Green Knights forge safe riders

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jacob Jimenez
  • 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Clad in leather roaring down the streets of Washington, a group of bikers, ride for safety and "service before self."

The Green Knights Military Motorcycle Club Chapter 3 members from JBLM not only have a love for riding but also a passion to make riding safe for others through mentorship and to help their community while doing so.

Originally established in 2000 to help promote motorcycle safety and fight for rider's rights, GKMMC Chapter 3 is one of the first established chapters of 113 chapters at different U.S. military bases worldwide.

The chapter is a non for profit organization composed of more than 25 members and consisting of active duty, reserve, guard, retired and military members and their dependents.

"I got into this to help make safety and mentorship available to others and to make a difference in the community," said Staff Sgt. Joshua Borushko, 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron motorcycle safety representative and GKMMC Chapter 3 president. "That's what this club is all about."

Since 2012, the group has helped support and raise money for organizations like "Bikers Against Statewide Hunger" and "Toys for Tots." The group has also volunteered in the local community at the Washington Soldiers Home Cemetery in Orting, to clean headstones.

Recently, members from the chapter teamed up with members from the GKMMC chapter 67 at Hill Air Force Base, Utah to support the memorial service and burial of the remains of Vietnam War veteran and POW MIA, Maj. Larry Hanley, in Walla Walla, Wash. Members from the two chapters with Patriot Guard Riders rode in a motorcade carrying more than 50 American flags in Hanley's honor.

"Being able honor a hero like Major Hanley made me proud of not only being a Green Knight but also an Airman," said Borushko. "That is what we ride for."

Borushko says the chapter uses group rides to support various causes but also to improve the riding skills of members through one-on-one mentorship.

"The idea is to get younger less experienced riders with the more experienced riders." said Borushko. "It's on the group rides that mentorship takes place."

In addition to utilizing group rides for mentoring, Borushko says that he also tries to plan group rides to get infrequent riders to ride more while providing them with a safe way to do it versus riding solo.

"People don't always see a solo rider but a group is much more visible," said Borushko. "It's also good to have that safety net for each other, where someone else is looking out for you."

According to the 62nd Airlift Wing Safety Office, the 62nd AW had eight motorcycle mishaps in 2012.

Dean Jones, 62nd AW safety office assistant chief of ground safety, says most motorcycle mishaps involve new riders that are inexperienced and could've been prevented.

"Receiving that mentorship and training is important to becoming a safe rider," said Jones. "The Green Knights offer great experience to become a better rider."

In addition to offering hands on mentorship to improve safety, the club regularly holds maintenance seminars where they show riders how to perform routine maintenance on their bikes, prepping for different seasons and educating them on the different parts of their bike.

According to Jones a majority of mishaps can be prevented by proper maintenance. Jones says no base is immune to motorcycle accidents but what is done to prevent them can make a difference.

"The chapter's goal is to educate and teach people how to be safe and ride safe, because riding safe can save your life," said Borushko.

For more information contact Borushko at 253-982-8991. For more information on motorcycle safety contact the 62nd AW safety office at 253-982-5325.