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.
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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.

WE GIFT MORE THAN JUST A MOTORCYCLE.

We work year round to raise funds for bikes and are currently fundraising for our 2022 Giftings. LIKE 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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DRUMROLL FOR #22, OUR LAST OF THE YEAR:  Aaron Kream of Sheboygan, WI joined the Army in 2012 to escape his current life and build a challenging new one.  He quickly found himself enamored with military life and set himself on a career path.  He re-enlisted three times before deploying to Afghanistan in 2018 and while there, in the midst of violence, fear and death, he re-enlisted a fourth time.  At the time he signed, he had no idea what those 8 months in war would do to him, nor could he imagine how fundamentally changed he would be as a direct result.  He returned stateside in 2019 and unknowingly brought home PTSD, major depression and a Traumatic Brain Injury; and as he settled into another new base, those ramifications from war slowly began to tear apart Aaron’s mind, heart and soul.  After intensive therapies, medications and counseling, he was medically retired in April 2021.  Aaron grew up on dirt bikes and bought his first motorcycle at age 18…and made sure he had a bike on every base since for the escape and clarity it provided him.  In preparing for discharge, Aaron sold his Street Glide to save for his family’s uncertain future and has been without his lifeline for almost two years.  Hogs For Heroes thought regaining his passion would help smooth out the rough road still ahead of him.  Learn more about Aaron’s courageous struggle with life and join us as we hand over his set of keys on September 4 during the Harley-Davidson Hometown Rally.  Click here for event details and a PDF flier to print off and post!

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#21…GETS HER BIKE IN 2021: Staff Sergeant and Stryker Commander Ashley Ferg was with the Army National Guard for 16 years as a Chemical Operations and Chemical Reconnaissance Specialist, and during that time deployed twice to combat zones— first in Afghanistan, then in Iraq. As there wasn’t a need for her MOS, she was assigned to fill in vacated positions with the units she was attached to and found herself working in roles she was less than prepared for. She saw things that can’t be unseen, she felt things that can’t be forgotten, and she did things, in war, that can’t be undone. Those “things” all came together quickly to deeply settle within and create PTSD that left her struggling with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts for the next 15 years of her life. One of the best things she did for herself as she began fighting back and taking control of her life was to take a riders class and buy her first bike in 2018. Unfortunately the old bike was in disrepair and needed more work than imagined, and it has compromised her time on the road. Hogs For Heroes thought Ashley’s healing path was best supported by keeping riding in her life, and it thrilled us to be able to place our second female Veteran on the road. Learn more about Ashley’s candid story here.

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MEET RECIPIENT #20:  Vietnam Army Veteran David Ronn of Fond du Lac, WI is our fourth WI Veteran to receive our healing gift this summer, and it’s a trike!    Rather than accept his father’s ultimatum to stay in high school or get a job, Dave chose to enlist in the Army at 17 years old.  He trained as a Combat Medic and was sent to Vietnam less than six months later for his first of three tours from 1968-1970.  There, he worked in a field hospital buried underground to provide emergent care to those Brothers brought in directly from combat.  The images, sounds and guilt for all he couldn’t save forever burdened, and changed, the young man’s now 70 year old life.  About 40 years ago he bought his first Bike and learned how to deal with his then, undiagnosed PTSD.  He believes riding, and the connections it’s made him, helps him be a better person.  And as he’s aged, safely managing his 34 year old, unreliable Gold Wing has become more problematic.  Hogs For Heroes felt this man needed to stay on his healing path with the stability of a H-D Tri Glide and gifted him his trike on July 24, 2021. Learn more about Dave’s story 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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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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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 1-16 (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!

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Our Supporters