Several current and retired military are on a new mission this summer to get their certification and state license to operate a motorcycle.
With help from manufacturer Harley Davidson and shoreline dealer Mike's Famous, they're doing it for free.
It’s called Operation Personal Freedom and Thursday was a very personal moment for three riders.
National guardsman Robert Hauser took a 500cc bike slowly through a specialized course set up at Mike's Famous Harley Davidson dealership in New London. He was joined by army veteran Chris Thorp and Marine veteran Neil Leopold.
Hauser said he wanted his license when he was younger, but he was a little wreckless back then.
"I don't know if I would have done it if I hadn't seen it on an advertisement for it,” Hauser said. “My unit set it up so I came down here and thought I'd give it a try."
"The first time I got on a motorcycle I was about 15. I crashed a lot,” Thorp said. “I learned things here, I never knew."
The course is free to veterans and members of the military. Their instructor is Sebastian Puglisi, who is also retired military. He served 34 years with the National Guard and reached the rank of lieutenant colonel.
“I did a class two to three weeks ago with nine marines, one female and eight males,” Puglisi said. “They all loved it and its great teaching the military because everyone seems to listen."
"This here is really a confidence builder,” Leopold said. “He says it shows I've ridden before a little bit, but I’ve only been riding like three months."
Operation Personal Freedom continues through Sept. 13.
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