The Governor’s Freedom Rally 2014 took place in Heritage Park in Junction City, Kansas on June 7, 2014. The third annual event was presented by the Governor, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Secretary Robin Jennison, and Kansas Department of Corrections Secretary Ray Roberts as a benefit for the Kansas Wounded Soldier Fund, Brothers in Blue Reentry Program, and Select Kansas Byways.
Rally activities included the opening ceremonies with posting of the Colors, an address by Junction City Mayor, Mike Ryan, and the Governor’s address by Kansas State Governor Sam Brownback; as well as a wreath ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; the Governor’s ride through historic Fort Riley; live entertainment and vendor booths; and an award ceremony.
According to the Freedom Rally website, money raised from the benefit ride goes to support the Soldier and Family Assistance Center (SFAC), formerly called Wounded Warriors Fund which serves as a “One Stop” center to provide a convenient, comfortable, inviting environment for wounded and ill soldiers and their family members; Army Community Service (ACS) on post which provides a wide variety of services for all Fort Riley soldiers and their families; the Brothers in Blue Re-entry Program which provides programs that create productive citizens upon release from prison and has been proven to greatly reduce recidivism; Native Stone Scenic Byway showcasing the beauty of limestone in the Flint Hills landscape and its use in stonework; and the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway offering incredible views of the native grasses and flowers of the tallgrass prairie.
While thanking all who came out to support the great causes that benefit from the rally, Gov. Brownback discussed the Wounded Warriors Fund stating, “We’ve had so many (wounded warriors) with the wars that we’ve had; a number of these wars I voted to go to whenever I was in the United States Senate. And I think it’s one of those things where… you need to stand and you’ve got to support those who went and supported this country.”
Junction City Mayor, Mike Ryan, had also issued thanks to those in attendance and those who served declaring we should honor, “…people who put their life in harm’s way to protect the people of our nation; and quite frankly to afford the freedoms to the citizens of our nation (that) many of them take for granted. You guys have paid the price, and your friend’s have paid the price. Thank you for being here.”