By Sgt 1st Class Scott D. TurnerFebruary 22, 2008
CHICAGO, Ill. (Army News Service, Feb. 22, 2008) - A motorcycle designed by an Illinois National Guard Soldier was featured on Orange County Choppers, a popular television show specializing in custom motorcycle design.
"I'm just a Soldier with a good idea," said Sgt 1st Class Rich Crawford, a mechanic and military technician with the Illinois National Guard since 1998.
His father took him to his first motorcycle rally when he was a young boy to introduce him to the world of motorcycles, and Crawford has been intrigued about where the industry is going ever since.
Crawford first started designing in high school with art and other projects. After joining the Army, he deployed to Iraq and while there he saw an article in the "Stars and Stripes" newspaper asking for something different for an OCC project they were planning to build.
Crawford had never designed a car or motorcycle before, but after some preliminary design work, he sent in his entry, and was surprised to make it past several stages of competition. In July 2007 he finally received a phone call that his design won the entire competition.
He said of his design work, "it's my opportunity to show creativity and get my design out there."
Crawford said he didn't think of himself as a celebrity. He just wants the world to know that in the Guard, "we play hard and we work hard."
He rides a 2007 Harley-Davidson motorcycle and plans on having a custom paint project completed on it something in the spring of 2008.
(Sgt 1st Class Scott D. Turner serves with the 318th Public Affairs Detachment.)