Cruise-In to benefit DAV Chapter 26 and Gold Star Families
MADISON – There will be a “Cruise-In” fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 14 sponsored by North Alabama Vintage Motorcycle Club and hosted by Redstone Harley-Davidson, located at 15100 Highway 20 West in Madison. It will be held from noon-4 p.m.
The donations collected at the “Cruise-In” will benefit Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 26.
Harley-Davidson beverage sales at the “Cruise-In” will benefit Gold Star Families of Alabama.
There will be a live band, food, door prizes, 50/50 raffle and more.
The funds raised through the Cruise-In are badly needed to help veterans in the Huntsville/Madison area through the DAV chapter. Keith Cromartie has been volunteering with the chapter for the past couple of months and has already seen first-hand the lives the DAV is impacting.
The most visible or well-known thing we’re appreciated for is our DAV Chapter Service Officers (CSOs) provide veterans cost-free support negotiating through bureaucracy and “red-tape” for benefits associated with claims for service-connected injuries and illnesses. More often than not these issues surface after the veteran leaves service and then they have to carefully navigate the VA claims protocols. In the case of a decreased veteran, their surviving spouse, partner, parents are children aren’t always aware of VA benefits they’re due. We provide tremendous help in these matters at no cost through our trained CSOs; while there are various entities charging veterans and surviving families for this same service.
DAV is a nonprofit charity that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families, helping more than one million veterans in positive, life-changing ways each year. Annually, the organization provides more than 600,000 rides to veterans attending medical appointments and assists veterans with well over 200,000 benefit claims.
In 2018, DAV helped veterans receive more than $20 billion in earned benefits. DAV’s services are offered at no cost to all generations of veterans, their families and survivors.
A retired Army lieutenant colonel, Cromartie has seen a lot during his 26 years of service as an airborne-ranger infantryman, and has seen the need for the local DAV chapters and the service they provide to area veterans. He is in charge of the chapter’s Relief Committee. “The donations we will receive at this event and other fundraising we do, I see them serve a purpose,” he said. “Veterans can come to use and get assistance for things like financial aid for bills, connection for homeless veterans with places that can provide food and other assistance, and refer to appropriate assistance for veterans suffering from any type of mental illness.”
Cromartie said that every day 22 veterans are committing suicide. “We are trying to be a helping hand in stemming that,” he said. “We don’t have all of the answers, but we are resource for them to point where to get the right kind of help, whether it’s mental, medical or physical help. It’s a mission that God wants us to do, to take care of each other.”
“There is so much need out there and so many people don’t know where to go,” Cromartie added. “Most of our work is guiding people in the right direction.”
Visitors to the “Cruise-In” can also talk to Cromartie while enjoying the event and find out more about the local DAV chapter and the services they provide. You can also stop by their office at 3077 Leman-Ferry Road, Suite B, Huntsville, for more information, or call (256) 850-0928.
“We are very fortunate the Vintage Motorcycle Club is very patriotic,” Cromartie said. “They reached out to us and wanted to do something to help. We are very thankful to them.”