CREVE COEUR--Red, white, and blue filled the streets of Central Illinois Saturday.
Bikers came together for the first ever "Armed Forces Freedom Ride," which raises money for local veterans in need.
"We're here for each other. And when you got the support...we do something," said ride organizer Iroc Rouse. "We stand together like we're supposed to."
Rouse has always wanted to help his fellow veterans.
He's a founder of the "Endless Trail Riders," a group of bikers that come together to show support for area organizations.
While he's never been in the service, he holds the sacrifices of war near and dear to his heart.
"My (vest) patch here," Rouse points, (it says) 'I wasn't there but I still care,' that's for my grandfather in World War II, and my POW, is for my dad in Vietnam. I wanted to give something back as a kid. And since I did not go in, I feel like, you know what? If we can make a difference out here, then that's what I want to do."
That's why hundreds of bikers, many of them veterans, are joining together for a ride giving back to those that gave their all.
"We're raising money for two charities. The homeless outreach center in Peoria, and also the veteran's food pantry in Pekin," explained Rouse.
Former vet Jim Walden says after serving overseas, many soldiers need help getting adjusted to life back home.
"You can't bring guys back from a combat zone and dump them back into society and expect them to function normally. It doesn't happen," said Walden. "They need the counseling, they need the medical help."
For recent service members like Sam Armbrust, the support means the world.
"You go over there and you see the things you see over there and then you come here and you can't help but be grateful for what you have."
Organizers hope to raise as much money as they can for area veterans.
They hope to make the local ride an annual event.
To join the ride or make a donation, contact the Creve Coeur VFW Post #4835 at 699-4344.