CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — Patrick Daniels has a tough time walking. He has diabetes, bad kidneys, post-traumatic stress disorder and is missing a foot.
He hasn’t ridden his bike in seven years. But he’s at the Wolverine Harley-Davidson Dealer every Saturday to raise money for veterans and to connect with them.
“There are so many vets out there that have no idea what they earned through their service,” Daniels told 7 Action News.
He’s raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the decades that go to the veteran affairs hospital and to the Macomb County Veterans Support Center.
“If you haven’t filed a claim, you need to come and see us,” Daniels said.
The Veterans Support Center is located in Clinton Township at 18025 15 Mile Road.
It is operated by volunteers in the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154. They provide many services including a food bank for vets, where the system falls short.
“If you come home and we’ve messed you up physically or mentally by sending you over there, we’re going to take care of you. It’s time for us, American citizens, we the people to take care of them, “ Daniels said.
He says much of his declining health goes back to the jungles of Vietnam where he started fighting at age 18. And like so many others, exposed to the defoliant Agent Orange.
“For whatever reason, I survived. For a long time, I wasn’t sure why,” Daniels said.
But with the continuing mission of help he adds, “Then it made sense. There was something else I was supposed to do.”
The Ride For Freedom will be at Wolverine Harley Davidson Dealer on June 12.
More information on Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154, visit its website at vva154.com or call 586-776-9810.