Navajo Hopi Honor Rider unites with military friends to fight COVID-19
GALLUP, N.M. — Navajo Hopi Honor Riders united with USMC Vietnam veteran David Palomares, Sgt. Caesar and their friends from California to combine forces in battling the spread of COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation.
On July 10, the two groups met in Gallup to organize and distribute supplies donated by Palomares and his friends. Donations included over 70 packages of perishable food, home cleaning products, sanitation gel, masks, latex gloves, hygiene products, toilet paper and bottled water.
Currently, there are over 8,100 positive cases on the Navajo Nation, according to statistics from the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President. Many Navajo families still live without running water and electricity in their homes. Some may have to drive over three hours to buy necessary items for their families.
The volunteers of Navajo Hopi Honor Riders (NHHR) live throughout the Navajo and Hopi communities. Palomares reached out to NHHR to help with getting the donated items to the families on the reservation.
“I’m extremely thankful to all the riders who showed up to help organize the packages and deliver them across Navajo and Hopi communities, to elders, children and families during this time,” said Bobby Martin, NHHR president. “Our nation is grateful for all your generosity, you compassion and your prayers.”
Palomares is planning to make another delivery in the next two weeks and continues to collect items in California.
“Thank you PGR, the Patriots, Edward Padgett from Sowing Seeds for Life and all the Marines who donated to help the Navajo Nation. To our brothers and sisters from Navajo Nation, know that we will do all we can to help you in these troubled times. God bless you all,” Palomares said.
Since April, NHHR has been busy with collecting facial masks, they have received over 13,000 masks from White Bison, Inc. and individuals from 22 states: OR, CA, WA, TX, MO, CT, NY, NM, FL, NV, MN, AZ, CO, MA, NC, OH, DE, NJ, IL, KY, MT and WI. Masks have been purchased or have been sewed by individuals across the United States.
NHHR will continue to honor all veterans through their website and social media pages where the organization usually helps military families with the veteran’s funeral announcements.
“But it is an individual choice for each honor rider to ride or not during these difficult times,” said a NHHR spokesperson. “NHHR encourages everyone to practice CDC and Navajo Nation Covid-19 guidelines by wearing masks, sanitation and social distancing.”
The 18th Annual Lori Piestewa Navajo Hopi Honor Run was postponed, with the board of directors currently planning for a later date this year. The honor run normally occurs in the month of May.
On July 6, NHHR board member Adolph Soliz Sr. resigned from his position. A board member since September 2016 and riding with NHHR since 2011, he will continue to be a part of the volunteer and support staff for the organization.
“Continue to move forward with honoring all of our Native American warriors whom have fallen past and present, I will miss you all and I will always look forward to seeing all of you. Best wishes,” Soliz said.
Navajo Hopi Honor Riders thanked Soliz for his dedication and time in helping military families across Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
NHHR is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. You do not have to be a motorcycle rider to volunteer as a board member.
More information is available at www.navajohopihonorriders.com.