As the father of a veteran, David McMullen’s involvement with motorcycles has become something more than just enthusiasm.
“It takes donations to make this kind of stuff happen, and wounded warriors have stepped into the vacuum,” said McMullen who, with the help of other bikers and an army of volunteers is getting ready for the Pictou Motorcycle Show.
“Last year we were able to give away $3,200 to the Wounded Warrior program,” said McMullen proudly astride his brand-new Harley Davidson.
The Wounded Warriors Canada fund is a National Mental Health Provider funding programs that are designed to support ill and injured members of the Canadian Armed Forces, veterans, first responders and their families.
One of the programs closest to McMullen is the PTSD Service Dog Program.
“I’ve seen the difference that these dogs make in people’s lives,” he told The News. “My daughter and her husband are both veterans, they’ve both been Afghanistan, and I’ve seen what changes that happen between them and the people around them.”
Wounded Warrior Canada invests in service dog training. Despite a lack of national standard for PTSD service dogs the demand among veterans and first responders is high.
Last year, WWC announced $300,000 which would go to pairing 25 PTSD service dogs with the people who need them. According to the WWC website, the cost to train one PTSD service dog is $15,000.
“To train a service dog is very expensive,” McMullen said. “But I’ve seen what a service dog can do and it’s something that’s important to me.”
McMullen told The News that last year there were 103 bikes in the Pictou Motorcycle Show, and he’s hoping for a similar success this year.
“Pictou is an excellent venue. If you can be on pavement and be close to some nice restaurants, good businesses and help out a good cause while doing it then it’s a great thing to do.”
This year’s show is scheduled for Aug. 17 with a rain date of Aug. 18 on the Pictou Waterfront, but the work it takes to bring something like this off means that McMullen and everyone involved have been preparing since winter.
“It’s the little things like trying to get insurance, parking permits, finding vendors and trying to get the local businesses to support us,” he said.
Like last year, McMullen told The News that this summer’s show will have something for everyone, with vendors, silent auction and both face painting and a fun area for children.
“I can’t imagine anywhere else that I’d want to have it,” said McMullen who is eager to also help the town he calls home. “I’m trying to benefit the town that I live in because I love it.”
With the big day drawing near, McMullen said that they’re still in need of volunteers.
“Anything from traffic control, to helping people park bikes or to find their way around town,” he said. “I don’t need skills, I just need people who have some time to spare.”
Anyone interested in helping out can call 902 396 7456, or email email@example.com