November 11, 2015 - 1:00 PM
KELOWNA - A Kelowna man is doing his part to bring awareness to the plight of veterans - and not just on Remembrance Day.
Mike Rosenau, 47, moved to Kelowna just one year ago from Alberta where he works as an equipment operator. There was a time when he used his semi, a 1998 Freighliner FLD120, for work but since switching professions a few years ago he started using it to pull his 41-foot Cyclone fifth wheel.
Both are completely wrapped in a tribute to veterans of wars from the Boer War in Africa to present day. On the sides of the truck and trailer are photographs of soldiers, poppies and other symbols of the military. On the roof of the cab of the truck is a full colour Canadian flag.
“My girlfriend and I have family and friends that serve and are serving,” he says. “It’s something close to our hearts. It’s important to me that other people recognize the sacrifices veterans make for our freedoms.”
His girlfriend Lindsey Tetlock also decorated her motorbike with a mural of fallen soldiers and an angel holding a set of dog tags. Words like “All gave some, some gave all”, “We shall remember” and “Freedom isn’t free”. Tetlock was in Vernon on Oct. 17 to help raise flags at the Vernon army base.
“It was all her idea,” Rosenau says. “She has family that serve as well so it’s just as important to her.”
Rosenau says the responses they get from people on the streets are almost entirely positive.
“Veterans and civilians alike thank us,” he says. “A lot of people ask us questions. Some get it, some don’t. We get a few that don’t like war but this is not about supporting war, it’s about our people out there serving our country because they’ve been asked to do it. It’s supporting the people that were, and are, out there doing what they’re doing so we can have the freedoms to do what we do.”
The truck, trailer and motorcycle have even caught the eyes of a few celebrities who stopped to take photos and ask questions. Kim Coates of Sons of Anarchy and country music singer Jason McCoy are just a few who have taken time to admire the effort put forth by the couple.
Rosenau, himself not a veteran, has even been made an honorary member of the Veteran Riders, a motorcycle club devoted to raising issues faced by veterans.
“I hadn’t served so I couldn’t be a veteran rider, but a support rider is someone who is part of making the military known and helping out with their causes.”
If you want to see the truck and bike for yourself, both will be parked in downtown Kelowna on Remembrance Day, Nov. 11.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email email@example.com or call 250-718-2724.
— This story was corrected at 9 a.m. Nov. 10 to change the spelling of a name from Teplock to Tetlock.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015