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2024 Southern Route Coordinator April Newsletter

Welcome to the April newsletter; Yes, April!! We all know what that means; KSU from Ontario is less than 30 days away and for many of us, KSU from our homes is much less. Please remember to travel safely from wherever you may start your journey and STAY HYDRATED!

Why do you ride or participate in the RFTW Mission?

Our RFTW Mission is:

  “To promote healing among ALL veterans and their families and friends, To call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action (POW/MIA), To honor the memory of those Killed in Action (KIA) from all wars, and To support our military personnel all over the world.” 

 This is why we RIDE; This is why I RIDE!

Until they all come home, until they are all accounted for, we must continue to Live a Life worthy of their Sacrifice! Say Their Names, Tell Their Stories, and Never Forget! 

The preparation for the RFTW 2024 Mission continues even now and I cannot thank our State Coordinators enough for all their hard work and time spent preparing for the Southern Route. I also appreciate all the calls made to inform SR Leadership of construction etc. along our route. We will overcome these construction areas and complete our mission regardless!

If you still have not registered, please do so as soon as possible. As of the writing of this newsletter, we have a total of 371 riders and participants registered for the Southern Route. You can still register HERE. ALL registration is conducted on-line via this website link so please register prior to your arrival to make things go smoothly and quickly! If you are joining the Southern Route anywhere other than Ontario, CA, please meet us the evening we arrive in the city you are joining us and check-in with registration that night. This gives the registration team the opportunity to get everyone checked-in, assigned to a platoon, and any prepaid gas options etc. taken care of. We have a mandatory riders meeting every morning (see our Itinerary here). Mandatory means exactly that; this meeting requires the attendance of ALL riders. If you wait until arriving in the morning, you will be unable to stage until you check-in with registration and are given your registration packet, wristband, mirror ribbon, and emergency medical form. You can find the emergency medical form HERE and come prepared with it already filled out! You will need to provide a valid drivers license, license plate number, and current proof of insurance at check-in. Registration will not accept copies of driver licenses; you must present your actual license with motorcycle endorsement (if applicable based on state licensing requirements). Please make things easier for check-in by having these items ready when you see the Registration Team. All participants must register and sign a liability release online.

I recommend printing a copy of the daily itinerary to bring with you or at the very least save an accessible version on your cell phone. Read it, then read it again! Read it or refer to it every morning, every night, and at every stop.  Please refer to it before you ask questions where the answer is already in the Itinerary (do not ask, for example, when we are leaving? Or how long do we have at this stop?)! If you do have a question, find a member of your Platoon Leadership team, and start by asking them!

Preparation and Safety

Time is running out to get your bikes in tip top shape! Get them serviced, get them inspected, and make sure your state registration and insurance are all up to date and valid through the end of May 2024. If you haven’t already done so, pack up your bike with everything you are taking and get out on the highway or interstate on a test ride. Make sure you’re familiar with how your bike is going to handle with the added gear. Make sure you can safely control your bike, stop, start, and tight turns while loaded! Be sure that everything is safely secured and will not become a hazard to other riders.

As you prepare your bikes or other modes of transportation, you also need to prepare yourselves, mind, and body too! This is NOT a weekend ride. Be sure you have your Emergency Information Form filled out – completely! It will be checked daily by your Team Leaders and/or Platoon Leaders. It is MANDATORY and you cannot ride without it. If you take medication, be sure that you listed it on your EIF and that you have enough of your prescribed medications with you for your entire trip.

It’s time for everyone to start hydrating! It is much easier to hydrate than it is to re-hydrate! Generally, it is recommended to drink a liter of water a day to stay hydrated. However, this can depend on your age, body, underlying medical conditions, and what physical exercise you are doing on that day. Being extremely thirsty, dry mouth, fast breathing, fast heart rate, and low blood pressure are all significant signs of dehydration, however, what many of us will likely feel first is fatigue – both mentally and physically! Be aware and stay HYDRATED!

You will hear this mantra from now until we reach DCHydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! 

If you have been reading my monthly Newsletters, you may be thinking that the previous paragraphs look familiar. Well, that’s because they are! On RFTW we repeat many phrases and directions. WHY? Because they are important! You will continue to hear many of the same phrases and directions until we are safely in DC or Marseilles. Again, it’s not because we don’t think you aren’t listening. It’s about safety!

Arlington Escort

We are still working out the total number of Motorcycles and people we can send into Arlington and who will get to go. I know everyone is excited about this opportunity, but please be patient and wait until we have it sorted and announce the details.

Pre-Paid Fuel

Pre-Paid fuel has been established to assist our Fuel Team and riders alike. Pre-Paid Fuel allows our fuel stops to flow more quickly and efficiently allowing riders to get through the fuel line, staged, and off their bikes so they can make the most of the limited time we have available at our fuel stops. The pre-paid fuel option will be available at registration in Ontario at a cost of $150 and at each subsequent night stop. Beginning on Day 5, the cost will be prorated as follows:

Day 5 beginning in Grand Prairie – $100;
Day 6 beginning in Monroe – $80;
Day 7 beginning in Meridian – $60;
Day 8 beginning in Chattanooga – $40;
The pre-paid fuel option will not be available for those joining us on days 9 and 10. Those will be cash at the pump the same as any riders choosing not to pre-pay.

We encourage everyone to participate in Pre-Paid fuel. If you choose to take part in the Pre-Paid fuel option you will be given a wristband and sticker for your windshield (if you don’t have a windshield, see your Platoon Leader to determine the best location). The sticker should be placed at the center-bottom of the windshield. This allows our Fuel Team members to easily see the sticker from their usual location between bikes. The wristband acts as a secondary verification.

Riders must fill their motorcycles up each evening/morning on their own before arriving at Staging in the morning. Random spot checks will be occurring and may be done by your Staging Team or anyone on your Platoon Leadership Team.

NON-PRE-PAID Fuel will be required to pay cash at the pump to the fuel team (NO CHANGE GIVEN). Each stop will be a minimum of $10. A determination will be made in Ontario if that cost will increase to $15 at some stops based on current gas prices.

Please remember that any excess fuel funds go to provide the fuel for the Chase Trucks, Hydration Truck, and Medical Team vehicle. I do not know 1 rider who has not taken advantage of at least 1 of these support Teams daily; not to mention just the comfort they provide knowing they are there for you should you need them!

The Pre-Paid fuel option is $150.00. You can take advantage of the Pre-Paid fuel option early by using the Zelle payment app and sending $150.00 to If you use the Zelle app, please add “SR Pre-Paid Fuel 2024” in the Memo line. We will receive the notification of the payment and will have a list of those who have Pre-Paid at Registration in Ontario, CA.

You can pay Cash in Ontario, CA or

You can send a check to:
Run For The Wall Inc.
50 Fourth Ave #1445
Dayton, NV 89403

If you send a check you need to add a note about what Route you are on and what the check is for i.e. “Southern Route Pre-paid Fuel” and/or “Southern Route Luggage Fundraiser.” Also make sure you mail it with plenty of time to ARRIVE at it’s destination by MAY 1, 2024.

Pre-Run Ontario Schedule

The Pre-Run Ontario Schedule is almost done. We will make sure to let you know when it is done, or you can go to the Southern Route Hub and check to see if it has been posted yet.

We do have a few things that are already set for Ontario listed below (Subject to change based on external Factors/Check the Ontario Schedule in the SR Hub once it is published).

The Merchandise and Hydration Trailers will be available at the Host Hotel, Ontario Holiday Inn located at 2155 E. Convention Center Way, Ontario, CA 91764.

Registration and Check-in will be available at the Elks Lodge, 1150 W. 4th Street, Ontario, CA 91762. The Elks Lodge opened their doors to us and has welcomed RFTW with open arms. The Elks Lodge will have many volunteers assisting inside the building and in the parking lot. Please thank them for their generosity and be respectful. Disrespect of any kind will not be tolerated.

The Elks Lodge will also have Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner available for purchase on Monday and Tuesday (Taco Tuesday?). A Steak Dinner is also planned again with advanced tickets available on site.

Hydration will also be available at the Elks Lodge.

This year we will have a Shuttle Bus running continuous loops between the Ontario Convention Center, the Holiday Inn Ontario Airport Host Hotel, and the Elks Lodge. The shuttle will run from noon-8 pm on Sunday, May 12th; and from 7 am through 9 pm on Monday, May 13th and Tuesday, May 14th.


Ride into Riverside National Cemetery in California

(Copied from the President’s Message).  “As you may have seen in a FB post, Carol is working on the possibility of riders going to the March AFB museum following the ride the Riverside National Cemetery. This is a Tuesday event, with KSU tentatively scheduled for 0815 from the Elks Club. The Elks will be serving breakfast so our riders can stage, eat, and leave from the same location. Right now, the cost of entrance to the museum is $10, but Blaze is trying to get that lifted. If you are interested in going to the museum, please email Carol at so she can provide a head count. Rumor has it that the museum is planning to rope off a parking area for us.”

You must be registered and CHECKED IN to go on this ride, so get to Ontario and get Checked in on Monday the 13th.


The Southern Route is offering a fundraising opportunity that may benefit all riders’ safety! Our newest fundraiser is the Luggage Fundraiser. The SR will have a dedicated enclosed trailer to transport luggage.  This will allow riders to remove bags normally strapped onto their bikes and have them securely transported for them from our morning starting location to our nightly dinner stop. This adds to the safety of all riders by removing bags that could obstruct other riders’ view of bikes in front of them; preventing a rider from focusing on a loose item on another bike around them; removes the added weight allowing for better control of your bike while riding in formation. Riders will be required to drop off their bag(s) at the morning staging/breakfast location. Bags will not be available until our final night/dinner stop. Riders will be restricted to 2 bags per bike. A check-in/check-out procedure will be followed ensuring no-one absconds with a bag that is not their own. The cost will be $7 per day or $50.00 for all 10 days. A prorated rate may be available depending on your starting location. Ask at check-in!  If you wish to take advantage of this new fundraiser, you can also prepay by using the Zelle app and  Please add “Luggage Fundraiser” to the memo section when submitting your payment.

If you plan to purchase the Pre-Paid Fuel and the Luggage Fundraiser all in one transaction; please enter both “SR Pre-Paid Fuel 2024” and “Luggage Fundraiser” on the memo line. If you are paying for more than one bike, please note that as well.

Another Southern Route fundraiser this year will be this patch. They will be sold beginning in Ontario and throughout the 10-day mission or until we run out. Each patch will be $5.00, and proceeds will be used to support our Veterans along the way.

After Action Reports

RFTW Leadership encourages ALL riders to complete an After Action Report (AAR) to get a better understanding of your experience on the Run and to make improvements to future Runs based on your suggestions. However, did you know that an After Action Report (AAR) can be done at any time? Thats right; an AAR can be done anytime even during the Run. If you have any kind of feedback or if there is a specific incident you observe or are a part of, you do not have to wait until the Run is completed and you’ve returned home. If you wait, you may forget certain details so please, if you feel the need, please submit an AAR at any time! Also, so you know, you can submit as many AAR’s as you feel are necessary!


Leave no one behind does not end on the battlefield!

If you or someone you know find themselves struggling with their mental health, please know you can contact the VA Veteran’s Crisis Line by dialing 988 then press 1 or text 838255 and speak or chat with a qualified responder.














Darin “Lurch” Koch

RFTW Southern Route Coordinator 2024

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