Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association
“Veterans Supporting Veterans and our Community”
The Rhode Island Chapter formed in February 2006 once we obtained our required 15 Members In accordance with National CVMA By-Laws.
But our History begins prior
to this event. In Fact,
Single member (Al Thiebeault member #111) who in fact rode with the Massachusetts Chapter (which was only the second Chapter in the Country)
and served as the Vice Commander or XO during his time with them.
Fact was a Veterans Organization with a Motorcycle habit, and not an MC.
At the time, the National website boasted only a few organized Chapters with less than 500 members across the country. The Original 45 members
had only formed the CVMA in May of 2001.
Upon our return in April of 2005, a few of us determined to form a Rhode Island Chapter submitted our membership paperwork to National, and became Members in May of 2005. In July of 2005, the National Board of Directors elected Mike Dalmazzi to assume the position of State Representative to review member applications and act as the liaison between members and National. As only a few members we began to support the CVMA cause with Support rides for the Im-Possible Dream Foundation for Children, The Rayne Bromley Cancer ride, and our First Rhode Island Veterans Home Donation drive in December of 2005.
Along the way, Veterans who also supported these events asked about the CVMA insignia which they had never seen before, and after explanation of our function and desire to assist our Veterans, Troops, and those in need. We began an influx of interested Veterans from every Branch of the Armed Forces, every Wartime Deployment, and every age group who enjoyed the company of fellow Veterans, peer support, and the opportunity to support our Veterans.
Our Rhode Island Chapter has taken our support one step further than others. We not only support those who have served, but our mission also focuses on support for those who are currently serving in theaters of operations and in harms way, with our presence at their deployment send off and their returns. We also involve ourselves with community support across the State and where-ever we are needed such as Hasbro Children’s hospital, support rides and functions for children with Autism, Juvenile Diabetes, and Cancer.
In February of 2006, we became the 9th Chapter across the country, with 15
Members. As of now…3 years later. There are approximately 87 members to include our supporters and Auxiliary members within our Chapter with current applications being processed through National. And there are 35 Chapters across the country with some larger States boasting 2-3 secondary Chapters.
Our current members range from ages 20 years old to 95 years young, from Branches of all Armed Services and Wartime service from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Our Support Functions each year are growing also, In 2005 prior to our Chapter forming we attended 4 support events. In 2008, we have attended
More than 40 support events, keeping active in all seasons either on two wheels or 4.
As we move forward into the 2009 year, we will continue our commitment to not only our Veterans past and present, but our troops as well, and our communities throughout the State and where ever we are needed to provide a better quality of life to those less fortunate.
Andrew “The Hammer” Martel
R.I. Chapter Commander
Combat Veterans Association
“Amendment dated 10 January 2014”
As of this date, the chapter has approximately 68 Full, Auxiliary and Support members. Unfortunately, two of our chapter members have since passed. William Temple and Frank Pine, who was one of the oldest active motorcycle licensed rider in the United States.
Michael Dalmazzi is still the State Representative. The chapter has had several changes in other Officers over the years. We are comprised mainly of veterans from the Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
We continue to support the Veterans Home in Bristol, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and organizations such as Operation Stand Down and the events for the PS2 Ron Gill Jr., SGT Brian St Germain and CPL Holly Charette Scholarship Funds. Troops deploying and returning home have received our support with the aid of the Patriot Guard Riders and the Christian Motorcycle Association, among others. Along with these activities, the RI Chapter has also participated in many parades, “Echo Taps”, “Wreaths Across America” and just recently assisted with the “Waterfire Salute to Veterans” held in Providence.
Looking forward to February, we will celebrate our 8th Anniversary. In August, Chapter 9-1 will have the honor of hosting the 2014 Region 3 Meeting.
Gary “SFC Gadget” Rehak
R.I. Chapter Public Relations Officer
Combat Veterans Association