Inspired by retired Army Civil Affairs Colonel Christopher Holshek's Travels with Harley – Journeys in Search of Personal and National Identity, the National Service Ride is a community-based national initiative that leverages motorcycling's appeal to freedom, adventure, and moving forward to promote citizenship and service, starting right at home.
“Service doesn't require a uniform" he says in the project video." When we become better citizens, we become a better country – because, when you serve your community, you serve your country."
The project helps generate an empowering and unifying narrative of citizenship and service across societal and generational lines, pass the baton of generational leadership, and move America forward. Its hour-long seminars and "service learning fairs" bring together service veterans of many kinds looking to give back with young emerging citizens from many walks of life looking for ways to pay it forward. Interactive sessions help America's youth better understand the meaning and value of service to their communities, their country, and themselves through role models and peer examples, motivating them to sign them up for community service learning opportunities.
The National Service Ride's adaptable and flexible platform fits the needs, aims, and constraints of schools in partnership with veterans, community service, and volunteer organizations. Military veterans, police, firefighters, first responders, medical services, etc. can better connect with their communities in a positive and meaningful way, improving community and generational relations.
These events synergize veterans and community service organizations, share capacities, and extend platforms and local initiatives to improve outreach to youth and recruit younger members. The project's mass and social media-friendly platform helps organizations also help raise pubic visibility and awareness, with impacts on branding, membership, volunteerism, and fundraising
The service learning fairs help schools more efficiently and effectively connect students with service learning opportunities, enhancing educational outcomes to produce well rounded young persons better qualified as citizens, workers, and leaders. This also helps instill a greater sense of individual empowerment, community resilience, and national cohesion and mitigate related socioeconomic problems and the costs that come with them.
The National Service Ride is not funded by anyone or anything other than book sales of Travels with Harley.