The Value of Our Vets: Military Groups Tour Collection of Army Machines

A view of motorcycle riders that attend a complimentary lunch and tour of heritage army vehicles in commemoration of their service to our country

Earlier this year, several motorcycle riders – members of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Combat Veterans – got together over lunch to take a tour of a collection of army machines that harkened back to their years of service and the memories made.

The collection itself is purportedly owned by the Village Church of Santa Clarita – an establishment run by pastors Paul Veluzat and Andre Veluzat, who hosted the lunch tour for the vets.

Paul Veluzat and Andre Veluzat took the group through a viewing of the vehicles, many of which, according to Signals CV, were also donated for use during cinematic hits such as the show ‘M*A*S*H’ and the movie ‘Valkyrie.’ 

A view of motorcycle riders that attend a complimentary lunch and tour of heritage army vehicles in commemoration of their service to our country
Congressman Mike Garcia speaks to the veteran motorcycle riders during the Veteran Fellowship motorcycle tour at a military vehicle storage yard in Newhall, Calif., on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2021. 25 veteran motorcycle riders from the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War and Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association took a tour of an acre of World War II armored vehicles. Chris Torres/The Signal

“When we came home, we were met with riots, demonstrations, and repulsion,” a Navy SEAL courtesy of the Vietnam War, Morgan, said about returning home from the chaos. 

“A lot of us have physical and emotional injuries from the battles we fought. This is a form of therapy to get together and have some time.” 

A view of motorcycle riders that attend a complimentary lunch and tour of heritage army vehicles in commemoration of their service to our country
John Eymard, left, David Rendon, right, and Kevin Duxbury, back, open a military vehicle’s engine during the Veteran Fellowship motorcycle tour in Newhall, Calif., on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2021. 25 veteran motorcycle riders from the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War and Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association took a tour of an acre of World War II armored vehicles. Chris Torres/The Signal

“I got to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 during the first six or seven months there,” contributes Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, the featured guest speaker. 

“[that included] doing bad things, to bad guys who were trying to hurt our good guys on the ground as the Marines and Army soldiers marched north out of Kuwait into Baghdad and Tikrit…”

A view of motorcycle riders that attend a complimentary lunch and tour of heritage army vehicles in commemoration of their service to our country
Paul Veluzat, left, and Kevin Duxbury ,right, hop on top of a tank during the Veteran Fellowship motorcycle tour in Newhall, Calif., on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2021. 25 veteran motorcycle riders from the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War and Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association took a tour of an acre of World War II armored vehicles. Chris Torres/The Signal

To these veterans, viewing the examples of history made and making light of time in the service is a way to maintain sanity, to process the days, months, years spent serving the country, as well as show respect for fellow comrades, whether retired or otherwise.

The loneliness can also be a problem, and seeing as a purported 7% of the adult population are vets, having someone to talk to can literally save a life. 

A view of motorcycle riders that attend a complimentary lunch and tour of heritage army vehicles in commemoration of their service to our country
Congressman Mike Garcia speaks to the veteran motorcycle riders during the Veteran Fellowship motorcycle tour at a military vehicle storage yard in Newhall, Calif., on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2021. 25 veteran motorcycle riders from the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War and Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association took a tour of an acre of World War II armored vehicles. Chris Torres/The Signal

“It’s a very small group, so it can get lonely out there, and personally, I have no family members that ever served in the military,” says Kevin Duxbury, a current Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s deputy and chapter 3310 commander of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association (CVMA). 

“I’m the only one, so I can’t even talk at home about it, but when I get together with these guys, I’ve got all kinds of people to talk to, and sometimes we don’t even need to talk.” 

A view of motorcycle riders that attend a complimentary lunch and tour of heritage army vehicles in commemoration of their service to our country
Andre Veluzat, the owner of the military vehicle storage yard, speaks to the veteran motorcycle riders during the Veteran Fellowship motorcycle tour in Newhall, Calif., on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2021. 25 veteran motorcycle riders from the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War and Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association took a tour of an acre of World War II armored vehicles. Chris Torres/The Signal

“A lot of what we do (CVMA) is poker runs, rides, or charity events to raise money to help support veterans,” Duxbury continues. 

“It’s a really great organization that’s out there helping other vets, but at the same time, that also means helping each other.” 

A view of motorcycle riders that attend a complimentary lunch and tour of heritage army vehicles in commemoration of their service to our country
A veteran walks by the collection of various military tanks and automobiles used in World War II during the Veteran Fellowship motorcycle tour at a military vehicle storage yard in Newhall, Calif., on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2021. 25 veteran motorcycle riders from the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War and Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association took a tour of an acre of World War II armored vehicles. Chris Torres/The Signal

Our hats off to the men and women of our country that sacrifice so much to keep our land free. Stay tuned for June, when the local chapter plans to do a motorcycle ride to raise donations, check out CVMA’s webpage to learn more on how to contribute, and as ever – stay safe on the twisties. 

*All media sourced from Signals CV*