Events to Date
The first post-pandemic National Service Ride school event Pine Bush High School’s annual Leadership & Law Academy on July 5th 2021. Supporters and participants included the Orange County Veterans Service Agency, NY, American Legion Orange County NY, local Legion Riders, local VFW, the Buffalo Soldiers MC West Point, NY, Hudson Valley Veterans Task Force, The Motorcycle Channel, and of course Pine Bush High School. Thanks to all of them for getting behind this initiative to help our kids become better citizens, leaders, and Americans through service to community and country! More pictures and videos to come, including a full-feature video on The Motorcycle Channel. And stay tuned for upcoming school events later this summer and fall!
To commemorate America’s long, hard, and never-ending road to freedom, the 2021 Juneteenth Underground Railroad Freedom Ride followed the general path of the Underground Railroad through Orange County, NY, ending up at the parade in Highland Falls, NY – next to the U.S. Military Academy, which will dedicate the Buffalo Soldiers Monument in September. “We should not forget that our military is… in fact, the single largest, most successful multicultural institution in history, united in the defense of the cause of freedom," Colonel (Ret.) Holshek reminded the nearly 40 riders at the inaugural event, his Medium.com article, and while interviewing with WJFF Radio's "Let's Talk Vets." "Our veterans have come from every walk of life and corner of our society… and if our military can come together in affirmation of that cause, so can the rest of us in its confirmation.” A full-length video of the event will appear on The Motorcycle Channel soon.
|"By bringing people together in service to each other, we can start to move beyond our divisiveness and the self-isolation of our echo chambers. When we see how dependent we are on each other and discover the common denominator of many shared values as much as the numerators of our opinions, we can learn to respect each other for what we do and not just say." Holshek speaks at the “Honor2Serve” event Town of Woodbury, NY over the 2017 Veteran’s Day weekend – organized with Towns4Troops. Read the story here.
|Organized by TRENDS Global with the United Nations Association-Atlanta, "Being American: Identity, Citizenship and Engagement" Career the Information Fair at the Clarkston, GA Community Center on September 14th 2016 discussed being an American and the importance of community, public, and national service to American identity and as a rite of citizenship. For more, including the Photovoice project for citizens to self-document life in one of America’s most diverse communities, see the TRENDS Global projects page. (Photo courtesy of the UN Association-Atlanta.)
|Organizers pose with Holshek and his 2010 Harley Wide Glide after "The Journey of a Thousand Miles – The Roadmap to Your Community," co-hosted by Kennesaw State University’s Center for Student Leadership, the United Nations Association Atlanta Chapter, and TRENDS Global on September 13th 2016. KSU adopted Travels with Harley as a text for two of its courses that fall and for the civics course the following spring. (Photo courtesy of Kennesaw State University.)
|Kennesaw State University students read the names of military neighbors killed in action since 9/11. The “Mindful Moment of Gratitude” made possible by Armor Down enables them to connect sacrifice and service at national and community levels by honoring veterans by giving them a country worth our sacrifices, helping to close civil-military gaps in American society. (Photo courtesy of Kennesaw State University.)
|The student council president at North County High School of Anne Arundel County, just outside Baltimore, opens up the presentation on September 7th 2016 as part of the Governor of Maryland's Day to Serve initiative. “You don’t need to be smarter or richer to do great things,” Colonel (Ret.) Holshek told the underprivileged students, “you only need courage and humility – and that’s something we can all find within ourselves.”
“When young people pay it forward by doing community service, they not only help themselves by helping others,” Colonel (Ret.) Holshek explains to fellow veterans and motorcyclists at the American Motorcycle Association's "Das Rally" in Hamburg, NY in July 2016, “they honor us veterans by giving us all a country worth our sacrifices. We veterans – including military, police, fire, fire responder, and medical services – give back by providing them inspiration and guidance, and complete our mission in helping to pass the baton of generational leadership.” (Photo courtesy of TRENDS Global.)
|“You can’t find out who you are and what you’re about through your smart phone or on Snapchat,” Holshek explains to juniors and seniors at Arthur L. Johnson High School in Clark, NJ, on May 9th 2016. "They are helpful, but only through engagement with other people, in service to them, can you really discover your identity – which is, after all, your values in action. Smartphones and the internet are powerful tools, but like power and rights in general, there also come risks and responsibilities along with their privileges.” (Photo courtesy of Arthur L. Johnson High School.)
|Returning there for the first time since graduating in 1978, Colonel (Ret.) Holshek spoke to juniors and seniors at Washingtonville High School on May 5th 2016. To read the Orange County Post-Sentinel story on the presentation, click here. (You can also watch the interview with Blue & Gold TV by clicking on the image to the left.) Washingtonville High School is among a rapridly growing number high schools in American expanding the curriculum beyond the classroom to the many impactful and lasting education outcomes of service learning. (Video courtesy of Washingtonville High School.)
|Colonel (Ret.) Holshek speaks to cadets on April 22nd 2016 about what he learned about war and peace and everything in between during his service abroad in Army civil affairs, as summarized in his Foreign Policy blog “Of Humans and Hardware.” He was one of the many honored speakers at Norwich University’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program at the renowned New England school. (Photo courtesy of Norwich University.)
|Talking about identity and the future of America and the National Service Ride project on WNYC's “The Brian Lehrer Show” on publication day for Travels with Harley – February 9th 2016. Holshek thanked Lehrer for his service to civil dialogue, then explained to his surprised host: "If you don't think the media's civil dialogue isn't that important, then try living in Syria." (Photo courtesy of WNYC Radio.)