Denise and Gary Olson, the new owners of Brandon’s HiTech Automotive, have been longtime members of the AMVETS organization, particularly AMVETS Post 26.
“My wife, Denise, was volunteering her time as Canteen Steward one night and the Nam Knights Westside Chapter came into the post,” Gary said. “My wife called me at home and said, ‘There are some guys up here I think you would really like to meet.’ So, I went up to meet them. I found they were a military/law enforcement club, both current and veterans. Since I’m a veteran, we hit it off immediately.”
In the summer of 1989, a small group of Harley-riding combat vets of the Vietnam War, who were also police officers, banded together to form the Nam Knights. The club was founded in New Jersey by Jack Quigley, now-retired undersheriff of the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department. Quigley served as a platoon sergeant with the 11th Motor Transport Battalion, First Marine Division.
Today, the Nam Knights of America Motorcycle Club has grown to 69 chapters in 16 states, Washington D.C. and two Canadian provinces, with hundreds of members made up of veterans of all eras as well as law enforcement personnel, plus a few special and dedicated ‘patriots.’
As Quigley has said, “The club was formed to recapture the brotherhood its founding members shared while serving in Southeast Asia, and to help other veterans of all wars who are unable to physically or financially help themselves.”
The Olsons and their fellow Nam Knights members are currently working on a Regional K9 Law Enforcement Memorial to honor all the fallen K9 officers who have paid the ultimate price for our protection, which will be located in the city of Temple Terrace.
“The city has kindly donated a piece of property to us for this memorial,” Gary said. “We have the bronze dog statue, which will be the centerpiece of this memorial, completed at this time and are hoping to have a groundbreaking ceremony held very soon. Also, we have our annual charity event, the Pig Roast, coming up on April 2 at Brandon Harley Davidson to help us support the rising costs to build the memorial. There will be live music, vendors, food, raffle items and much more to enjoy.”
If you would like to learn more about the Nam Knights Westside Chapter, you can visit its website at www.namknightswestside.com.