The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

November 12, 2012

Motorcycling veterans to honor those who served in combat

JOPLIN, Mo. — The freedom of the open road is a major appeal for Stephen Kimmel. There's no better way for him to feel that freedom than to experience it aboard his 2006 Victory Vegas motorcycle.

It also helps him unwind and cope with the changes of civilian life. Over 11 years, Kimmel served tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq with the U.S. Army and Missouri National Guard.

"It's a way to escape and have some personal time," Kimmel said. "It's very relaxing for me to get on my bike and just ride wherever. It doesn't matter where I go. It's just a good hobby that we all share interest in."

Easing the transition

Not every veteran returns home to open arms. Veterans often face a slew of difficulties. Whether it's readjusting to civilian life, overcoming financial troubles or just finding someone to talk to about their experiences, there can be plenty of problems for veterans returning home from service.

No one is more aware of the problems facing veterans than their fellow servicemen. Knowing this, the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association aims to recognize the valiant efforts of its brothers in arms.

"We try to do a lot in the area," said Kimmel, public relations officer for the organization's Joplin chapter. "We go up to the Mount Vernon veterans home at least a couple times a year and say, 'We're here.' A lot of those guys, they go up there and people forget they're there. We go up there, a smile on our face, and we hang out and be a friend and let them know that they're not forgotten."

The association seeks to ease the troubles of veterans by offering assistance, aid, company and camaraderie. It's reflected in its motto: "Vets helping vets."

Working alongside chapters from Springfield and Fayetteville, Ark., members donate time and effort to a number of causes, including Wreaths Across America, which aims to decorate veterans' graves with ornate wreaths.

"Any organization can do it," Kimmel said. "You pick a cemetery, and you sponsor that cemetery. We sponsored the Park Cemetery in Carthage."

The Joplin CVMA goes above and beyond the call in its efforts Ñ its philanthropy includes more than just community service.

"We're trying to find veterans that are having a hard time for the holidays," Kimmel said. "We can try to see what we can do to help them out. We do anything we can. If we can, we'll pay a bill off for you to help you out. We'll bring you a basket of food, buy some presents for your kids. If you need dry wall repaired in your house, we'll get in there and get that done."

Text Only
Globe Life
  • 041314_cj glass1.jpg Carl Junction students create projects, win awards at national contest with glass arts

    The students are part of a new glass arts class at Carl Junction High School taught by Jessica Sellars, a graduate of the school who earned her bachelor's degree from Missouri Southern State University and her masters of art education from Pittsburg State University. The art teacher taught for 20 years at Coronado High School, located in Henderson, Nev.

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • ryan richardson Ryan Richardson: K-9 unit receives protection from donors

    I know I write a lot about pet advocacy in this column, but for a moment, I want to write about pet heroes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 091108-Frankie-Meyer_c.jpg Frankie Meyer: Website helps locate library microfilms

    Family history researchers must be determined sleuths to learn about some ancestors who don't show up in easily-obtained records. This week, I learned about a free resource that will help in the search of elusive ancestors.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • images_sizedimage_032123610 Patty Crane: Reporter's mea culpa found in identity theft

    As I was browsing the library's list of new materials for March, "True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa" by Michael Finkel caught my attention.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 091108-Frankie-Meyer_c.jpg Frankie Meyer Website helps locate library microfilms

    Family history researchers must be determined sleuths to learn about some ancestors who don't show up in easily-obtained records. This week, I learned about a free resource that will help in the search of elusive ancestors.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • images_sizedimage_312124454 Linda Cannon: Gardening book helps plan for spring

    In springtime, many of us think of gardening, so, come snow or sleet or whatever, it's time to get into those gardening books and see what improvements can be made to our yards (or decks or patios if that's all you have).

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • ryan richardson Ryan Richardson: Pet deposits legal in Missouri, vary by state

    Building upon last week's column about what goes into moving and renting with pets, I wanted to touch on something that I wasn't too sure a lot of people were familiar with. I had a few people ask me about the legalities of a pet deposit and how it applies to residents in Missouri.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 091108-Frankie-Meyer_c.jpg Frankie Meyer: Website allows access to news archives

    Between 1982 and 2011, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress worked together to develop a program called "Chronicling America." Each year, NEH gave monetary awards to institutions in various states to digitize 100,000 pages of old newspapers that relate to each state's history.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 040214 LIFE barbershop2_c.jpg Barbershop choirs grow in popularity thanks to singing TV shows, pop culture

    Singers call it the "angel's voice." The phenomenon occurs when a group of singers reach an identical chord, voices blended together as one, the harmonics justly tuned and balanced, creating a new frequency of sound that can "literally raise up the hair on the arm," said Don Snow.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 091108-Frankie-Meyer_c.jpg Frankie Meyer: Berries were big business in Southwest Missouri history

    Recently, I noticed some blooms on my strawberry plants on the patio, and I was reminded of my youth in the Ozarks when children often earned money by picking strawberries in the fields of local farmers. I, along with my sisters, brother and all the other children in the area, looked forward to the experience each summer.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo


A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects. The proposed constitutional amendment passed the House earlier this month. If passed by the full Senate, the measure would head to the November ballot for voter approval. Would you vote in favor of it?

     View Results

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
NDN Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case