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A Book and a Project

His thirty-year military career ending, Army Civil Affairs colonel Christopher Holshek takes off on his Harley-Davidson for an 8,000 mile adventure across the United States. Inspired by Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, he goes to find out what it means to be an American in today’s world.

As he explores the country he served, Holshek finds himself on a mental and spiritual rediscovery. He realizes that the future of our nation—and with it, our world—depends on each one of us, in every generation, taking our own journey to find out who we are, what we’re about, and what we’re willing to do to face the challenges of our times.

Travels with Harley is a stirring memoir with an inspiring call to find personal and national identity through service to others. “Service to others doesn’t require a uniform – and, when you serve your community, you serve your country.”

As the nation ponders its future after a pivotal election, the book’s positive and empowering message couldn’t be more timely or needed.

The book, in turn, is inspiration for the National Service Ride. Funded through book sales, it is an adaptable platform leveraging motorcycling’s appeal to freedom, mobility, adventure, and moving forward to promote citizenship, service, and social responsibility in and beyond America. Discussions at schools and other places on service learning are organized between rider clubs and service organizations in communities around the country.

The seminars help America’s youth see the meaning and value of helping themselves best by helping others, showing them pathways to local, national, international service learning.

The project aims to forward an empowering narrative about citizenship and service across numerous lines. Beyond promoting national unity, the Ride also looks to help pass the baton of generational leadership.

Find out more at www.nationalserviceride.net as well as related social media.

About the Author

Christopher Holshek, Colonel (retired), U.S. Army Civil Affairs, is a senior civil-military advisor at Narrative Strategies, the International Peace & Security Institute, the Alliance for Peacebuilding, and the UN Association, as well as the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s "Veterans for Smart Power." His three decades of military service include command of the first Army Civil Affairs battalion to deploy to Iraq, featured in Tom Rick’s Fiasco, 60 Minutes II, PBS Newshour, and Arte TV. An international consultant on civil-military and peace operations, he is a rare American who served in UN field missions in civilian and military capacities. He writes extensively on national and foreign policy, peace and security, and civil-military topics, and his articles appear in Foreign Policy, The Huffington Post and other publications worldwide.

Table of Contents

1. South Carolina: “Please” and “Thank You”
2. Mississippi: Latitudes and Attitudes
3. Texas: “It’s Like a Whole Other Country”
4. New Mexico: Old Post and New Posts
5. The Southwest: Humans and Hardware
6. Simi Valley: Guns N’ Ideas
7. Liberia: Learning From the Outside In
8. The Pacific Coast: Builders and Artists
9. The National Parks: Strength at Home Is Power Abroad
10. From West to East: Control or Connectivity?
11. The Great Plain: Real Americans
12. The Heartland: Leaders and Citizens
13. The Homestretch: Is This a Great Country, or What?