About Run For The Wall®

Welcome to Run For The Wall!

Who & What

Run For The Wall® (also known as RFTW) is an organized cross-country motorcycle ride to honor our veterans, their families and friends and to raise awareness of those still missing – Prisoners of War (POW) and Missing in Action (MIA). The ride, or “run” as many motorcyclists call it, starts in Ontario, California and ten days later ends at the Vietnam Memorial Wall in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. We then have a 3-day “run” from D.C. to the Middle East Conflicts Wall in Marseilles, IL. “Wall to Wall”.


You do not need to be a veteran to ride, everyone is welcome! The ages of the participants range from eight to eighty. These include mothers, fathers, grandfathers, and grandmothers! Among the ridership you will find veterans, active-duty military, patriots, supporters, friends, and family.


1 Mission ~ 4 Routes

There are three “Coast to Coast” Routes that all start in Ontario, California and conclude at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. The three routes are the Central Route, the Midway Route and the Southern Route.

In 2022, RFTW established a fourth route to go from “Wall to Wall”. Following the ten days ride from coast to coast, the Sandbox Route departs Washington, D.C. on Sunday of the Memorial Holiday weekend and continues the Mission to the Middle East Conflicts Wall in Marseilles, Illinois.

1-mission 4-routes


Is It May Yet?

The Run occurs every May with the three coast to coast routes beginning around the middle of the month and culminating on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. The fourth route “Sandbox”, begins on Sunday of the Memorial Day weekend. You will often hear members of the RFTW family lament, “Is it May yet?”

2025 RFTW Dates

Registration for the 2025 Run For The Wall will open on September 11th, 2024 @ 8:46 a.m. (Eastern)


We Ride For Those Who Can’t

Run For The Wall began in 1989 as an effort by a couple of Vietnam Veterans who traveled across the heartland of America on motorcycles, talking to local radio, television, and newspapers about the fact that we had thousands of men and women still unaccounted for from all our wars.


The need for this awareness continues, so RFTW riders maintain this tradition every May by riding their motorcycles from “coast to coast”, and since 2022 from “wall to wall”. RFTW does not give political speeches or stage demonstrations. Run For The Wall emphasizes its message by traveling through the United States in a safe and orderly manner, obeying traffic laws and treating all citizens with respect. Our motto is, “We Ride For Those Who Can’t”.

Raising public awareness is only part of the Mission of Run For The Wall. RFTW also gives veterans (from Vietnam and all wars and conflicts) the opportunity to receive the Welcome Home they so richly deserve, and an encouraging environment where they can further their healing process.

Many who have served our country, especially in combat, return with issues that may be unresolved. This can also extend to friends and families who have experienced the range of emotion and trauma associated with having a loved one go off to serve. RFTW riders find healing and camaraderie in the Run For The Wall family. They can finally start settling issues that have been put away for years.


Together We Ride

Run For The Wall is a motorcycle ride like none other. It is definitely not a party, but rather a mission of honor and an odyssey of patriotism and respect through the heart of the United States of America. On the Run we ride side by side (and in some cases staggered) in parade formation all the way. Each Route is led by a Route Coordinator and an Assistant Route Coordinator. At the head of the pack is the Missing Man formation.

The Missing Man Formation
The Missing Man Formation is a rolling salute to honor the memory of the fallen, KIA, MIA, or POW. Five bikes ride in formation with a space where one bike should be, symbolizing the person’s absence. On each leg of each route we honor a different individual in the Missing Man Formation. There is a short ceremony just prior to the departure of the pack and we SAY THEIR NAMES so that their service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.

You will also notice that the riders participating in the Missing Man Formation do not wave at onlookers while riding in formation. Their ride is solemn and sincere – a rolling salute. This is the highest form of honor and respect, and serves as a stark reminder of those who sacrificed their future for that of our nation. May their memories always be a blessing and may we never forget that freedom is not free.

RFTW Missing man formation

The main pack of motorcycles is divided into platoons. Each platoon is headed by a Platoon Leader and an Assistant Platoon Leader as well as one or two Tail Gunners to help pace the group.

While most of the vehicles are conventional two-wheeled motorcycles (of all makes and models), there is also a healthy contingent of trikes and three-wheel vehicles such as Can-Am Spyders – and even a few motorcycles and trikes who tow trailers. That said, we do allow 4-wheel vehicles to register and drive the route of their choice, with the proviso that 4-wheelers drive 15 minutes (give or take) ahead of the pack, and not interfere with the parking or staging of the pack at any of the stops. (Alternatively, 4-wheel vehicles may drive behind the pack, behind the last man vehicle and any chase trucks/trailers, but we prefer that you drive out ahead….) Four-wheel vehicle participants will still be able to take part in all the RFTW activities, but you must remain safely out of the way of the motorcycle pack. Please consider that some fuel stops and/or lunch stops are quite compressed and room to maneuver any 4-wheel vehicle around the 300-400 motorcycles staged in tight quarters could be challenging. (Polaris Slingshot – Our Official Policy on Polaris Slingshot’s is that these vehicles are the size of and essentially a “small car” and will follow the aforementioned protocol of other 4-wheel vehicles.)