A Thin Blue Line Cruising for a Cause

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When you hear the term “Motorcycle Club,” what comes to mind?  Do you think violent, gang-related, dangerous groups, or do you think civic-minded, charitable, law enforcement people want to help others?

As you may know, Charlie is a former law enforcement officer and is currently a 911 dispatcher, so we are affiliated with the law enforcement community.  Not to mention, I have cousins and uncles who are retired law enforcement, so you can say it runs in my blood.

I have always been a big supporter of law enforcement and all first responders; police, fire, EMS, military, dispatchers, and so on.  What these men and women do every day to keep us safe and protect our rights as Americans is honorable.

I realize that there are varying opinions of law enforcement and our military, and everyone is entitled to theirs. Still, I believe it takes an extraordinary type of person to put their life on the line every day for people they don’t know.

The Thin Blue Line LE Motor Cycle Club was started here in Houston in 2009 by three brothers.  They realized other motorcycle clubs had affiliations with law enforcement, but they wanted theirs to be different than any other.

I honestly had never heard of this group and had no clue what they stood for.  I understood the concept around “The Thin Blue Line” but wasn’t aware there was an actual club locally, much less what they did.

The goal was to be a charitable organization that provided support to first responders and their families in times of need.  They also wanted active in their community and build relationships between the public and the first responder community.

We are a law enforcement motorcycle club whose members are active duty, retired, or reserve law enforcement officers from a variety of agencies and jurisdictions, along with our civilian friends who support us in our profession.  Together, we share the love of American made motorcycles, the wind in our faces and the brotherhood of like minded motorcyclists. As a fraternal organization, we strive to support one another, law enforcement professionals and our community.  Our colors clearly identify our affiliation with law enforcement and we are bound by our oath of office and law enforcement “code of ethics.”  Our members reflect a positive image for our profession and our club. Thinbluelinelemc.com

The club is now nationwide with a chapter in Australia, so they are truly international and growing every day.  They are also a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

As I approached the location of the meeting, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “What would the unknowing person assume if they walked up to a bar and saw all these motorcycles?”  Would that person turn around and walk away, assuming the worse, or would they go in and see what was going on?

When I walked into the bar, I was immediately taken aback by the sea of black and blue.  I saw men and women of all ages wearing their riding vests with the club’s patch on the back, and here I was, a definite outsider truly out of my element.

After I met with the folks that had invited me to the event and started talking with people about the organization, I soon discovered that they were no different than me. They just rode motorcycles and were first responders, married to a first responder, or retired.  They have families, share their successes and failures, and celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and milestones just like you and me.

Sitting and talking with these amazing people, I learned so much about the club and what it stands for.  A non-profit organization, the club raises money to help first responders and their families in so many ways.

Whether they are providing scholarships for children of first responders, assisting financially to help a family when an officer is injured, or donating money to help offset medical expenses, I heard over and over again how many different ways they give.

One story shared with me is about a local police officer who was injured while at a golf fundraiser for the Thin Blue Line Foundation.  His injuries were quite severe, and his prognosis was not good at one point.  Due to his injury occurring off duty, there were mounting medical expenses, and, of course, health insurance was not going to cover it all.  The officer was not only a huge part of the local force for 26 years, but he also worked security at Houston Astros ball games when the team was in town.

When the Astros organization heard of his injury and the plan to have a fundraiser to help his family, they stepped up and donated the stadium’s use for the event.  Oh yea, did I mention that he got a World Series Ring from the team for his service?

A fundraiser was held with the assistance of the Thin Blue Line LEMC, and over $140,000 was raised to help this man and his family.  That is what they do; they step up, raise money, and help those who need it in the Law Enforcement Community.

Each chapter has its own hats, t-shirts, decals, and many other items that they sell to raise funds for the Foundation.  Also, they have motorcycle rides, chili cook-offs, bowling tournaments, and golf tournaments.  All to raise money to help their brothers and sisters in their time of need and provide scholarships to help kids get to college.

I left this event feeling so proud.  Proud to say that I spent the day with these wonderful people and learned so much about this fantastic organization.  Inspired that there is help for the first responders and their families in times of need.  Most of all, I felt excited!  Excited about how I can help this group by getting the word out and sharing my time with them with all of you.

I invite you to go to the website www.thinbluelineLEMC.com.  Read their story, look at the pictures, and then think about all those first responders in your city and the sacrifices they make to keep you safe.

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This Post Has 39 Comments

  1. Lynnette Vyles

    It is an amazing group of people. I was so honored to be able to join them and learn about the organization.

  2. Kirsten

    Great cause and a good time for all!

    1. Lynnette Vyles

      Definitely Kirsten! It was a blast spending the day with the group.

  3. Folks having misdirected thoughts could be about so many people, yet you are probably right in the instance of someone coming across a motorcycle club. It is pretty neat when folks can be shown the good in others.

    1. Lynnette Vyles

      You are so right Dawnmarie. It’s my sincere hope that this story sheds some positive light on the good these groups do. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Lynnette Vyles

      Absolutely Tricia. Thanks for visiting and reading the story.

  4. Holly

    This is amazing! Great post!

    1. Lynnette Vyles

      Thank you, Holly! I appreciate that, it was great fun to write.

  5. Maria

    Awesome and informative article. Thank you.

  6. Maria

    Awesome and informative article. It seems like a great time.

    1. Lynnette Vyles

      Thanks, Maria! I had such an amazing time with these people. I’m looking forward to another event with them coming up and can’t wait to write about it.

  7. Amanda

    This is so neat! I have several law enforcement officers and firefighters in my family so this is pretty dear to my heart.

    1. Lynnette Vyles

      Hopefully, they know a little something about the group. If not, maybe they’ll look into it.

  8. Annick

    I used to ride and found most MCs to be very philanthropic! Good for you and your husband!

  9. Janine

    Sounds like a great group! I have quite a few law enforcement in my family so they have a special place in my heart.

    1. Lynnette Vyles

      They are a great group Janine. I think it does hit home a little more when you have law enforcement in the family but they help so many others as well it’s awesome.

  10. Shar

    I love this! Sounds like an amazing group with a great cause 🙂

    1. Lynnette Vyles

      Thank you Shar! They are an amazing group of people doing so much good.

  11. Nina

    I love hearing about organizations like this that really support the community and care for their members. Great read, thank you for sharing!

  12. Nicki

    Many motorcycle clubs (even those that are not affiliated with law enforcement) give a lot to charity. They host runs to donate money to the Children’s Hospital among other things. I even saw an article about a Hells Angel that waited in line for days to buy all the bicycles at Walmart on Black Friday to donate to kids that don’t have one. Generally, if you are respectful to them then they will be respectful to you.

    1. Lynnette Vyles

      You have a very valid point. Unfortunately, the perception in some cases is not good which is one reason I wanted to write the story. I think it’s important for the public to know about these amazing groups that quietly help others.

  13. Deanna

    Great organization helping those in need. So inspiring.

  14. Christa

    An open mind can really allow for so much, including learning about this incredible organization!

    1. Lynnette Vyles

      You are so right! It was a wonderful experience with amazing people.

  15. Kathy

    I have also seen movies and tv shows that make them look bad but most are not. I grew up seeing them. Here where I live now they have “poker runs” to raise money. Some of the money goes to buy stuffed animals to put in police cars so that when the police come across a situation where the child needs some comfort then they will give them a stuffed animal. Great cause.

    1. Lynnette Vyles

      You are so right Kathy (by the way that was my mother’s name). It’s a shame that they are vilified sometimes, which is why I wanted to share who they really are. Thank you for sharing your insight.

    1. Lynnette Vyles

      Thank you for taking the time to visit and read the story. It really is a wonderful cause that does a lot of good things in the communities.

  16. klinger

    Thank you so much for writing this article. We were proud to have you attend and look forward to you and Charlie attending other events.

    Thin Blue Line LEMC Klinger-Hub City Road Captain

    1. Lynnette Vyles

      I had a wonderful time learning about the organization and meeting everyone. I look forward to the next event. Thank you for inviting me.

  17. T.M. Brown

    Wow! I knew these existed, but to hear the story and experience…inspiring. It does take a very special person to place their life on the line for people they don’t know ~ and we can find that in many professions these days. I’m glad you had the opportunity to witness this. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Lynnette Vyles

      Thank you for visiting and your nice comments. I agree, it does take a special group and I am truly honored to have been invited in to tell their story.