Fort Sill hosts ninth annual Freedom's Thunder Motorcycle Rally - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Fort Sill hosts ninth annual Freedom's Thunder Motorcycle Rally

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FORT SILL, Okla._This year alone, the Army has lost 14 soldiers in motorcycle accidents nationwide. To help reduce those numbers, Fort Sill hosted its ninth annual Freedom's Thunder Motorcycle Rally.

Nearly two hundred riders showed up Thursday to get more tips on how to stay aware, focused, and alive. The rally was started nine years ago to promote rider safety. Bikers were reminded of the importance of wearing the correct safety gear, including a helmet, brightly colored safety vests and the proper clothes.

Army veteran Jeffrey Martin has been riding bikes his entire life.

"I started out on a lower end model, you know just getting familiar with the bike and progressed up and as I got older I wanted a little more comfortable, I got a Harley Davidson and I really enjoy it," said Martin.

He rides with his wife Ramona, she doesn't drive, but she rides and she takes her job as passenger seriously using the lessons learned from experience and from the rally.

"Besides looking at the scenery, I look to my left and I look to my right when he's making turns or just to see what's going on behind me. You always have to be aware of everybody else," said Ramona.

Jeffrey believes this safety rally is great for everyone from experienced riders to beginners.

"A lot of the newer soldiers don't have a lot of riding experience so to get out here and make this a situational awareness event where soldiers can learn the aspects of the motorcycle, learn how to handle the motorcycle and become more familiar with the power of the bike they got," said Martin.

They have been coming to this safety rally for three years now and every year they learn something new to make their rides a little safer.

"When I'm out on the motorcycle, I am always twice as much aware on that bike as I am in the car,” said Martin. “Every obstacle I come upon, whether I am following behind a trailer or truck that is carrying something loose. I am always looking ahead."

Officials say they are used to higher numbers, but due to the weather the turnout wasn't as much as they hoped. They are still glad that some two hundred riders showed up because every life counts and safety helps save lives.

Fort Sill has had six soldiers this year get into motorcycle accidents, none of those ended with a fatality.

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