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.
We strive to maintain a safe, supportive and private atmosphere in which all participants can reflect and heal on their journey to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, in the hope they can return home to a new beginning.
- To guide the participants across America.
- To educate future generations on the importance of accountability in wartime actions, emphasizing that no one should be left behind.
Run For The Wall® (RFTW) was started in 1989 by James Gregory and Bill Evans, two Vietnam Veterans who traveled across the heartland of America on motorcycles. They talked to local radio, TV and newspapers about the thousands of men and women still unaccounted for from all wars. The need for this awareness continues today and we carry on this tradition every May.
We don’t give political speeches or stage demonstrations. RFTW gets its message across to the public by riding through the United States. We obey traffic laws and treat all citizens with dignity and respect. The issue of public awareness is only part of the reason for RFTW. We also give Vietnam Veterans and all Veterans the opportunity to get their own “Welcome Home” and start their healing process.
Everyone who has fought or has friends or loved ones who have fought in a war, has their own issues from their experience — the welcome home, the goodbye to buddies lost, the ability to finally help the young men and women we watch every night on TV, or just trying to accept coming home alive. Many who participate in the Run find that whatever they’ve been missing can be found in the RFTW family. They can finally start settling issues that have been “stuffed” away for many years.
There’s a nominal charge for participating in the Run, plus you pay your own expenses such as lodging. We’ve been fortunate in the past to receive support from organizations and people along the way. Most evening dinners and many breakfasts and lunches are provided free or for a small donation by concerned citizens. There are many generous groups who have paid for gas and lodging on occasion.
The trip is a 10-day ride from Ontario, California, to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, where the Run officially ends. We meet on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial just before noon on Saturday before Memorial Day. From there, we walk as a group to The Wall and declare our mission complete by placing a plaque at the apex. There are other non-RFTW events scheduled throughout the weekend, including the opportunity to participate in the Rolling Thunder Parade in Washington, DC, on Sunday. This is a sight to behold — 350,000 plus motorcycles all starting from the Pentagon parking lots, parading through downtown Washington, and ending at The Wall.
During the journey across the US, we make stops at memorials, Veterans’ Hospitals and schools. We enjoy parades, escorts and “Welcome Home” receptions provided by the patriots in our host cities.
Participants range in age from 8 to 80. They include fathers, mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers (some of whom ride their own bikes!); veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan; active duty military; supporters; friends and family. Everyone is welcome. The main rule is NO ATTITUDES.
Some people join RFTW and think it is just a vacation or another motorcycle event. After a day or two, one realizes this is something special and unlike anything you’ve experienced. You become part of the RFTW family whose members come from all over the United States, Australia, Canada, Netherlands and other countries. What could be more perfect than riding on a mission, making new friends and helping a very good cause (POW/MIA)?
You don’t have to ride a motorcycle to participate. By joining or supporting RFTW, you can share in our Mission. The important thing is to join the cause!