BRISTOL, R.I. (WPRI) — For seven months now, veterans have been inside their rooms at the Veterans Home in Bristol without much entertainment.
So local groups and motorcyclists helped put a smile on their faces and organized a “We’ve Got Your Six” motorcade.
More than 100 vehicles gathered at the State House for the event, which gets its name from a military term meaning “we’ve got your back”, then headed down to the East Bay to honor those who served our country.
“Trying to build their morale, we’re going into Veterans Day, going into the holidays, they’re excited about it,” said organizer John Cianci.
“They’re going to be on the sidewalk, they’re going to be in the courtyards, and we’ve got a good turnout and we’ve got more vehicles waiting for us in Bristol.”
The United Veterans Council, which is comprised of several local veterans organizations, came up with the drive-by rally after hearing from residents and staff that they’d really like something like this.
“We had a meeting last month and we said we’re going to do it, even barring the weather, even if it’s two or three vehicles, we’re going to let them know we have their back.”
The turnout was much more than just two or three vehicles. 12 News caught up with as many as 125 vehicles, including classic cars and motorcycles, outside the State House, then meeting up with dozens more once in Bristol.
“It’s the best thing we can do because we’ve got to keep the social distancing from them and at least they’ll be able to see us,” said Michael Ottone, President of the East Providence Elks Riders.
“We’ll go in, we’ll rev our motors up, they love that, they clap and they’re excited, and I’m sure they’re waiting for us now to get there. Then we have the cars too, a lot of the veterans love the old cars, brings them back, reminiscing about cars, so it’s pretty good.”
In Bristol, the motorcade lined Metacom Ave., led by former Rhode Island Attorney General Arlene Violet.
Staff at the home were equally as excited as the veterans for the entertainment, just what they needed, to soldier on through what could be more difficult times ahead.