The Times West Virginian

Local News

November 13, 2013

‘Patriot Chopper’ making stops in county this week

Motorcycle was built for Army National Guard

FAIRMONT — The “Patriot Chopper,” a motorcycle built for the Army National Guard, is making a few stops in Fairmont this week.

Built by the Orange County Choppers, the bike was first unveiled in 2007.

“It was designed by four different national guardsmen,” Sgt. Todd Crawford said. “They gave those designs to the Orange County Choppers and they were able to build the bike based on those. There is a lot of history there.”

Crawford said the bike has several military-related features and it includes a list of the wars and conflicts the National Guard has been involved in over the years.

On Veterans Day, Crawford said the bike was at a local VFW chapter and was also in the Clarksburg Veterans Day Parade.

“We got to show the bike to a lot of different veterans,” Crawford said. “They were all able to check out the bike and get pictures with it. They all had a really good time checking that out. With Veterans Day having just passed by, it’s a very important and significant thing.”

Crawford took the bike to Fairmont Senior High School and Fairmont State University on Tuesday.

“A lot of the high school students were ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhing’ over it,” Crawford said. “It was like, ‘Oh, my goodness. I saw this on TV and now it’s here in my school,’ so it’s just really cool.”

The Patriot Chopper will be on display at North Marion High School and FSU today, at East Fairmont High School and FSU on Thursday, and at Grafton High School and Liberty High School on Friday.

“Being a recruiter in the National Guard, that’s my primary market — high school and college students,” Crawford said. “The schools are where I spend a lot of my time, so I thought that’s where I would bring it.”

Crawford said there are four Patriot Choppers: one showcase bike and three replicas that travel across the country. After it leaves North Central West Virginia, Crawford said this particular bike will travel to Florida.

While it’s in Fairmont, though, Crawford said he hopes students and community members will appreciate what the motorcycle stands for and that it will bring attention to the National Guard.

“I’m hoping that people get to see it and get excited about it because there’s a lot of history there, and we’re just glad to have it,” Crawford said. “The secondary function of it is to raise awareness for the National Guard. We have a three-part mission: to take care of wars, help with natural disasters and to add value to the community. By having this motorcycle here for a whole week, we’re getting to share it with as many people as we can.”

Anyone interested in more information about the National Guard can contact Crawford at 304-594-6179.

Email Kaylyn Christopher at kchristopher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @KChristopherTWV.

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