KILLEEN — 'Phantom Thunder' is a motorcycle rally put on by Fort Hood twice a year. It's time for camaraderie, but also a time to preach motorcycle safety on a military base that houses many two-wheeled riders.
"Just like we train on our weapons, train on our vehicles, we need training on motorcycles," said Peter Ladd, Brigade Major for the Army.
Ladd said the ability to ride a motorcycle is not a right, but a privilege.
"The ability to be able to do this on a duty day is a sign from our senior leadership saying, 'Hey, you're doing army business on army time. This is a training event. We're going to give you the time and give you the resources. Do it and do it right," said Ladd.
The rally usually occurs in and around the Killeen area but with Veterans Day looming this weekend, officials say there's no better destination for today's motorcycle rally than to visit those buried at the local veterans cemetery, Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery.
"I've watched my fellow brothers go down- brothers and sisters. And to me, it's the ultimate sacrifice, the ultimate honor for me to come out here and memorialize their memory," said Sgt. Gerald Gee.
All of the bikers gathered around for a moment of silence and after a 21-gun salute, the traveling soldiers unveiled a wreath to lay in honor of the fallen soldiers....
Soldiers who fought to protect rights and privileges of all Americans....
Rights like riding a motorcycle on a clear, beautiful day in central Texas.