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Bikers ride for a cause

Published: Jul. 3, 2021 at 9:23 PM EDT
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MARIETTA, Ohio. (WTAP) - Bikers across multiple states gathered in Marietta, all to give back - in memory of a fallen military service member.

Marietta’s American Legion parking lot echoed with the low rumble of motorcycles.

Bikers took off in groups, all riding for a good cause.

It’s all for a scholarship made in the memory of Christian Ward, who died in an accident two years ago.

His mom, Karla Ward, explained, “We’ve done it for the last two years. Basically we give $500 scholarships to a student who’s entering any branch of the United States Service.”

Christian Ward was an army specialist who gave back beyond his military service.

His dad, Gary Ward, remembered. “He donated a lot of his time to orphanages. Karla would send him supplies.”

Karla continued, “We sent him crayons and coloring books and matchbox cars and stuff like that for Christmas.”

Gary added, “He said he didn’t want anything himself. He just wanted to give to the children in the orphanages.”

Although the SPC Christian D. Ward Memorial Scholarship was made in Christian’s name, during his life, Christian preferred to give in silence.

Gary said, “He wouldn’t let anyone know he was in the service. It wasn’t the reason he joined. He just kind of stood in the background and gave to charities and Chris was an organ donor also so he was able to save three people with his organs.”

The Wards want to continue that legacy of giving back.

And so do the bikers - some who traveled from states like Virginia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to donate.

Local biker Jeremy Burchett said, “I’m the son of a Vietnam veteran and so I do anything I can anytime I can to help support our veterans and their families.”

Burchett said the motorcyclists hope they can make someone’s life a little easier.

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