Bikers ride across Lee to help vets see monuments

CAPE CORAL, Fla. More than 100 motorcyclists rode through Lee County on Sunday to help dozens of veterans go even farther.

The bikers paid to take part in The Honor Flight Motorcycle Run for the benefit of the nonprofit Collier County Honor Flight organization.

“We fly our World War II and Korean War veterans to D.C. so they have the opportunity to visit the memorials this country’s built to honor their service and sacrifices,” Honor Flight founder Sean Lux said.

The next flight is scheduled for May 13, when 70 veterans are set to take part.

“It costs about 80,000 dollars, so roughly a thousand dollars per veteran,” Lux said. “Of course, the veterans don’t pay a thing. The community pitches in to make sure they go for free.”

That’s what Sunday’s ride was all about.

The outing was designed to be festive. It began at the Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library and included stops for food at Woody’s Surfside Island Rum & Grille in Cape Coral and Mission BBQ in Fort Myers.

The final destination was Six Bends Harley Davidson in south Fort Myers, where a Journey tribute band gave a concert.

But the meaning behind it all wasn’t lost on Sueann Zylstra, who traveled from Naples to Cape Coral for the start of the run.

“My dad was a World War II vet and I had so much respect for him and the service he did,” Zylstra said.

The Honor Flight organization is soliciting further donations on its website.