Thanks to one local bar owner and military veteran, bikers in mid-Missouri will have a chance to win prizes while giving people who served the armed forces a chance to visit the nation's capital.
The Thirsty Hog in Fulton will be holding its second annual Honor Flight Poker Run Aug. 25, with all proceeds going towards the program that flies World War II, Korea and Vietnam War veterans to see the nation's memorials dedicated to their service.
The idea came about when the Thirsty Hog's owner, Mike Bell, went on Honor Flights of his own. Seeing what an impact the trip could have on veterans and knowing that more and more men and women who served in WWII are dying each day, Bell wanted to waste no time in helping more veterans afford to take the trip while they still could.
"It's the coolest deal, and it's not commercialized; it seems everything is about these people. I couldn't help but get involved," said Bell. "I know when I came home from Vietnam, I got eggs thrown at me from the airport, because it was not a popular war. Showing these people respect is a worthy cause."
The poker run starts and ends at the Thirsty Hog Saloon just south of Fulton. Riders will take a 136-mile trip through mid-Missouri, stopping at Trails End in Osage City, Miss Kitt's in St. Elizabeth, the Crazy Horse Saloon near Ulman and Twin Bridges Bar and Grill in Jefferson City, with the last bike in due back by 6 p.m.
Riders will receive a playing card at each stop, and the contestant with the best poker hand at the end of the run will be the winner.