“When you train in the military, you learn to be one unit,” Otto said. “You may not always see eye to eye with your brother or sister next to you. But you know they will be there for you when something happens.”
Outside of the military, “there is too much ‘me’ and not enough ‘us,’” he said.
However Otto was quick to find new friends and a sense of family once again. After joining the DMZ Motorcycle club of Burlington, Otto felt right at home.
The club was founded by veterans to specifically reach out and help out fellow veterans.
“The vision always has been to maintain the brotherhood that is found in the military and in combat,” Otto said, “and to help the lives of veterans we come in contact with.”
Starting A New Chapter
Just a few years ago Otto and two of his fellow veterans opened up their very own chapter of the DMZ Motorcycle Club in Janesville.
“Motorcycle clubs have a strong stigma attached to them,” Otto said. “But the DMZ Motorcycle Club is committed to breaking that stigma.”
In hopes of breaking this stereotype, Otto’s chapter is hosting its very own public fundraiser.
“We are giving the community a chance to show its support for veterans,” Otto said.
Otto’s chapter has labeled the event “Biker’s Blast”. Their event will feature food and music. The fundraiser will also include a heartfelt ceremony to honor veterans.
“We like to keep our ceremonies simple and humble with some heartfelt spoken words,” Otto said. “I feel the ceremony will bring a tear to your eye.”
The event will raise money in order to support a transitional-living program to assist homeless veterans.