A Billings man is set to ride his bike from Chesapeake, Virginia to Washington D.C. in honor of his son, and all fallen Montana Officers.
Patrick Kramer was a West Yellowstone Police Officer. He was killed in a car crash while providing mutual aid to Montana Highway Patrol, ending his watch on October 22, 2006.
After his death, his parents Denny and Joyce, became instrumental in starting the Montana Concerns Police Survivors or Montana Cops, a national organization providing support for those affected by line of duty deaths.
"At first you know I thought I want to help someone so they don't have to go through the same tragedy that we went through and after a while I realized, we probably are never going to eliminate law enforcement dates, but I can maybe make it a little easier because I've been through it," said Patrick's mother, Joyce Kramer.
Joyce explained COPS provides retreats and counseling that brings those affected by these deaths together for the ultimate support system. Patrick's daughter joins Joyce at one of those camps in Wisconsin.
Joyce and her husband Denny help raise funds and support for these families struck by tragedy through the Law Enforcement United Ride.
"I had no idea what I was getting into riding, I am bike rider by nature I've done it since I was young but I had no idea what the tour was like," Denny Kramer said.
For the past three years, Denny has rode 250 miles in three days from Pennsylvania into Washington, D.C. alongside up to 500 other riders.
This will be his fourth year in the ride. The 72-year-old will drive to Virginia to ride with their division from Chesapeake into D.C. during National Peace Officers Memorial Week.
"Denny's real mission is pedaling that bicycle, so yes ultimately it goes toward because we got involved because of our son, but my mission is to help him and so we're in this together as parents," Joyce Kramer said.
The minimum bike rider fundraising amount for the Law Enforcement United ride is $1,500. The Kramer's partnered with local Billings brewery, Uberbrew, to help raise the money for Denny's ride.
"If you're thinking of quitting, just remember why you started the ride and that pretty much explains why we're doing the rides that we do," said Denny Kramer.
Joyce added, "I hope Patrick's looking over our shoulders and saying, go for it mom and dad, I appreciate it."