Hogs for Heroes Honors Veteran with New Harley
Sgt. Brian Kvitek was chosen to receive the bike after his tour of duty in Iraq.
Every Harley-Davidson owner has a special reason why they love riding. For Iraq veteran and U.S. Marine Sgt. Brian Kvitek, his reason for loving riding is especially meaningful. Riding his new Harley-Davidson brings him peace of mind, and helps him cope with his struggles with his PTSD after serving duty in Iraq.
“When he’s on a motorcycle, he can leave every care and worry. It’s kind of his sanctuary. It’s a safe place,” said Kvitek’s wife April in an interview with Kenosha News.
Now, Kvitek is able to experience his sanctuary on a Harley-Davidson that was given to him from Hogs for Heroes. Each year, Hogs for Heroes gifts a Harley-Davidson to a deserving Wisconsin veteran to help them heal through the therapeutic benefits of owning and riding a Harley. “The idea was to get [veterans] back on the road, which is very healing,” said Keith Thompson, co-founder of Hogs for Heroes.
Kvitek was one of 12 Wisconsin veterans that applied for the bike, and none is more deserving. After serving a four-year, non-combat service with the Marines, he felt he needed to do more. More than 10 years after leaving the Marines, in 2006, Kvitek voluntarily deployed to Fallujah, Iraq, serving in supply and armory for seven months. When he returned from duty, he completed his business degree, but was never able to fully take advantage when he began to suffer from chronic pain from a back injury, panic attacks, PTSD, and depression.
‘This is the holy grail. When I dream of a motorcycle, this is it.’
Kvitek then joined the American Legion Riders, District 1, where he participated in ceremonies and civic events. Unfortunately, lately he was having a lot of trouble keeping his 30-year-old Honda Gold Wing on the road. The repairs were just becoming too costly. Now, those worries are gone, since he has the Harley-Davidson.
“Just an overwhelming rush of emotions comes over me,” said Kvitek. “This is the holy grail. When I dream of a motorcycle, this is it.”
They presented the 2015 Ultra Classic Low to Kvitek after they received generous donations from other veterans, Uke’s Harley-Davidson, and the American Legion Riders District 1, Southeast Wisconsin. Also making a sizeable donation was the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Assocation, which provided half of the cost of the $20,000 bike.