Introducing Rolling Thunder
On May 2021 Lunch and Learn Event of Relax Teams, they invited Diane Malanga to represent Rolling Thunder as the local organization in the spotlight.
Diane Malanga is the current president of Rolling Thunder New Jersey Chapter 3. She is the first female civilian president within the organization. There are 33 states that represent Rolling Thunder and 88 chapters throughout the country.
Rolling Thunder is a non-profit organization united with a cause to lobby the government to bring home the remains of our POW/MIAs (Prisoners Of War-Missing In Action) from all wars. The organization’s second burner is to support our veterans throughout the country who are suffering including those in a hospital with PTSD among others. The organization also supports the families who are left behind. They follow TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) which is a program that cares for the families of the young men, women, and children of fallen soldiers.
Rolling Thunder visits and brings catered meals to the local hospitals in New Jersey including Veterans Haven, a transitional hospital paid for by the state of the New Jersey Department of Defense. At the state level, they visit Lions Hospital PTSD and Ladies Combat units.
All donations are tax-deductible as the chapter is a 501(C)(3) and the national organization is 501(C)(4).
Rolling Thunder was created by Vietnam Veteran Artie Mueller 33 years ago. He decided that since motorcycles make noise, they can make people listen and can get their attention. However, it is not a prerequisite to join and you do not have to be a part of the military to be a member.
Diane’s chapter has now re-homed the 10th homeless veteran. They meet veterans from the transitional hospital and follow them after they are homeless to success.
Before the pandemic, every year on the Sunday of Memorial Day Rolling Thunder would create a ride and go to the Pentagon parking lot where people can hear the roar of their engines.
Back in 1987, when Sgt. Artie Muller began Rolling Thunder, they had 2,500 bikes. However, on their 25th and 30th anniversary they were able to hit 1 million bikes in the Pentagon parking lot.
This year, New Jersey chapters will be doing Rolling Thunder 33 in Hunterdon County. It is going to be at the 4H Fairgrounds on 173 Lambertville. They will have an escorted ride going down through Washington's crossing and then come back to the Fairgrounds for a ceremony and a tribute to our fallen and those who have yet to come home.
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