Bike ralley aids veterans home project

WTVH-logoThe West Tennessee Veterans Home (WTVH) proposed for construction in Shelby County got a lift from patriotic bikers over the weekend from hundreds who rallied to raise awareness and funds on a 30-mile ride from Collierville to Millington.

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) led the pack on his Shadow as the rally departed for the Naval Air Station at Millington from Carriage Crossing in Collierville on Saturday morning.

“We will show Washington how much we care for the 70,000 veterans living in Shelby, Tipton and Fayette counties who’ve earned our devotion to this cause,” Norris said before the ride. “We must show Nashville, too.”

Norris oversaw funding by the General Assembly to acquire the land where the planned 148-bed facility will be built.

A parcel of land on the former Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities site in Arlington is the preferred location. This site is near the intersection of 385 and I-40 making it easily accessible.

The State of Tennessee will fund about $10 million of the cost of construction once $15.2 million of private and local funds can be raised. Shelby County government has allocated $2 million.

The Plough Foundation has pledged another $2 million, and some $2 million in additional private pledges and donations have been raised.

The Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Chapter 18-6, a not-for-profit Veterans Associ-ation, hosted Saturday’s ride from Collierville to Millington. Around 500 motorcycles participated.

“I appreciate the combat veterans and their service then and now,” Norris said.