2024 Gold Star Families Memorial Ride Kicks Off in Navarre

Posted on April 16, 2024 by Romi White

The 2024 Gold Star Families Memorial Ride, a weeklong ride honoring Gold Star families, started April 12 at American Legion Post 382 in Navarre.

Riders gathered at Post 382 then proceeded to Veterans Memorial Park in Pensacola for the Opening Ceremony, which took place at Gulf Coast Gold Star Families Memorial Monument at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Pensacola.

Participants cleaned up the monument before laying a Gold Star Wreath sponsored by Warren Williamson with Tribute to Fallen Soldiers Northwest, and a POW-MIA Wreath placed on behalf of Teddy Morse’s Daytona Harley-Davidson.

The Patriot Guard Riders escorted the riders, who proceeded back to Navarre via Santa Rosa Island, arriving at Post 382, their overnight host. Loreen Skobel, Post 382 adjutant, and others welcomed the group, who were treated to a delicious meal cooked by American Legion Auxiliary 1st Vice President Tracy Bragg and others.

Participants were presented Challenge 22 Coins, a Florida Dept Commander Pin, and American Legion Membership Pins. Post 382 Commander Jason Skobel was presented with a 2024 Gold Star Families Memorial Appreciation Plaque.

Later in the evening, Michael Raymond, American Legion Department of Florida Commander, addressed Post 382 members, thanking them for their community service throughout the year. The nonprofit organization hosts many community events throughout the year, including but not limited to Ride for the Clause and fundraisers to provide scholarships to local students.

American Legion Department of Florida Commander Michael Raymond, addressed American Legion Post 382 members on April 12

On Saturday, April 13, the Gold Star Families Memorial Ride participants headed out to Chester Simms Veterans Homes in Panama City before traveling on to American Legion Post 57 in Lake City.

Additionally, a Western Area Ball took place Saturday night, honoring Post 382 member Sonny Decker, who currently serves as Western Area Commander. “It was an awesome event. Thank each of you from the bottom of my heart,” Decker said.