[00:00:00] Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for tuning into the Drive On Podcast where we’re focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran active duty guard reserve or family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio.
[00:00:18] Scott DeLuzio: And now let’s get on with the show.
[00:00:21] Scott DeLuzio: As a gold star family member, I’m always humbled and appreciative of all the support that comes from civilians veterans non-profits and other groups who make it their mission to support those who lost a loved one in service to our nation. Today my guest is Anthony Price. Anthony is with the gold star ride foundation whose mission it is to actively support.
[00:00:43] Scott DeLuzio: Comfort and provide education benefits to gold star families throughout the United States. They provide these things directly with personal visits, via motorcycle, and they support those other organizations that work to assist in the same activities that help support [00:01:00] these gold star families. So without further ado, welcome to the show, Anthony, I’m really appreciative to have you on the show.
[00:01:06] Anthony Price: Hey,
[00:01:06] Anthony Price: Scott, it’s great to be here. These things are kind of fun. I don’t get to do them every day. So it’s kind of fun to rock and roll with my headphones on. Yeah, absolutely pretend I’m a young guy doing stuff like this. I did want to take a quick moment here to augment that introduction.
[00:01:21] Anthony Price: I appreciate that introduction very much, but the gold star ride foundation has expanded their. Called to duty for lack of better terminology. And it’s not just education benefits. It’s now we are to the point where we will do whatever the fallen hero would have done. If they were still around just today, as a matter of fact, I got an email from a young lady.
[00:01:42] Anthony Price: Who’s been a gold star widow. For years and her air conditioner went out in her house and she’s got three kids to take care of. So odds are, we’re going to step up there and make sure that that air conditioning is taken care of. It’s late in the summer as this one airs, but it’s the beginning of the summer as we’re [00:02:00] recording it.
[00:02:01] Anthony Price: So hopefully by the time this air, should we sitting in air conditioned comfort?
[00:02:05] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, I hope so. And that’s an amazing thing that you guys are doing is basically stepping in and filling in where that gold, the gold star family needs, that, that sort of support from the person who. It gave that ultimate sacrifice, made that ultimate sacrifice and really did that for all of our benefits.
[00:02:25] Scott DeLuzio: And you guys are stepping up and filling in where they would have otherwise been able to help out with their family. So, honestly It really is to me a huge thing that, that you guys are doing. And I feel like it’s an incredible effort that you guys are making, and I’m really appreciative of all the work that
[00:02:43] Anthony Price: you guys do.
[00:02:43] Anthony Price: Well, that’s very kind of you to say it’s just something that I feel compelled to do. I’m the executive director of the organization, which is a 5 0 1 C3 charity organization. But being the executive director, that means that I’m the one who does all. I don’t know how familiar are with [00:03:00] small charities, but that’s basically what that means is I’m the one who does all the work.
[00:03:05] Anthony Price: And I don’t know how much longer I get to say that we’re a small charity. We have very little manpower, just about two or three different volunteers that are getting everything coordinated with the tens of thousands of miles that we ride every year to the homes that we go visit and everything.
[00:03:20] Anthony Price: But we are national. We are working nationally to give you a couple of bullet points real quick here in since 2018. So it’ll be four years since we got this thing kicked off and in that amount of time, I have visited all 48 of the continuous United States, at least three times each. Wow. I have.
[00:03:40] Anthony Price: Over a hundred thousand motorcycle miles and I have visited with more than 400 gold star families personally met them face to face, not like this little zoom thing that you and I got. And I, the next time I’m in Phoenix area, I’m sure that you and I we’ll shake hands and we’ll meet in person.
[00:03:59] Anthony Price: We’ll get [00:04:00] that taken care of to us, you know? Well, not, you get to be, but you are one of us. So, that’s important for us to make that physical in-person connection with all the gold stars.
[00:04:15] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And it’s really amazing to me that you guys are. Going all over the country meeting with all these people who, quite frankly, you don’t know these people from everything, right?
[00:04:28] Anthony Price: Not beforehand as a rule. No, we don’t know him beforehand. And w that brings up an interesting point. Well, or probably indirectly brings up an interesting point, but we don’t reach out to any gold stars. You being the exception when we reached out to you and we talked about this podcast, but we do not reach out to gold stars.
[00:04:47] Anthony Price: We ask, we just sit and wait for gold stars to reach out to us. As I mentioned that the one they called up this morning, again, no idea who that is. No idea whatsoever. So there’s and we got some protocols that we have [00:05:00] to follow because there was one time when we actually had somebody try to hoodwink us and they said they were a gold star, but they really weren’t.
[00:05:07] Anthony Price: And as a consequence of that, which is really weird, right? I mean, who wants to pretend what’s to pretend to be a gold star family? Right. But anyway, there was one, and since there was one, we have to do some due diligence as it were to make sure that. Going up the right road, but they have to reach up, reach out to us or somebody very close to them.
[00:05:29] Anthony Price: Their vet, their best friend has to reach out to us and tell us to stop by and, get it all set up. We’re not going to call people out of the blue and say, oh yeah, I heard you had a death in the family. We’d like to come by and meet ya. You know, that would just be ridiculous. Right. They’ll have to call us.
[00:05:47] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. So I guess my whole point with that is it, to me, it’s a special thing because you’re going out of your way. You’re logging all these thousands and thousands of miles you’re [00:06:00] providing the support, financial support education benefits things like you’re talking about in the air conditioner and things like that.
[00:06:07] Scott DeLuzio: All those things are. They’re expensive. They’re there, they’re big things in there. They’re for people that prior to them reaching out to you, you didn’t have a clue who these people were. And to me that’s the. The thing about charities that really moves me is that you’re out there.
[00:06:23] Scott DeLuzio: You’re helping people. You don’t know these people, you don’t owe them anything. But you still go out of your way to to help them out, knowing the sacrifice that they have made for all of us. And it’s really special, incredible to me. And that’s why I wanted to have you on and talk about the foundation.
[00:06:38] Scott DeLuzio: And. And really help spread awareness. And so that not only could people come and support you in everything that you’re doing, because obviously it takes money. It takes time resources to do everything that you’re doing, but also for the other gold star families who are out there too.
[00:06:53] Scott DeLuzio: No, that there are people like you out there who are able to support them and that they don’t have to [00:07:00] go through this terrible time in their lives all by themselves.
[00:07:03] Anthony Price: Yeah. And just to comment on that last point that you make to go through that terrible time all by themselves. I bet I can say something about you and you’re going to agree with me that it’s not once that terrible time hits, it never goes away.
[00:07:19] Anthony Price: You’re never going to stop missing your brother. Right. You’re never, and forgive me because this is actually for some, I’ve been interviewed by a gold star. So, we gotta try to make sure we keep our interview hat on. But yeah, it doesn’t have. Get any easier. It, well, maybe it gets a little bit easier.
[00:07:37] Anthony Price: Maybe it gets a little bit easier to tolerate, but it never goes away and you never get to you, you just get to power through, but it never goes away. I don’t know how long it’s been for you. I would guess about 40, well, almost
[00:07:51] Scott DeLuzio: 12 years now. So yeah.
[00:07:54] Anthony Price: So 12 years it’s been that you’ve been a gold star and incidentally, you’re a gold star.[00:08:00]
[00:08:00] Anthony Price: Yeah, who happened to serve. So you got a whole bunch of other parts of the puzzle that you get to bring to the table that a lot of gold stars don’t bring. When we talk about gold stars, usually people say, well, she’s a gold star mom, and that’s kind of where it ends kinda, every now and then you’ll get, oh yeah, he’s a gold star dad.
[00:08:21] Anthony Price: And then the next one you hear is, oh, they’re gold star kids. The ones that they never talk about. Nobody ever talks about is gold star brothers and Goldstar sisters. Right. But see, you bring something so much extra to the table because you served with your brother didn’t show.
[00:08:37] Scott DeLuzio: So we didn’t, we served in Afghanistan at the same time.
[00:08:40] Scott DeLuzio: You know, in the same unit side by side with each other, we were we’re in the same part of the country. We’re both in Eastern Afghanistan, but we, while we were over there, we never saw each other, but we
[00:08:49] Anthony Price: survived. Did you get to bring this other part of the equation to the table? That unspoken comradery like you and I, Scott, we have.
[00:08:58] Anthony Price: A teeny tiny little [00:09:00] bit of invisible bond because I served in the Navy and you’re served as well. So we got this automatic little thing, right. And nobody knows really how to describe it or what it is, but we have this automatic little thing and that little thing is amplified. You end up, if you’ve talked to a stranger and you meet somebody in a grocery store, you just say, excuse me, I want that loaf of bread.
[00:09:23] Anthony Price: And they say, oh, I served in Afghanistan too. You’ve got an instant rapport and instant contact an instant way of just knowing something that you guys have a secret, right? You have a secret, you and I have a secret cause we both serve. But if you bump into somebody who served in the same theater that you did, you got it even tighter.
[00:09:41] Anthony Price: So you get to bring that to the table because. He was your brother. You grew up with them. You were in the same house, right? Right. So literally your brother, but he was your brother in arms too, because you were in the same theater. And now you get to add all to that. You get to also, [00:10:00] you also bring to the table that not only did you serve with him, not only was he your kid, brother, you played football with in the backyard.
[00:10:07] Anthony Price: When you were 10, you served in the same theater of war and. Those kinds of those are things that you can’t explain to somebody you, you don’t get to. You just can’t explain it cause it’s it. How do you put into, well, the feeling is like this it’s blue. Yeah. It’s like trying to describe a color.
[00:10:29] Anthony Price: It’s red incidentally. I wear red every day. I wear red to remember everyone deployed. You’ve heard that, right? Oh yeah. I’m so sorry. I got a little sidetrack there, but it’s like trying to describe to a blind person, the color red. Right? How do you describe colors to somebody who’s never had vision?
[00:10:49] Anthony Price: So that’s the same sort of thing, except the difference. You don’t have to, when you meet that guy in a grocery store, he served in Afghanistan. You don’t have to describe the color red. You both [00:11:00] just know what the color red looks like when you’re like you’re blind and you know what the color, I’m trying to keep the metaphor going.
[00:11:08] Anthony Price: But there’s so much of this stuff that defies normal explanation. And I really appreciate you giving me a chance to be on your show, to actually meet with. This is so cool for me to meet.
[00:11:24] Scott DeLuzio: Well, the feeling is mutual on my side here because seeing all the work that you guys put in and you being the the workhorse behind a lot of this to me, It’s like, this is just a really special thing for me.
[00:11:38] Scott DeLuzio: And I’m really excited to have this conversation with you and find out more about the foundation and everything that you guys are
[00:11:44] Anthony Price: Yeah, that’s right. We’re supposed to talk about the foundation we’ve been, we got a little sidetracked talking about other stuff. Do you see, I’m just assuming that with the drive on podcast, that you’ve got listeners who did not serve.
[00:11:59] Anthony Price: I [00:12:00] assume
[00:12:02] Scott DeLuzio: there are some of those out there. There’s some family members and people like that who didn’t serve, but they want to know more about what’s going on with the veteran community and
[00:12:10] Anthony Price: stuff, you know? Yeah. And that’s kinda, where I want to come from is. To get to those people. Those are the people I’m trying to describe the color red to.
[00:12:19] Anthony Price: Right. So if you don’t quite get it, just know that it’s there. That’s that’s probably the best way to describe it to civilians is you don’t have to understand it, to know that it’s there. And knowing that it’s, there is a big deal and the same thing is true. At a different level, but the same kind of thing is true.
[00:12:40] Anthony Price: When we talk about gold star brothers, literal gold star brothers and gold star sisters, I meet with them all the time. I just met with somebody down in Florida along the Gulf coast, a sister who lost her brother and she was one of those. People didn’t [00:13:00] know how to tell her. They didn’t know how to react to her.
[00:13:03] Anthony Price: Nobody knew how to react to it. And this is one of the things that I try to bring when I get to meet with these families and incidentally, she’s not the only one. There was a gold star sister in, in west Memphis, Tennessee. There was gold star sisters and Utah, there was gold star sisters.
[00:13:17] Anthony Price: And but anyway, It takes me a while to go through 400 families. So there, there are a lot of them and they become, oh, there’s one in Massachusetts, too. Okay. Massachusetts, I bring that up because I’m writing in Massachusetts on May 31st. 2022. Sorry about that. You to said but we should be doing it every year and it will be the Tuesday after Memorial day, every year that we are going to start going to this bar in Massachusetts, that’s owned by a gold star sister as a matter of coincidence.
[00:13:53] Anthony Price: So she wanted to do a fundraiser for us. So we’re just going to stop. Additionally, as long as we’re talking a little bit about rides and [00:14:00] I’m not working off a script, so if the conversation goes that way, don’t be surprised. No worries. But yeah, we go to Washington DC for Memorial day weekend.
[00:14:11] Anthony Price: Every year we’ve been doing it for 40. The reason, the primary reason to go is for the demonstration against our nation’s capital to remember MIAs and POW’s and that’s just something that’s been going on since the eighties motorcycles on Memorial day, Sunday parade in front of the Capitol they will block off the streets there and there will be a parade of nothing but motorcycles going non-stop for.
[00:14:35] Anthony Price: Anywhere from two to six hours. Oh, wow. It’s a massive thing. I get to do some stuff at Arlington the day before we get to go see the monuments we’re going to on a Memorial day, Saturday, we will have gold star families that we go pay honor to in the DC area. And then on Monday I’m in long island to do a podcast.
[00:14:55] Anthony Price: I do an in-studio podcast on Memorial day in long island. That’s a lot of fun. And then from [00:15:00] there we go, just go see gold star families up in the new England area which includes stopping to see this bar in Massachusetts. We will go through, up toward Concord and New Hampshire, Vermont, and.
[00:15:12] Anthony Price: We’re going to do something on, I think it’s the Thursday of that week, right on the state line of Vermont and New Hampshire. There’s a little restaurant, little town, little restaurant right there. I, sorry, don’t have my script in front of me. I don’t know the exact details, but that’ll be I think that’s planned for the Thursday after Memorial day.
[00:15:29] Anthony Price: And after that, I will have been gone for two weeks and I’m going to Hightail it back home. There’s a good chance that I’ll stop somewhere. Say south bend Indiana or Detroit or someplace I’ll stop along the way. And oh, as a matter of fact I know it already, there is a family and in 2022, there’s a family outside of west of Chicago.
[00:15:51] Anthony Price: We’re going to stop and see them on our way home, back to Minneapolis. That’s right. This is a Minneapolis basement here, by the way, [00:16:00] not little at some parts of the country, don’t have basements. This is what a basement.
[00:16:04] Scott DeLuzio: I’m originally from Connecticut, every house had a basement. Now I live out in Arizona and pretty much no houses have a basement.
[00:16:10] Scott DeLuzio: It’s just, yeah. It’s,
[00:16:12] Anthony Price: it’s incredible. Yeah, but this is actually a basement. That’s a real wood-burning fireplace back there. That’s a gold, this is one of the banners that we have available to hang off the motorcycle. So it’s a great star ride foundation banner that it’s supposed to hang on a motorcycle.
[00:16:28] Anthony Price: If you look up here, you see the little bitty rat. Tips have little bitty rags right there. Those are flags that have many, many, many miles on them. There’s two American flags there. The person American flag is over here. You can’t even see it. It has 32,000 miles on it. The middle American flag has 36,000 miles on it.
[00:16:49] Anthony Price: And then there’s a gold star flag way at the end that has about 35,000. Wow. Anyway. Yeah, the flags get a lot of miles and we do a lot of [00:17:00] things. We do a lot of miles and I mentioned that I’ll be on the road for two weeks, so I’ll be in a hurry to get back home. I did mention that, right? Yeah. So let me use that as a nice little segue to get back to why do, why am I in a hurry to get back home after two weeks?
[00:17:14] Anthony Price: Because my wife is not sitting on the back of the motorcycle with me. She usually flies out to Washington DC to spend that time in DC with me, but then we’ll pick out an airport for her to fly back cause she’s got her own job. So the reason why two weeks is a long time on the road is because when I first got this thing kicked off, when I first got started doing it I left on July 2nd, 2018 and I got home on August 26.
[00:17:41] Anthony Price: 2018 more or less give or take a day. I get them all mixed up. Anyway, I’m in that 50, I wrote 54 days. I made it to 44 states and I met with 64 gold star families. I went almost 18,000 miles in [00:18:00] that two-week period. Oh wow. And then I got home from that and I spent a month making sure that my wife still loved me and she let me back in that.
[00:18:09] Anthony Price: And she gave me the basement. No, I’m just kidding. I spent a month making sure she loved me and then I sat down and wrote the book. So this book, yours very sincerely and respectfully. And I’ll hint on the title here in just a second, but this book is the story of the original reason for doing.
[00:18:25] Anthony Price: What it took to get the 5 0 1 C3 hub, getting a board of directors getting and making sure that it was a good idea, the whole process of it’s going to be a good idea. And, I went to somebody and I said, Hey, we need to go national with this ride. And they all burst into laughter and he said, that’ll never happen.
[00:18:43] Anthony Price: Well, I’ve been to every state at least three times. Ah, so the, when we visit a. I don’t have, I don’t have any here, so I can’t hold up the plaques that we give to the family. So, sorry about that. Again, running without a script [00:19:00] when when we visit a family, we leave them a little plaque, a little token of our.
[00:19:05] Anthony Price: Appreciation and our memories that we shared together and engraved in the plaque is something called the big speed letter. Now the big speed letter was written by Abraham Lincoln, to a woman who apparently lost five sons in battle in during the civil war. So it’s commonly referred to as the Bixby letter.
[00:19:27] Anthony Price: Now the first pair, it’s a three paragraph letter. The first paragraph talks about her and her boy. Took that off because it’s very, very specific, but the next two paragraphs are very genuine and heartfelt and they’re Lincoln asking their they’re. They’re like, what’s the word I’m looking for? That means it came out of the Bible.
[00:19:45] Anthony Price: Scripture they’re very much like scripture. So those are engraved into the plaque and Lincoln signed that letter, yours very sincerely and respectfully a Lincoln. So hence the title of the book, yours very sincerely and respectfully a Lincoln. [00:20:00] Now the book will have all kinds of neat things in it.
[00:20:02] Anthony Price: I get to tell you about this stuff, because this is a podcast, right? So it’s long. Yeah, I guess I could just ramble on and on and on and on. So what you’re going to find in the book is stuff like what it took to create the foundation and in what it took to go on the ride. And then it’s not a chronological journey.
[00:20:20] Anthony Price: You’re not going to find, okay, July 2nd. This is what happens like third. This is what happened. It’s not like that at all. It’s like paragraph or chapter one. This is what it takes to set something up. Chapter two, this is what it’s like on the road. Chapter three, this is all really bad hotels, nothing but really bad hotels.
[00:20:37] Anthony Price: Chapter four, here’s a couple of gold star families, chapter five. This is what it’s like when the motorcycle breaks down. And incidentally, I’ll share this with you on that ride. I was broke down eight days out of my first 14. Oh wow. Out of the first 14, not the last 14, the first 14. Since then let me share with you some stuff, right?
[00:20:59] Anthony Price: Cause you want [00:21:00] to know about what happens and the ride or the foundation. I mean, we do the work. We’ve talked about that already, but what kind of happens on the road? I’ll tell you that one of the most, it was two rides ago. My 31st ride, I was on my, I was on ride number 31 and I was riding from on this particular day.
[00:21:21] Anthony Price: I was riding from Dolton, Alabama on my way to St. Louis, Missouri gold star family, and St. Louis got to go see him. I’m in Dalton, Alabama, I’m visiting with the gold star family there. We had thunderstorms come through. I mean, nasty stuff with tornadoes and stuff. So, we met him at, I, I met the family at the Memorial that was set up in Dolton that has their son’s name is on it.
[00:21:42] Anthony Price: We talked for a great deal of time and we, I get to learn all the backstory. I need to learn all kinds of stuff. And we laughed a little bit. We cried a little bit. And then I heard thunder roll in and I saw this guy and his yuck. And I said, I’m going to go over here to this restaurant. And, we’d been together for two and a half hours.
[00:21:59] Anthony Price: And [00:22:00] I generally don’t work with a schedule either, but, we just do what, and I said, look, it’s I’m going to go sit in this restaurant and just wait out this nasty line of thunderstorms. Cause I don’t mind riding in the rain, but I have a, an, a little bit of an aversion to writing in the tornado.
[00:22:14] Anthony Price: Right. So they said, well, we’re going to join you. And I said, okay fine. So we went to a local little restaurant and we sat it out and we waited on watching my phone. I’m doing the little radar thing. And we’re watching it and sure enough, the tornado, there was a tornado, it was about three blocks away from the restaurant.
[00:22:32] Anthony Price: So we wait until all of that passes. And then I get on the motorcycle and down the road and I’m headed for St. Louis and I’m riding in the rain. The tornado had passed, but there was still six hours of. But it was just a, the, just get wet rain. The thunder had passed. And so down the road we’re going and incidentally, that’s how I watched the motorcycle.
[00:22:53] Anthony Price: Cause I never have time to actually wash the motorcycle. So, we’re we ride in the rain to get the motorcycle washed and I made [00:23:00] it 75 miles down the road I’d written for about an hour and a half, but 75 miles down the road. And I was in the next town. I can’t remember the name of it. And. The rain, just, I can tell it’s going to stop.
[00:23:12] Anthony Price: I can see the clouds are breaking up and it’s just going to stop. And I’m on a hill. I’m on a hill and a stoplight right there, and I stopped for the stoplight and I’m a pretty experienced motorcyclists, I’ve done this before. But I let out the clutch to go and the bike dies. I don’t know.
[00:23:30] Anthony Price: It’s like, oh, well that’s weird. Okay. Let’s hit the start button and make it go again. Well, the long and short of it is the startup. Right there. The star went out. So I’m in the left lane going uphill in the rain and within 1100 pounds of motorcycle and everything packed on it because I’m driving a Harley ultra classic when the bags are full and I got books and I’ve got clothes and I’ve got anyway.
[00:23:55] Anthony Price: First, really cool thing that happened. I hit my four ways on, so I got my four [00:24:00] going, everybody should know that I’m in trouble and I start to slowly push up. Off to the right. And I have to cross two lanes of traffic and a semi. I look back there and there’s a semi right there. He blocks two lanes of road hits his four ways and he sits right there and blacks traffic.
[00:24:17] Anthony Price: So I get off the road. So that’s a first cool thing and I get over to the shoulder and I’m still got a little ways to go to get up and around the hill and. Main beaten path. And you know how on the side of the road they’ll be grass, right? There’ll be like a ditch or a Boulevard, a little grassy Knoll thing.
[00:24:34] Anthony Price: Anyway, he got drives his truck right over there onto the grass and says, you need some help. And I said, I’m not going to say no. This is a heavy bike. He trumps, it leaves his truck there jumps out, pushing me up and around. Okay. So that’s the second thing. And then he gets back in his truck and comes over to the parking lot area where I’m sitting and I’m kind of struggling.
[00:24:54] Anthony Price: I’m looking at codes and trying to figure out, making sure that it’s a starter. That is actually the problem because I [00:25:00] think it is, but I certainly don’t know that it is anyway, it’s looking like it is. And he says he comes over and he says yeah, I got a couple of buddies that just start just opened a motorcycle repair shop.
[00:25:11] Anthony Price: Maybe I should give them a call for you. And I said, Yeah, that’d be awesome. Cause I don’t know where the nearest Harley dealer is because otherwise you go into the dealer to get repairs done and stuff like, and. Within three minutes. There was a guy there with a little gauge and a little too on here.
[00:25:27] Anthony Price: He’s just doing the thing. Yep. Starters gone, gotta have a new starter. Is that something you guys can do? He says, well, we haven’t been open long enough to have all the tools for this, but I’m going to call my buddy. We’re going to get your trailer over here. It’s an enclosed trailer. We’ll get you all wrote down and we’ll give you a ride to the Harley dealer.
[00:25:43] Anthony Price: You just tell us which Harley dealer you want to go to. Okay. So I call the one north. Because I’m going north it’s 75 miles away. They don’t have the part that I call the one south 75 miles to the south. Apparently the 150 miles [00:26:00] is how far you have to go between Harley dealerships in Alabama. Anyway, that was in, I want to say it was in Huntsville hunt.
[00:26:06] Anthony Price: The north one was in Huntsville, the south owner’s in Dalton, I think. I’m I could be screwing up the north one because I didn’t get to go there. They didn’t have the. So the south one says yep, we got the park. We’ll get it in here for your first. We’ll push some stuff aside. We’ll get it. If you can get the bike here, we’ll get it done for you.
[00:26:22] Anthony Price: First thing in the morning, just so already. They’re like, oh wow. You’re on a mission. You’re on a road. Yeah. We’re going to take care of you. Okay. Then by the time I get off the phone, the trailer is there and now I got two guys helping me push the bike into the truck. We get it loaded down. It’s in the trailer.
[00:26:38] Anthony Price: I climb in the backseat of the truck and down the road, we go, these two guys are riding in the front seat of the truck and we’re going down the road. And I said, you guys can’t do this for free. I’m going to have to, I got to give you something for this ride. And the guy says, oh, hell no, I’m a Navy veteran.
[00:26:55] Anthony Price: He’s in the national guard right now. And we’re in a company truck. And the company is owned by retired [00:27:00] two-star general. We stop everything to help a veteran in. Everything, you can’t give us nothing. We’re just going to get you there. We’re going to see that you’re taking care of, and that’s all there is to I gave my, I pulled a, I gave me each an autographed copy of the book.
[00:27:14] Anthony Price: I didn’t leave them with completely empty-handed, but they wouldn’t take any money from me. So, that’s pretty awesome. And that’s pretty cool. So we get to the dealer. As they’re locking the door, they’re bringing a door to door, goes back up, Mike goes inside. Then they locked the door. These guys take me over to a hotel where I stay until the alarm rings at eight o’clock in the morning.
[00:27:32] Anthony Price: And I just, the Harley dealer. Can we work on your bike? Yup. We’re gonna fix it. Okay, great. I’ll see you in a couple hours. Hang up the phone. They’re working on the bike. And I take my time getting out of the hotel three hours later. It’s 11 o’clock in the morning and I’m walking. I don’t know, it’s just like two or three blocks.
[00:27:46] Anthony Price: So I’m walking back to the Harley dealership to go get the bike. And I walk into the back door where the service area is, and I walk up to him and I say, yeah, I’m a gold star, right foundation. That’s the bike has gold star ride stickers like 19 [00:28:00] Goldstar ride stickers on it. You can’t. You don’t misunderstand, which bike is the gold star bike.
[00:28:05] Anthony Price: Okay. So I said, yeah the gold star bike. And he said, Hey, you know what, we just got it done. I just gotta do the paperwork. It’ll take me about six or seven minutes. Do the paperwork and we’ll have you out of here. And I said, okay, great. I got six or seven minutes. I’d like to talk to the GM. They bring me over.
[00:28:19] Anthony Price: I meet the GM. It turns out he’s the owner of the place. And I’m telling him about what Goldstar ride is and what we do. And I like that hoping that I can get some kind of a donation from them or discount or something. And while I’m talking to them, another gold guy sticks his head around the door.
[00:28:34] Anthony Price: Cause we’re in a little office sticks has had in the office. He says, Hey, there was somebody here looking for somebody. Was it you? He was looking for, and I looked down at my person. Elaborate. Is it
[00:28:48] Anthony Price: do, who is he looking for? Did he give you a name? Does he have a name? Anything like that? Okay. So here’s a little bit of backstory there. I forgot. When I was in the hotel, I got on to social media, got onto Facebook and [00:29:00] doing stuff. And when the motorcycle broke down, I did a quick 32nd video and I posted it up on, on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and tumbler and on anyway.
[00:29:11] Anthony Price: So I got that out there. A 32nd video said the bike is sick. That’s all I said. In the hotel room, I got a Facebook message and I don’t do Facebook on my phone at all. Right. So if I’m doing Facebook messenger or messages through Goldstar, right foundation, all that stuff is done on my computer. And that means I have to be sitting down and doing anyway.
[00:29:33] Anthony Price: So I get a message that says I saw you were broke down in. I’d like to come and pay for the parts I’d like to come and pay for your repairs. And I said, well, gee, okay. And this kind of stuff happens all the time. I know nobody’s going to show up. They’re there. They’re not coming. Now fast forward is the guy comes in and says, somebody came in now we’re in the dealership. Again, somebody came in, looking for somebody was a UA, was looking for how the [00:30:00] hell do I know anyway, the owner?
[00:30:01] Anthony Price: And I said, well, let’s go find out. So the owner and I walk around the corner and he had this guy has his name was Ricardo, came in the front door at the exact same time that I went in the back. That’s how, and he says, Hey, you’re a Yammer, Ricardo, I’m here to pay for your repairs. And I said, huh, where did you come from?
[00:30:25] Anthony Price: He said he told me the name of the little town. And I said, that’s near Kissimmee, Florida. And he says, yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s where I came. I said you had to be on your motorcycle since five o’clock this morning. He said, yup. That’s pretty much it got on about five 15. I said, what kind of bike? You’re riding?
[00:30:45] Anthony Price: 8 83 Sportster. Okay. I don’t know how familiar you are with motorcycles, but an 8 83 Sportster is not the bike. Five and a half hours across Florida and half of Alabama [00:31:00] is just, and that’s what he had done. He five and a half hours. That’s like stopping for gas, like three times or four times on a Sportster and 8 83 sports straight that anyway he edited.
[00:31:12] Anthony Price: He came all the way up from Florida to pay for my repairs on the motorcycle. So while I was talking with him, the owner of the thing went back to, you says, I’m going to go back and talk to the guys at the service department about your bike. And he comes back and he says, yeah, your bikes already, the paperwork’s already, I knock 25% off it because of the work that you’re doing.
[00:31:29] Anthony Price: He went back there and sure enough, he paid for the new starter and that’s what it was. And then he and I went off and he was a Navy veteran. But he and I went off and we ended up talking for 90 minutes or so before I hit the road. And I got on the bike at, when we parted company, I got on a bike and I’m tooling down the road.
[00:31:46] Anthony Price: The sun was shining. It was a beautiful day as opposed to the rain from the day before. And I’m thinking, wow, this road looks a whole lot, but. In the sun than it did in the rain, because I had done the same trip from Dolton, Alabama, northward. I’d done the same [00:32:00] exact trip the day before, only the day before it was in rain.
[00:32:02] Anthony Price: And I was just constantly thinking I can’t wait for my next breakdown. I just can’t wait to see what happens next. And if we, if you if you don’t mind me saying, I’ll give you another one, these miracle stories from the road back in 2018 while I was doing that ride. When I was doing the big ride that resulted in the book I was tooling through the Appalachian mountains and or the Appalachian mountains, Pennsylvania.
[00:32:28] Anthony Price: I was tooling around in Appalachian mountains of Pennsylvania. And I got to the New York state line, right. At a very, very, very close to Erie. So right along the great lakes, they’re very Pennsylvania, New York state line, interstate 90. And there’s an exit right there at the state line. There’s an exit right there.
[00:32:48] Anthony Price: And there’s a McDonald’s right there. Apparently the good people that knew about McDonald’s knew that you got to put one at the state line because everybody going from Pennsylvania to New York has to stop and put their health. [00:33:00] So don’t have to wear a helmet in Pennsylvania, but you do have to wear one in New York.
[00:33:04] Anthony Price: And so I stopped into the McDonald’s to put my helmet on just, okay. Start up the bike, got the helmet strapped on, start up the bike. It goes about 10 feet. Just nothing. And I start to cuss and scream and I went, what the hell is you? Your hand? You don’t understand what’s wrong with this motorcycle and I’m checking the codes.
[00:33:24] Anthony Price: And again, I don’t know if you’re a bike enthusiast or if you know how these things work, but you can manipulate some buttons on the dash and you get the speed up. The odometer will change and give you digital readout to the computer readout. So the things that the computer finds that are wrong with them, So I’m working the codes and I’m trying to figure out what’s wrong with the motorcycle.
[00:33:44] Anthony Price: I’m clear on the codes and can’t start it. Won’t start. And I don’t know where I’m working it for like five minutes. It’s like 90 degrees. It’s the fifth day of July. And I dunno, I hear this voice. Hey, mine does that sometimes too. What do you say? We push over here in the shade [00:34:00] and see what’s happened.
[00:34:02] Anthony Price: And I’m like, well, what else am we going to do? Okay. So. This he’s a little older than me. He’s probably about 60, 65 years old, white beard, white here, a little bit of a belly. And he gets on the left side of the motorcycle with one hand on antibody bar. And the other hand on the back. By an, a trunk and I’m on the right side of the motorcycle with my right hand on the handlebar, my left hand on the truck and we’re pushing it backwards.
[00:34:27] Anthony Price: Now we got stickers all over the gas tank that say gold star ride foundation right there all over. So he says what’s gold star, right foundation. And I tell him, and he says, huh, I never heard of that before. Well, what’s a gold star family. So I tell him, and then he stops because I just said, well, it’s an immediate family members.
[00:34:47] Anthony Price: If somebody killed in middle. And he just stops. I mean, we’re the motorcycle isn’t moving anymore. He stopped, stood upright status and looked me dead in the face. And he said, my daughter was killed in Korea [00:35:00] three years ago. I said, it makes you a gold star dad. He said, nobody ever told me that before. Wow.
[00:35:06] Anthony Price: I’ve never heard of such a thing. And I said, well, we’re going to talk a little bit more about this. Anyway, we, we finished with, there was only 10. We pushed the bike into the shape. We get it into the shape and then we’re not paying attention to the motorcycle anymore. Now we’re doing the gold star family sort of a thing.
[00:35:22] Anthony Price: And I reached into my backpack and I got one of those plaques that I told you about. And I read it to him. And actually there’s a video on our YouTube channel. There’s a, you can find the video of me and this guy together. And he’s crying and I’m crying and we’ve got a D. Crying happens a lot in his game which is why I I like to just throw the barbs out every now and then that created a little bit of laughter because crying is so everywhere.
[00:35:47] Anthony Price: Anyway we finished up the thing and we’re probably, we probably spent 15, 20 minutes talking about his daughter. He told me everything there was nobody’s dog. And then he says, I got grandkids that are waiting for [00:36:00] me. So can we got to try and figure out something with this motorcycle? Cause I got grant, I got to go.
[00:36:07] Anthony Price: And I said, oh, well, right. So lock down the trunk, put on the helmet, lock it up the helmet. And I straddle a bike and I get on it. I hit the button, it goes, boom starts right up. And I drove all the way to Buffalo without stopping. Wow.
[00:36:20] Anthony Price: There, there might be some speculation as to why the motorcycle stopped and why it started again. But I like to say that it was one of those little coincidence where God was too busy to take a bow. Yeah, there they’re those kinds of things. They happen all the time. And I love telling the great stories and there’s a ton of great stories.
[00:36:41] Anthony Price: There’s a ton of them in a book. Twice as many there’s already talk of, my wife has been saying, you’re going to have to sit down and write a sequel, cause I, I got a lot of stories to tell. But you know, we talk about all of this stuff in the work that we do and the lives that we change and it’s all good and fine and wonderful stuff.
[00:36:57] Anthony Price: And I’d like to, if you [00:37:00] would let me, I’d like to shift gears. And talk a little bit about a story that’s not quite as cheerful and joyful and fill filled with one of those little miracles where God was too busy to take a bile. It was the end of July. I want to say the 31st day of July.
[00:37:15] Anthony Price: And I was riding somewhere in the middle of the United States and it was hot. We, it was one of those days where you really have to wonder. Well, okay. I’m not going to make a joke about global warming here, but anyway it was hot and I had been riding for 29 days straight incidentally, when I did that long ride the average was 307 miles a day, seven days a week for eight weeks.
[00:37:44] Anthony Price: That’s a lot of writing every day. Some of the days we’re 650 miles, 700, 800 miles. And some of the days were 150 miles, but 307 miles a day, every day, seven days a week for eight weeks. So I’m somewhere in the neighborhood of [00:38:00] the end of four weeks of this. And there was no training, I didn’t go to bootcamp to learn how to do this.
[00:38:05] Anthony Price: I just jumped on the bike and left. So it’s not like a. I was conditioned to be doing this right. I was dragging, I was really beat but just powering through every day. And a woman had contacted me through email saying, you have to meet my best friend. She’s a gold star mom, and you have to meet my best friend and it’s okay, well, we’ll set it up.
[00:38:26] Anthony Price: We’re going to do lunch. And then we set it up at this a restaurant where we could do lunch with. This gold star mom. And there was two other gold stars there too. There was a gold star son and a gold star brother. Another one. So the three gold stars were there to meet me. And there was a handful of friends that were there as well.
[00:38:44] Anthony Price: So I think there was about eight people sitting around this big table at the restaurant and everything is going along fine. And incidentally I never, this was before I did any. To determine whether or not I was going to go see a true gold star or [00:39:00] somebody pretending to be a gold star. So I had no clue.
[00:39:03] Anthony Price: All I knew was gold star mom. That’s it. That’s all I knew. I didn’t know his name. I didn’t know what branch of service. I didn’t know anything. Anyhow, we’re, she’s sitting immediately to my right. You have the gold star sitting across the table and the other gold star sitting at the end of the table down there.
[00:39:17] Anthony Price: And we’re all just a casual nattering that you have when you’ve got a bunch of strangers together having lunch for the first time. Oh, I think I’m going to have the onion rings. Oh, Hey. How are them? Green beans. Yeah, Bernie goodie, that kind of stuff. And then out of nowhere, when I dunno if it was out of nowhere, the gold star mom’s sitting right next to me, puts her fork down in both hands, sitting on a table on either side of her plate.
[00:39:44] Anthony Price: And she looks me dead in the face and she says, I just don’t understand why my son would take his own life. And I said, He didn’t take his own life. I was a [00:40:00] sniper’s bullet from 7,000 miles away. And everybody was at that. At that point, everybody’s in tears. There’s it just kinda happens. You get the waterworks are coming and after a couple of seconds, somebody said, Yeah, that’s right.
[00:40:18] Anthony Price: Wouldn’t it be nice if the government didn’t send our boys off the battle and boy, those French fries are really good. And then, we went back to the same old thing and, 45 minutes later hour later, or something like that, we kinda do. It was time to go. We pose for a couple of pictures.
[00:40:34] Anthony Price: We hugged everybody by and and we parted company and I got back on a motorcycle and down the road I went and it was. It was more surreal than usual. It’s always a little bit surreal when I first get on the motorcycle, especially when I get, when I’m riding alone. Okay. So it’s a little surreal, I’m going 70 miles an hour, but it feels like 10 and I’m, I’m tooling down the road and an hour passes, but it feels like two minutes.
[00:40:59] Anthony Price: And [00:41:00] it’s just eerie and down the road, about 350 miles later, I stopped and better another gold star family. And we did some things and stayed in a cheesy crappy hotel. Next day, I went down a couple of hundred miles and next day, a couple of hundred miles more, and I was somewhere between 1700 and 1900 miles away from that goal.
[00:41:19] Anthony Price: Way back there. And I had visited with probably six more families or eight more families since then, but I checked into the cheap hotel and this was a bad hotel. I remember this hotel very well that it wasn’t a hotel at all. It was a motel first of all. And it was in such disrepair that. The button that you pull in the shower to make it go from filling the bathtub, to having a shower up over your head, that button was gone.
[00:41:46] Anthony Price: So there, there wasn’t even there. And there was a couple of holes in the walls and there was a crack in the, when I closed the door, there was a crack between the door and the wall in the door jam and the wall there. It was a [00:42:00] crack big enough for me to push my finger all the way. Oh, wow. So, I mean, this was a dive man.
[00:42:06] Anthony Price: This was a dumpy place. And I I did the best I could. I took a bath on my knees. Right. Got it all on my hands. And I used to take a shower kind of thing. Cause there was no drain plug either. So I couldn’t take a bath. So I had to take a shower from the little. Anyway, it got all done with that.
[00:42:21] Anthony Price: And I turn on my computer and there was no wifi. I remember I had to take my phone and I had no signal inside the room. I had to take the phone outside, set it on the bike, and then I had a signal and that was what I used for wifi. I turned on my hotspot and that’s how I used my wifi to get wifi in my laptop.
[00:42:42] Anthony Price: And I checked my email first and there was an email from. The best friend of the gold star mom. And it was very short email message. And it just said, thank you so much for coming here. Because later that day she went home and tore up [00:43:00] her own suicide note. Oh, wow. That, and I, when I read that, when I read that I just I just put my face in my hands and cried for awhile.
[00:43:09] Anthony Price: But if there’s ever a question of why I do the stupid, crazy zany things that I do, that’s the answer to the question of why do you do
[00:43:20] Scott DeLuzio: That was going to be one of my questions. And I think that was the perfect way to answer that because. Th there are people out there who just don’t know how to keep going on without their loved one.
[00:43:35] Scott DeLuzio: And when you show that, yes. Yeah, exactly. And when you show them, when you show them that love and support and let them know that there are people there for you to help you through this time And like you said, it’s not just like a short time period. This is something that is ongoing. It’s a lifetime membership in.
[00:43:57] Scott DeLuzio: It’s a lifetime membership in a club that nobody [00:44:00] wants to join, but we’re the ones who are in that club. We’re in it and we’re there for each other and people like you and the gold star ride foundation you guys are out there making a difference in these gold star families lives.
[00:44:13] Scott DeLuzio: And I really do appreciate all of the stuff that you do. I do want to ask you. How can these gold star families or the, their friends or their neighbors, relatives, whoever how can they reach out to the gold star right foundation to get assistance and get that kind of help?
[00:44:30] Anthony Price: I love that question.
[00:44:31] Anthony Price: Now I get to talk about how to reach out to us. Goldstar ride.org is the website. That’s our website. You can learn some of these stories. You can learn some other stories. There’s a bunch of videos there too. But Goldstar ride.org. There’s a place to donate on there. There’s a congratulatory message on there from shoot Hercules who played Hercules on TV.
[00:44:54] Anthony Price: I should know this because he’s from Minneapolis. He’s from the [00:45:00] suburbs out here. Kevin Sorbo. There it is. Yep. Yeah, Kevin Sorbo. So he congrats gave us a congratulatory message after finishing 10 rides. So, as of this airing, let’s see, we’ve got 32 33 34. I will have 35 rides done when this. I’ll have over a hundred thousand miles too.
[00:45:21] Anthony Price: So little things like that are on the website, Goldstar ride.org. You can make donations there. You can buy copies of the book there. You can buy copies of the [email protected] and I also recently learned, you can also buy [email protected] I was delighted to learn that it was on Barnes and noble.com.
[00:45:40] Anthony Price: But that’s if you want an autograph, you got to buy it through the Goldstar, right? Website, then I sign all the books that go out. Like I do my best to sign all the books that go out through the Goldstar ride website. Yeah. And you know what else you can do there? Let’s see here. I got a really good, this is one of my favorite ones.[00:46:00]
[00:46:04] Scott DeLuzio: My DD two 14 can kick your MBA’s ass. I like it.
[00:46:08] Anthony Price: Okay. You get those for 10 bucks at our websites. Just make a $10 donation, make sure that you include your shipping address. And I will assume that $10 donations actually, by the time this actually airs, maybe I’ll have a button just for this, just for that patch.
[00:46:25] Anthony Price: Okay. Yeah, but we have two slogans that are registered to us. One is this one, the other one is we ride because they died. Excellent. Yeah we just do our best, it’s. I am the executive director, which means I have to wear a lot of hats. It means I’m the guy who has to do the podcast interview.
[00:46:42] Anthony Price: It means I’m the guy who has to call all the corporations for sponsorships and donations. Most of which say, no they just. It’s amazing how easy it is for corporations to say no. But so I’m the one who has to do all the fundraising activities as well as I’m the one who has to [00:47:00] ride the motorcycle that breaks down.
[00:47:01] Anthony Price: And I am the one who gets to meet the best part of what I do is I am the one who gets to meet the families.
[00:47:07] Scott DeLuzio: You have a lot of. Like you said a lot of hats that you wear, that there’s a lot of things that you do. I really want to emphasize to the listeners that if you want to help support the Goldstar ride foundation go to their website that you mentioned earlier, which I’ll also have a link to in the show notes.
[00:47:24] Scott DeLuzio: So people can find it real easy go there and Make a donation. If there’s any volunteers who are looking to get involved, I’m sure you could always use some,
[00:47:33] Anthony Price: Our rides are the rides that we have scheduled are on the website as well. So anytime you want to join us in a ride, you can find us, find the stuff on there.
[00:47:42] Anthony Price: The only time that we do not put rides on the website is if a family specifically says, we just want you to come by yourself. We don’t want a whole bunch of. Other bikes and stuff like that here which believe it or not happens so far, twice out of 400 and some odd times, [00:48:00] but so it does happen once in a while, but that’s how you find out where in the country we’re going to be riding next and and how you can join.
[00:48:08] Scott DeLuzio: Excellent. Yeah. And so definitely check out the website, check out the book again, it’s on Amazon, or you can get it on their website. I’ll have links again, to both of those places where you can get the book and helps support the Goldstar ride foundation any way that you can, because the work that they’re doing, even just with that that one story with that woman who tore up her suicide note, I That type of stuff that you do.
[00:48:29] Scott DeLuzio: And I’m sure there’s other stories that you may not even
[00:48:31] Anthony Price: know about. I was just going to say that’s probably not the only one, but it is the only one that I know of. Right. But I I have to be the one who toots my own horn. So forgive me for, if it sound, it comes across as any kind of arrogant or anything like that, but I know what it is.
[00:48:49] Anthony Price: To meet these families firsthand. I know what it’s like to hang out with you. I, we have given you an incredible disservice, you personally have been receiving an incredible [00:49:00] disservice because we had to do this. Like it was a podcast, not like it was a gold star family visit. But I know that one of the things that we like to say is for at least a couple of years, We help them carry the load.
[00:49:14] Anthony Price: So for a couple of minutes, we’re going to help you carry the load. And hopefully some of that accidentally rubbed off for you personally, during this podcast. I hope it did. But yeah, I’ve seen firsthand the results. I know. There might not be any words spoken, but if I glance at somebody and I see two rivers of tears coming down the side of their face and they’re dripping onto their shirt I know we’re probably getting a little bit of work done, probably getting something done exactly.
[00:49:47] Anthony Price: As long as I keep seeing that. And I have, yeah. I have yet to make any acquaintance with any gold star yourself included now where there weren’t tears coming down. [00:50:00] Somebody’s face. Sure. They come down mine a lot but they come down and the tears just come down and tears are very therapeutic.
[00:50:07] Anthony Price: I’ve long said that tears are the result of. Extreme emotion. They’re either extreme joy. Laughter you can laugh hard enough to be crying or extreme sadness. And therefore, because they come out of such extremes, tears should be revered a little bit. You gotta pay close attention to tears because it’s only through extreme emotion that they.
[00:50:32] Scott DeLuzio: That’s true. And you were saying that, you have the job of tooting your own horn, but I’ll do it for you. I think the work that you’re doing is
[00:50:43] Scott DeLuzio: the work that you’re doing though is incredible. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you today and. To again, thank you so much for all the work that you do and the support that you provide to the people who are members of this club. That literally none of us want to be a part of but we all [00:51:00] found ourselves here.
[00:51:00] Scott DeLuzio: So thank you again. I really do appreciate everything that you do.
[00:51:05] Anthony Price: It’s been my pleasure. Thank you very much for having me on.
[00:51:09] Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to check out more episodes or learn more about the show, you can visit our website. DriveOnPodcast.com. We’re also on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube at drive on podcast.