogs for Heroes stepped in…and we chose to keep this Veteran riding to support his mental health and commitment to serving in a different capacity. Read Kevin’s story here.

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#27: ARMY SERGEANT ZACH BAYS: Zach Bays of Berlin, Wi, dreamed of joining the Army for as long as he can remember. He enlisted at age 17, completed boot camp the summer before his senior year and left for advanced training school after graduating…but not before spending every day of his summer riding his new 500 Ninja sport bike. A Biomedical-Electronic Technician, Zack waited and hoped for his time to deploy. In 2007 he was sent Afghanistan for 15 months to fly around the country to inspect and attend to the medical equipment on bases. Medical equipment that was attached to injured Brothers and Sisters. Images and emotions quickly built a warehouse in Zach’s mind that affected his sleep, and caused him to become anxious, angry and depressed. Back in the states and unable to seek mental health support, he turned to his bike and rode to clear his mind of demons. He deployed again in 2010, this time to Iraq where he again attended to the equipment saving his families lives, and all the old memories and struggles mixed with the new and, at his lowest point, Zach found himself staring at his weapon in his room for four hours. He sought help, was quickly medivaced back to the states, and placed in a medical review evaluation to determine service continuation. Within a year he was medically retired with PTSD and returned home to Wisconsin with his wife to begin civilian employment. He floundered from job to job, saw his marriage dissolve, and had his bike stolen from his porch. He efforted on, but 17 jobs in 10 years left him unable to get another bike. In 2017 he met his current wife, and with her gentle support, Zach learned to communicate more, take up counseling and get another bike. He also learned to barber and started two Veteran-owned businesses. But when they learned their family would be expanding again, Zach sold his Harley for the minivan they needed, and although working steadily, has not been in a position to put a bike above his family’s needs. Hogs For Heroes felt that getting back on the road to continue his healing and celebrate his success was just what this Veteran needed. Read Zach’s story here.

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#26: STAFF SERGEANT JEREMIAH SCHROEDER: For lack of a better plan, Jeremiah Schroeder of Appleton, WI, joined the Marine Corps with a buddy in 2001. After successfully becoming a Firefighter and Crash Fire Rescue Specialist, he knew he had found his purpose and set his sights on a military career. Two deployments to Iraq later, a growing family and degenerative disc disease to his back with sciatic radiculopathy redirected his course to the Marine Reserves after 12 years active duty. Riding had helped him move through his mind’s conflict and provided a release from structured military life. However, relocating his family and starting anew required he sell his Harley in 2013 to buy a home: a hard loss he thought he’d correct after settling. In twists of fate that he couldn’t see coming, that change started a long line of broken plans, pain and anxiety, and a frustratingly long string of failed civilian jobs. While medical retirement in 2020 has provided him with some benefits, civilian life proved harder than imagined and, unfortunately, left him without a bike for the past nine years as he repeatedly put his family’s needs first. Hogs For Heroes felt that Jeremiah needed a positive turn in his life and selected him to receive the gift of wind therapy. Read Jeremiah’s story here.

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CATCH OUR LATEST NEWSLETTER!  Find out the latest happenings and updates in our most recent Hogs for Heroes newsletter.  Read it here!

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UNBELIEVABLE NEWS:  Fox News and their Fox & Friends First morning program flew a crew out, with Anchor Todd Piro, to interview our Hogs For Heroes family and recipients as we handed over our 18th set of keys to Marine Veteran Rick Erickson on May 23, 2021.  National attention?  Us?  UNBELIEVABLE!  Take a few minutes to watch this compassionate production on our mission’s efforts and impact by clicking here.

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LEARN ABOUT PAST RECIPIENTS! Miss the stories of our past Recipients?  Catch them below by simply clicking on the Veteran’s name button.

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SUPER COOL NEWS: Once again, our Recipients came up with a way to express their appreciation for the healing gifts you made possible in their lives. In addition to the decals they previously made, they recently chose to have license plates that designate their gifting number for those who want them. Watch for WI motorcycle plates on the road that read H4H 1-22 (i.e. H4H 6), with hopefully more numbers to come. And please note, Hogs For Heroes does not ask Recipients to tag their beautiful bikes (or themselves) in any way. They choose to do it.

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THE “THIS JUST DOESN’T GET OLD” NEWS: In November 2019, our Founding Family was surprised by a party our Recipients, their spouses and our Board members threw to honor us. We still choke up over this. NBC15 Madison was on hand to capture the surprise moment and tell us our nonprofit had been selected for their regional “Making A Difference” Award! This beautiful piece was created and narrated by NBC News Anchor John Stofflet and his skilled team, and features our first recipient, Sun Prairie Marine Scott Kruchten. And the cherry on top… it won a coveted Edward J. Muir journalism award in 2020.  Catch the video here.

Application & Selection Process

Once we have raised sufficient funds to purchase a Harley-Davidson, we open up our application process.  Only during that time, Wisconsin military Veterans can nominate themselves, or be nominated by someone well known to them.  Selecting one Hero is the most difficult part of the work we do; and yet, the most exciting and rewarding. Using an application process and an Advisory Board of informed and involved community members, we will select one applicant who meets the following criteria:

Each time we are ready to accept completed applications, the below links will be active and provide you further detail as well as the ability to print off, complete and mail in all the required components. We will use every means at our disposal to “blast out” the good news of our open application period and give you a specific time frame in which to share the opportunity with a qualified candidate and/or complete the process. Our Advisory Board will meet to review all applications received and postmarked by the deadline date. They will then select one Hero to receive a Harley-Davidson.  We will notify our candidate and work with a local dealership to select the motorcycle best suited for our Veteran’s needs.  We will gift our motorcycle as a symbol of gratitude from the many who contributed at a public event.  Just as we did for the open application process, we will notify our supporters of the gifting celebration so that all may honor our Veteran Hero.

Ways to Get Involved

Donate…

It is our mission to gift a Harley-Davidson motorcycle for a deserving Wisconsin hero. We are humbled by the donations of our supporters; your generosity makes this vision a reality. You can make a tax-deductible donation here.

Help Raise Money on Your Own…

Because we are a small grassroots organization, we depend on our supporters to spread the word to raise awareness and funds. Consider hosting a third-party event and share your proceeds with Hogs for Heroes.  In the past year, the amount of third-party fundraising events has been incredible, with businesses, clubs and veteran’s groups sending us donations from sponsored rides, golf outings and events. The list of ideas can be just as creative as you wish: club cook-outs, motorcycle rides, garage sales, golf outings, chili cook-offs, bowling events, bake sales, car washes, brat stands, cafeteria change collections, restaurant dining for causes…The list goes on.  We’d love to post your group’s efforts on our site to help promote the event and your business.

Spread the Word…

Like us, tweet us, post us, copy us, forward us, link us, blast us and just plain talk us up…the more others know what we are doing, the faster we can make the vision happen for our Veterans.

Display Our Brochures…

Have a business that is likely to interact with Veterans, loyal Americans or motorcycle enthusiasts? We would be happy to send you some brochures to display.

Make an In-Kind Donation…

Goods and services allow us to greatly enhance our fundraising and/or advertising possibilities and reduce our operational costs. Large items for raffles, food or drinks for events, printing services or event hosting capabilities—- the list goes on for us and gives you a great tax break along with a marketing presence.

Volunteer Your Time…

It’s hard for us to get around the entire state, that’s where social media and the generosity of others comes into play. Consider sharing your talents, manning a booth, talking to your local community groups, or reaching out to those who may be interested on our behalf.

Invite Us In…

Have a community event or festival coming up that you think would embrace our mission? Have a business, employer or a club that is looking for their next benefactor? Consider inviting us in and providing us with a little space and time on your agenda.

Have Another Idea?

Just contact us – we’d love to hear from you and help make your plan happen!

Learn More

Our Supporters