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Bikers help grant dying veteran's last wish

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - More than 100 bikers from all over Michiana came together Monday to grant a dying veteran his last wish.

The revving of a motorcycle engine is the last sound terminally ill veteran and biker Jon Stanley wanted to hear before he died.

“He heard the bikes. He heard them,” said his wife, Brenda Smith-Stanley.

Jon was diagnosed with lung and brain cancer in February. This week, he took a turn for the worse.

“I was contacted this morning about 6:30 this morning by Mike Smith through Facebook---and he informed me about Jon, you know he’s terminal, and he’s not looking really good, and one of his wishes was to hear a bunch of motorcycles out his window,” said David Thompson, who organized the event.

Thompson posted on Facebook around noon Monday, and by the time they took off six hours later, the post had been shared more than 800 times.

“A lot of people think motorcycles are loud and obnoxious, but you know, we’re a big brotherhood, and we take care of each other,” said Thompson.

More than a hundred bikers showed up to their meeting place at the Walmart on Ireland Road, before riding those nearly two miles to where Jon was waiting.

“Knowing that all this happened for one man. All he ever wanted was him and his wife on that Harley,” said Jon’s granddaughter, Liliana Ramirez.

While he may not have been able to take a spin on his own Harley, thanks to the help of the brotherhood, Jon was able to sit side-by-side with his wife one last time.

“He got to get on a bike one last time, and that was great,” said Jon’s daughter, Kristy Stewart.

“That’s the last thing he heard, the revving, the bikes. I know he’s happy,” said Jon’s wife, Brenda.

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