JESSUP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It has been quite the journey for the loved ones of a Lackawanna County veteran killed in the war on terror. 2022 marked the fifteenth and final Sergeant Jan Argonish ride.

The charity motorcycle ride in memory of the Peckville native helped raise money for veterans groups.

It’s been an unmistakable sound each September since 2008, the revving of motorcycle engines through Lackawanna County, rain or shine, in memory of Sgt. Jan Argonish.

“I’m honored, I’m really honored, that they come, not just to respect my son’s memory, but to help us raise money for different veterans,” said Mike Argonish, Sgt. Argonish’s father.

Sgt. Argonish’s fiancé made sure of that right up until the fifteenth and final ride.

“It’s a bittersweet moment for all of us, it’s sad. We’re not saying goodbye to Jan. He will never be forgotten. We’ll always remember him,” explained Talia Walsh, president of the Sgt. Jan Argonish ride and Sgt. Argonish’s fiancé.

She’s worked to keep his legacy alive ever since the Pennsylvania Army National Guard soldier’s life ended in 2007 in an ambush in Afghanistan. She organized the annual ride, right down to the tee shirt.

The ride has become a family affair, uniting Sgt. Argonish’s relatives and others who loved and respected the Pennsylvania patriot.

“This year it poured all day and people still, we still had over 350 people which is probably our smallest group but we raised more money this year than we did the year before,” stated Walsh.

When asked if that surprised her, Walsh responded, “Yes.”

Walsh says the latest ride raised nearly $32,000, and more than $350,000 total in the ride’s history.

That money benefits veterans struggling to pay the bills or just struggling in general. Among them were homeless vets given a temporary home at St. Francis commons. The transitional housing facility received everything ranging from holiday care packages to washers and dryers. Walsh considers giving a way to turn personal grief into good.

“Emotionally it made it easier for me and for them to focus on them and know that we can help them get back on their feet or know that Jan’s sacrifice isn’t in vain. It’s not forgotten,” described Walsh.

This year’s ride day concluded with a lantern release bearing the names of Sgt. Argonish and other Pennsylvania patriots no longer with us. In an emotional online post, Walsh summed up the annual ride which meant so much to so many including those who served with Argonish.

“That’s one of the days for some of them that that’s the only day they see each other and for that not to be, like, a set thing anymore is hard,” explained Walsh.

Even though the fifteenth and final ride in Sgt. Argonish’s memory was held this past September, the help in his name for veterans won’t end. Walsh says she and her fellow committee members are still trying to map out exactly how to continue their mission.

Regardless, Walsh says the goal will stay true to what’s always been the ride’s purpose.

“Provide the platform for people to go to that if they need help or want to give to provide help for others that we’ll still be that resource for them,” stated Walsh.

Walsh says one of the next big projects her group will take on will involve St. Francis Commons. She says her group will re-stock the food pantry, as well as toiletries and bedding at the Scranton-based traditional housing facility for veterans.