Decorated Afghanistan War Veteran Receives $70,000 Custom-Built Motorcycle

A wounded veteran who lost his hand in combat was gifted a customized motorcycle by a Medford, Oregon, shop. The U.S. Army veteran, David Sterling, expressed his excitement to return to a cherished hobby after many years.

The motorcycle, worth around $70,000 and provided by Combat Hero Bike Build, prompted Sterling to convey his heartfelt gratitude, stating that words can’t fully capture its significance. This heartwarming gesture allows him to reengage with his passion for riding.

Sterling conveyed his deep appreciation, saying, “gratitude is gratitude, but there’s no way to put into words what it means.”

Having served as a soldier in Afghanistan, Sterling encountered a life-changing incident when the vehicle he was traveling in was hit by a grenade, resulting in the amputation of his right hand.

Combat Hero Bike Build president John Barker noted Sterling’s valor, stating, “he received the Silver Star out of this incident, and the Purple Heart. His lieutenant got injured. He lost his arm, shrapnel in his face, his back, his legs, and in his neck.”

Upon his return to the United States without a hand, the ex-soldier worked towards self-reliance. However, certain activities such as enjoying motorcycle rides with his wife remained unattainable until Combat Hero Bike Build intervened.

Operating mainly on donations, this organization offers injured veterans custom motorcycles without any charge, as detailed in the report.

“When we started out we’d do one bike a year because that’s all the money we had,” Barker said. “Now, we’re up to five or six bikes a year across the United States. This will be the first unveiling in Medford.”

For a span of ten years, Thunderstruck Custom Bikes, a company based in Medford, has been partnering with the organization. They are preparing to feature Sterling’s motorcycle in their upcoming event.

“They do amazing work, and that kind of stuff isn’t free,” the grateful soldier said. “It takes money and energy and time and effort and so there’s a lot of hands involved making this possible and making this dream come true.”