This is genius. I really costs HD very little in terms of capital outlay (there might even be a tax break in it for them), yet generates a ton of good publicity and even more customer loyalty. And it's a real good thing to do.
I don't know about their engineers, but their suits are sure smart. Two thumbs up.
Your veiled attempt at stirring the pot was weak longride. Try again. We think it's great customer service for those folks who are doing a job not many step forward to do. Not the least of which, takes them thousands of miles away from family and loved ones and into harms way. Get a grip.
I too would like to think that this gesture is purely out of the kindness of their hearts, but I know it isn't true. If it were, the offer would be extended to all deployed and activated troops owning their bikes. Giving free crap to the guys in the desert is just the "in" thing to do for companys now. It is an easy thing to do. No matter which side you are on in the debate over whether we should be there or not, you can't say taking care of soldiers in harms way is bad.
But here is where true care and consideration comes in. Not all troops activated in support of the GWoT (Global War on Terrorism) are sent to Iraq or Afghanistan. Those are just the high profile locations, and HD is sure to get a good deal of publicity out of this deal. If HD wants to make a gesture that speaks of care for their servicemember customers, this offer should include those who are sent to other areas.
I'll offer a personal example. Myself and a few thousand other National Guardsmen just got back from a deployment. I was separated from my wife and kids for 2 years. We weren't sent to Iraq or Afghanistan, but our lives were majorly affected by a serious uprooting.
Touching the lives of those who are fighting a war is a kind gesture. Excluding those who serve in support functions of the war (and those serving there) is not.