A Hero’s Surprise
Infantryman gifted with $10,000 worth of motorcycle repairs
We at Eagle Leather honor, respect, and admire all men and women in uniform serving our country. We make no secret about it—we’ve always offered a 10% military discount. So stories like this one really get to us, and we love sharing them.
When Army sergeant A.J. McKinney brought his motorcycle in for repairs at a shop called The Bike Exchange in Gastonia, N.C., he expected a few tune ups to keep the bike from leaking oil. What he ended up with was more than $10,000 worth of repairs and upgrades—completely free. His bike looked brand new.
“I was shocked,” McKinney said. He didn’t even recognize that it was his bike. The shop’s general manager, Mike Nowling, explained that the guys at the shop wanted to show their appreciation for McKinney’s service by doing something extraordinary for him. It went a long way—McKinney, who has served two tours in Iraq, was very moved.
“People who do my job in the infantry, it’s one of the most dangerous jobs in the military,” he explained. “You don’t ask for recognition, but you want people to know what you do and who you do it for. For them to do this for me is just awesome.”
McKinney, an avid rider, has brought his bike with him throughout his assignments, including a stint in Hawaii, where the salt in the air rusted many of its parts. But the bike might as well be brand new now, thanks to the Bike Exchange and a number of its vendors, who pitched in to complete the project—which included a custom paint job.
“They went above and beyond,” said McKinney.
We think Sgt. McKinney is the one who went above and beyond—he and all of his brothers and sisters in the U.S. Military. We want to take this moment to thank them and their families for their bravery and sacrifice. Because of them—we ride free!