Sons of Anarchy Third Annual Boot Ride & Rally

Paul Garson
by Paul Garson

An SOA story with a happy ending

With season five of Sons of Anarchy cranking up, there’s advance word of some radical shakeups in the storyline and famous characters meeting their fates.

Whatever the outcome, the fans of the FX hit series showed both their support for SOA and for America’s military vets when they rallied for the Third Annual Boot Ride and Rally. The event is put together by the Boot Campaign, a non-profit organization that comes to the aid of active service members and their families, providing housing, jobs and medical aid to the wounded. It is expected to bring $100,000 to the cause and is bolstered by the support of many celebrities, the SOA cast being a prime example.

A host of sponsors joined the Boot Campaign cause; everyone fromBates leathers to Wild Turkey bourbon.

This year’s event took place along the dockage of the battleship USS Iowa, which saw service through WWII and the Cold War and is now a floating museum in the San Pedro harbor in Southern California. As you would expect at an event where the SOA crew makes an appearance, there was a large herd of bikes.

The ride entailed battling your way up the freeway to Hollywood and finding parking in a sea of bikes that rolled up to the Happy Ending Bar & Restaurant on Hollywood Blvd. Bands, good food, cold brew and several booths promoting the support of our combat vets were part of the party mix.

All the while the SOA actors mingled with the crowds, doled out autographs and posed for snapshots. That included Charlie Hunnam a.k.a. “Jax Teller,” Kim Coates a.k.a. “Tig Trager,” and Mark Boone, Jr. a.k.a. “Bobby Munson.”

Stars from Sons Of Anarchy showed good spirit for the paparazzi and fans alike. Here, characters Juice (Theo Rossi, left), Chibs (Tommy Flanagan, center) and Unser (Dayton Callie) clown it up.

But what it’s really all about is the individual U.S. combat vets who gave more than their fair share to their country and then sometimes found the battlefield still waiting for them back home when dealing with transitions, work and wounds.

The real star of the day’s event, and a wounded warrior the Boot Campaign aids and supports, was John Desoto. During the Desert War he took 11 bullets to the arms, legs and face, and is now recovering with his family.

John Desoto took 11 bullets to the arms, legs and face during the Iraq war.

If you would like to show your support through upcoming Boot Program events, visit their website at

The group ride originated at the USS Iowa floating museum docked in San Pedro, where participants then made their way to the Happy Ending on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard.
Charlie Hunnam (a.k.a. “Jax Teller”) with the founders of the Boot Campaign.
Several SOA fans signed themselves.
Kim Coates , a.k.a. “Tig Trager.”
Jimmy Smits (“Nero Padille”) visits the Red Carpet.
SOA’s Bobby (Mark Boone, Jr.) gets his first look at all the fans at the Boot Ride.
Throwin’ signs…
Two bikes from the collection of Bruce Willis were auctioned for the Boot Campaign program, including a 1962 Cushman Eagle and this 1970 Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster.
SOA’s “Bobby Munson” (Mark Boone, Jr.) confers with Wild Turkey’s master distiller Jimmy Russell who has been brewing the Kentucky bourbon for more than 50 years.
Elaine and Lee Altobar rode in on a 2004 Harley-Davidson Softail.
Happy faces at the Happy Ending venue.
Paul Garson
Paul Garson

More by Paul Garson

Join the conversation
2 of 3 comments
  • John A. Stockman John A. Stockman on Sep 17, 2013

    Raising money for these causes is what motorcyclists do best, and that is a very worthy cause/charity. I say motorcyclists, not "bikers". Just another poseur-oriented show showing once again, to completely clueless J. Q. Public, that non-riders see all riders as "bikers". Might be good entertainment, but it further marginalizes folks that like to ride, and does nothing to show a positive image about riding. When it comes to broadcasting, popularity has nothing to do with quality...look at what's popular. Reality shows (it's not "reality" if you know the cameras are there) and shows that popularize/glorify great activities with a negative perspective. Just when I think motorcyclists have gained a bit of respect, we get this drivel and other shows that show only the negative side. The folks that don't ride see us as all in the same category, no differentiation between those that present a positive image about riding and those that have the DILLIGAF attitude. Don't tell me it's just a TV show, as I have hundreds of thousands of miles on my motorcycles and interact with all manner of folks that don't ride and never will. Their attitude towards motorcycles and those that ride them is not positive. If you like that to watch that stuff, then own it & enjoy, but it further denigrates all riders in the eyes of the general public. Sounds stupid, but that's the way it is.

  • Ryan Urlacher Ryan Urlacher on Sep 19, 2013

    The best cause of all is helping our military vets. The Annual Boot Ride and Rally is a great way to help them and to get SOA celebrities involved is even better (more money). Bikers are very generous people! I can tell you that from experience.

    All bikers should step up to the plate in their local areas and help such causes. Nice article and I love the photos!! Keep up the good work.

    From your friends at Law Abiding Biker ( Check out the Law Abiding Biker Podcast!!