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I read this on the Arizona Virtual Jeep web site. It got my attention, and I thought some of you would enjoy it as well. I couldn't agree more..

I do want to say that ³Supporting our troops² IS NOT a political
statement.
Who ever said that is a political statement is wrong. Yes I know I am
biased after 26 proud years of military service. Then as today I don¹t
care
where you stand on the ³war², but support our folks who are over there.

Yes, its time we changed our image, till then its just shuffle from one
trail clean up to another Government meeting and back to the trail
clean up.
Look at the score board after 20 years. I¹d say we are losing!

I agree 100%.

I went on the first "Support Our Troops" run. When it was originally
posted here, many people felt that "political" runs shouldn't be
posted. So, the trip leader managed to pull it together through
personal
e-mails and phone calls regardless of the controversy on this board. I
can
only say that it was a huge success. People were actually coming out
of
restaurants and lining the streets to cheer us as we drove through
Tempe. The reaction to our group was very positive (except for the
small
band of about 15 protestors we buzzed).

I also went to a clean up at Saguaro Lake and brought a friend with
me. He's a boater. At one point he told me "I used to be out on my
boat
and see all the wheelers on the shoreline and think those were the
people
who didn't have enough money to afford a boat!" At the end of the day,
he
definitely had a new respect for wheelers.

Doing runs for good causes helps integrate people into the sport and
can
readjust their thinking as to what type of people wheel.


>We need more of this instead of more data collection to fight the
other data
>collectors [Sierra Club, etc,
> etc]. Only one major group has ever won those battles, the NRA. They
have
> won and continued to win for 2 reasons.
> 1. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights, specifically the 2nd
Amendment,
> the right to keep and bear arms!
> 2. The data collected, whether by the NRA, or the
Federal/State/Local
> governments has and continues to validate the 2nd Amendment.
> 3. Simple, we win because we are right and continue to be so.
>
> Having said that. We [off roaders] struggle to keep what little we
have and
> are continually losing ground. Our sport is very near extinction.
Matter
> of fact, much closer than you know. Today the Koyota [sp] Treaty
took
> effect. Every country except the US has signed the treaty. HOWEVER
it has
> been signed, by none other than Owl Hore, excuse me, Al Gore, while
he was
> the VP. The NEXT liberal democrat will ratify that signature and
declare it
> law. Your OHV [motorbike, Jeep, ATV, etc, etc] will not be worth the
time
> of day. All lands will be closed and managed by the Federal
government by
> the United Nations! Better not vote for Billary Klinton!
>
> Till that happens we still have a few good years left. But
collecting data
> and one more trail clean-up is not the answer. In fact about all we
are
> accomplishing is:
> 1. Making ourselves feel good
> 2. Putting lipstick on a pig
>
> We can attend all the meetings we want and scream bloody murder or
present
> facts as thick as the NYC fone book. Who listens, who cares and when
will
> pigs fly? We do, we do and no time soon! And, who is ³we²? Mostly us
and
> the turd in our back pockets because other than us, no one gives a
flip of
> the finger even.
>
> But we can change that. And we have a model of how its done. It
starts
> with changing our image. From a bunch of *******, hard drinkin guys
running
> around in or on OHV¹s and tearing up the ground, fences, shooting
cattle,
> chopping down trees/cactus and eating spotted owls [well they are
better
> than chicken]. What if I told you there was a group of folks, that
rode
> around, tearing things up, using and selling drugs, killing, robbing
and
> passing women around like candy. Men who take what they want by
force, who
> rape for fun. A group of folks so vile that few towns would even
allow them
> to do anything but pass thru, under police escort. A group so
viscous that
> the mere sight of them would cause doors to slam and police to be
called.
>
> Yet today that same group, rides to the White House and its riders
are
> Congressmen. Today you can pull up to a 5 star resort and be
welcomed, even
> provided special parking, out front. If you come in a group, not
only will
> they provide special parking, but provide a guard to watch over your
ride
> while you enjoy the premises. Today, women want you, families want
to know
> more and roll down windows to ask questions.
>
> Yea, it was one hell¹va transition and it happened fast. Yes, its
the
> Harley Owners Group or HOG. A major contributor to charity,
orphanages,
> Toy¹s for Tot¹s, etc, etc. Now its the rides led by Jay Leno, Lauren
> Hutton, Congressman Ben Knighthorse Campbell, Steve Forbes and most
every
> other celebrity either behind the handle bars or behind the rider.
>
> We need to do what they did. Align ourselves with ³goodness², become
a
> resource to our community, be R E S P E C T E D as Aretha Franklin
would
> say. Get our name/organization in the news, TV, radio, paper and
magazines.
> We won¹t do it picking up a beer bottle on upper Raw Deal. We won¹t
do it
> having a get together at the South 40 Cactus in Florence Junction.
>
> We will do it when 78 Jeeps drive across town on Xmas eve to deliver
teddy
> bears to the home for six toed kids. We will do it when 63 Jeeps
drive to
> Chandler for the Civil War Veterans Parade. It won¹t be long and
folks are
> saying ³those Jeep folks are good people, heck I see them down at
the home
> for unwed mothers all the time². Then some day somebody will say,
³nice
> Jeep there, what¹s it cost to build one of those?² ³The hell you
say, I
> could buy me a Mar-say-dees Bends for that kind of money!² After a
while
> the folks will be looking at our rigs and know we are doing
something
> besides ³shoveling **** in Louisiana² [General George Patton, 1943]
for a
> living. And, like the Harley folks who own something else besides
that
> Harley, they have nearly $50k+ in, we will be seen in the same
light.
>
> Then the next time we go to some meeting and drive up there in our
rigs and
> stand up and say ³Hello, I¹m Don and I drive a Jeep², oops, wrong
meeting.
> Say we go to a land use meeting, then when we stand up, we have more
than
> just a six pack, we have RESPECT! The land use guy has a kid with
six toes
> and we gave him a stuffed teddy bear and we have been taking his
unwed
> daughter for rides in our Jeep. He is also thinking, ³gotta keep
these guys
> happy, hell they spend more money on their Jeep¹s than I make in a
year.²
> ³Sierra Club, go take a hike!²
 
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