GRAND CHUTE (WLUK) — A World War Two Veteran got to feel the wind in his hair Friday, as part of a birthday Harley ride.
“It’s been a long time since I had a motorcycle ride,” said Leroy “Mike” Minlschmidt.
That long time came to an end for Milschmidt Friday. He was treated to a ride in the sidecar of a Harley-Davidson.
“I used to enjoy riding on the bike,” Minlschmidt told FOX 11 News.
At 101-years-old, Minlschmidt fondly remembers traveling the country with his wife and his motorcycle as a younger man.
“Wherever we stayed I’d unload the bike and travel. My wife rode behind with me,” he said.
Appleton Harley-Davidson provided Minlschmidt’s ‘chariot’ Friday during a special event at Brookdale Senior Living in Grand Chute.
It was a, sort of, late birthday party.
“Has a real passion for Harley-Davidson and was hoping for a ride for his birthday and we’re here to accommodate him with that,” said Joshua Doughty, the president of Appleton Harley-Davidson.
Part of the reason was to thank the World War II veteran for 21 years of service.
“A few of my friends decided to make a career out of it and I followed suit,” Minlschmidt explained.
“So it’s just one little thing to give back,” Doughty told us.
Minlschmidt also inspired a few of the ladies at Brookdale to go for a spin.
Aside from the ride there was a bike show and all the proceeds from that will go to the Alzheimer’s Association.
“Unfortunately Alzheimer’s has a lasting effect on a lot of people’s families. So anything we can do to try and combat that,” Doughty told FOX 11.
Even with all the beautiful bikes to admire, Minlschmidt’s ride was the main event, an experience it’s difficult to put into words.
“I dunno, it’s a little hard to explain. I guess…pretty windy!” Minlschmidt told us, laughing.
The Wisconsin Patriot Guard Riders also rode with Minlschmidt who received a plaque to recognize his military service.