You Saved My Life

Good morning Mr. King.

I spoke to Pierre at H.O.G. yesterday. My name is Douglas L. McWeeny IV. I am a HOG member on and off for the last 40 years. I am retired now from the US Army where I served as an Aviation Crew Member overseas in Mannheim and Heidelberg, Germany. I was also a Union Film and Video Tape Editor in Hollywood for many years at Universal Studios Post Production Departments.

I am asking you to review and hopefully publish it in the next “Enthusiast” Magazine to help all my HOG friends and Harley Davidson rider brothers and sisters and those who are Veterans celebrate the WHITE MOUNTAIN VETERANS TRIBUTE motorcycle run and rally, September 3 – 5 in Show Low Arizona at the Airport. It will be a ride and fly-in rally and all proceeds will go to supporting Veteran’s WALKING DOWN RANCH VETERANS TRANSITIONAL HOUSING in Lakeside, Arizona. AKA VETERAN’S VILLAGE. 

Veterans Village is a 25-cabin converted resort that is supported by private benefactors and big-box companies like Home Depot.  I came across it two going on three years ago. I had just retired and I moved up to Concho outside of Show Low to my acre and quarter property that I have owned for 15 years and camped on coming up on weekends year-round on my Harley and my 4×4 pickup to enjoy the peace and quiet and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and establish myself in a community of 1300 people and live off-grid into my retirement and live here full time for the rest of my days. I finished my move to become a retired person on my property and a permanent resident in October 2018.

I figured I had plenty of time before the snow came to get set up for winter. But winter came early and the cold with it. I mentioned I live off-grid. I have to run a generator for electricity and use propane for heat and I haul my own water and I live full time in my 32-foot Midas Palm Beach Class A motor home. I planned my budget around the weather. So when IRS and VA started garnishing my Social Security benefits I was in financial trouble, to say the least.

After selling all my high-dollar possessions I was still struggling to make ends meet when I saw this beautiful log cabin main building with beautiful log cabins surrounding it and the name on the road sign VETERANS VILLAGE WALKING DOWN RANCH on the front lawn. So something guided me into the driveway and I parked and went inside. It was beautiful like coming home.

I called out to see if anyone was there. I heard the voice of a woman telling me to come on in her office. She reached out to shake my hand and introduced herself. “Hi, my name is Maggie Heath welcome to Walking Down Ranch Veterans Village. I told her my story and low and behold she invited me to move in one of the cabins until the winter was over. She saved my life!

She also helped me get my VA DISABILITY BENEFITS that I had been denied since getting out of the military in 1992. She also helped me get my garnishments stopped. So by the time that spring came I was getting my VA DISABILITY BENEFITS and my garnishments stopped and I even saved my FLHTC 2010 ELECTRA GLIDE CLASSIC Harley Davidson from repo and I was able to live and not just survive on SSI and VA disability. 

Their goal at Veterans Village Walking Down Ranch is to rehab veterans’ lives and get them back on their feet into jobs and homes and assist them to get their VA and SSI benefits if they can’t work any longer or are retired, homeless, or jobless. So they are my family now.

They also give veterans who are terminally ill a comfortable beautiful log cabin as their final resting place. I knew more than a few great men and veterans who have passed on and a few were H.O.G. members and riding up until their last days. May they all rest in peace! 

So please all my H.O.G. member brothers and sisters, please check out THE INAUGURAL WHITE MOUNATIN VETERANS TRIBUTE MOTORCYCLE RUN RALLY and FLY-IN at the SHOW LOW AIRPORT on September 3, 4, 5th — there will be loads of events, and all are listed on the website .All the proceeds go to the homeless shelter and housing and feeding veterans in transition. 

Thank you in advance for all your help !!!! Your humble servant and grateful veteran and fellow H.O.G. member,

Doug McWeeny