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FROM THE PRESIDENT, RUN FOR THE WALL, INC.

March 20, 2020

On behalf of the Board of Directors, it is my sad task to announce that we are cancelling RFTW XXXII scheduled for May 2020, because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  This action reflects the unanimous vote of the Board of Directors, with the concurrence of all four Route Coordinators.  We felt it necessary to make this decision now so that riders will have sufficient time to take whatever actions may be needed, such as cancelling reservations, without incurring any penalties.  We also felt it was necessary so that our state coordinators could begin notifying the communities and organizations who support us as soon as possible.

The Board of Directors did not reach this decision lightly.  Each of us agonized over it and came to this conclusion with the utmost reluctance. We ask for your understanding and support.  Rest assured, our next regular Board meeting on April 9th will mark the beginning of our planning to resume THE MISSION in 2021.

From each of us on the Board, and from your Route Coordinators, thank you!

Les Williams
President, RFTW Board of Directors

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Statement Regarding COVID-19

For Immediate Release:

Statement of the Board of Directors Re: Corona Virus (COVID-19)

We are still two months out from the start of RFTW XXXII. All of us have many questions about the COVID-19 virus, and precious few answers. This is a very fluid situation. By the time we’re ready to go Kick Stands Up the virus may well have run its course, much like the normal flu viruses we’ve dealt with every year. At the other end of the spectrum, it’s possible we could be confined in quarantine zones throughout the country and subject to severe travel restrictions. Most likely, we’ll find ourselves somewhere in between. As of now, we simply have no way of knowing.

The Board of Directors is following the situation closely. At this time, we are still planning to conduct the Run as we always have. As a precaution, we have asked the Route Coordinators to develop contingency plans in the event any of our normal visits (schools, VA hospitals, community gatherings, etc.) are closed to us. We will continue to monitor events and make decisions as circumstances dictate. These will be announced to our ridership in a timely manner. In the meantime, we ask each of you to…

  • Be patient and remain calm.
  • Avoid speculating on social media… unsubstantiated rumors are not helpful.
  • Plan for the Run to be conducted as usual, unless you hear otherwise from the Board of Directors or your Route Coordinators.
  • Keep your plans flexible and be prepared for the unexpected.

For the Board of Directors,

Les Williams, President

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President’s Message – March 2020

Run for the Wall - We Ride For Those Who Can't

President’s Message:

Included in this message:

  • Itinerary Wrap-up
  • Website pre-registration closing soon
  • Keep animals on Run leashed
  • Volunteers needed for DC Korean War Memorial washing
  • Rolling to Remember info

March is finally upon us but not in the sense of “the Ides of March are upon you” quote that is so often used at this time of the year. This reference is from the Roman calendar specifically March 15 when the Romans were known to “settle debts.” Julius Caesar became a victim that day when a large group of Roman politicians used swords and not words to quiet the Roman Emperor. Soon thereafter Shakespeare penned the play, “Julius Caesar” in 1599 when a soothsayer warned the Emperor of danger. March is also the beginning of spring and host of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

March is also great time to get back on the road where you hone your skills because we are only 70-ish days to KSU. I hope those of you who have recruited FNGs take the time to explain how we ride and invite them to ride with you for an early experience. If you are an FNG, I encourage you to seek out as much information as you can concerning how we ride on this mission. Once again please check out our “New Participant” tab on the website and read the article, “10 Days in May” – you will find it a wonderful way to learn about our mission and how it is done. Moreover, our FNG briefing this year will be held at 1300-1430 on Tuesday, May 12 outside at Lot D which is next door to the Gateway, the host hotel. This is a mandatory meeting for FNGs and a great time to learn how we ride. This FNG briefing will be route specific so look for your route’s signage when you enter Lot D. At 1500 we will roll into an “All Routes Safety Briefing” in Lot D which is mandatory for everyone riding RFTW 2020. (You can find this information on the Ontario 2020 Itinerary—check back often for updates.)

Just a few words now on our BOD face-to- face meeting conducted last month – a meeting that is mandated by our bylaws and arguably one of our most important meetings of the year.

This meeting included all of the board members, the route coordinators and assistant RCs.

We firmed up the planning process for the 2020 Run For the Wall, along with other BOD business.

A few topics discussed:

  • Route itineraries were to be submitted by the RCs before Mar. 1 so proof copies can be printed. Once the proof copies are ready, they will be reviewed for accuracy and then sent back for printing. Those now posted on the website are preliminary and subject to change. The RCs hustle to get them out so riders can plot their trips, but last-minute changes always occur. Check back often for updates.
  • Pre-registration on the website will end at midnight April 30. If you are planning on going with us, pre- register. The more accurate our numbers, the better the leaders’ planning. After April 30th riders can register in Ontario or other overnight stops noted on route itineraries.
  • A large number of animals are showing up on all four routes. Last year there many complaints of dogs that were seen without a leash and in some cases seen running into a crowd of children. After a lengthy period of debate, the board determined that the liability associated with unleashed animals on RFTW was too high and needed to be stopped. The board voted that all animals on the RFTW must be on leash and controlled by someone holding the leash at all times. RCs will have the authority to enforce this policy up to and including removing the owner from the mission. The policy will be included in the itinerary booklet for all routes for your review should you have an animal with you.

As recently as two days ago we received a mission from the National Park Service approving RFTW to wash the Korean War Memorial on Sunday morning. To complete this mission we will need 30 volunteers. The Southern Route raised 10 volunteers on Monday. Now, I would like to get 10 volunteers each from the Central and Midway Routes to complete our work force. If you are riding on these two routes and want to join us cleaning up the Korean War Memorial please email your Route Coordinators. We will take the first 10 who contact their Route Coordinator from each route and maybe a few more. We will stage in front of the Holiday Inn host hotel, Sunday at 0530 and KSU at 0600. Work will begin at 0630 and expect to achieve mission success around 0800. We will have Road Guard support to escort the platoon to the Korean War Memorial and I’m hoping they will join us in the entire mission.

Speaking of the Korean War Memorial, many of you may remember our RFTW 2019 guest of honor, Captain Royce Williams USN (ret) who visited with many of our riders at the Gateway Hotel. Ross was a highly decorated Naval Aviator during the Korean war and was credited with shooting down 4 Russian MIG’s in one mission. I think this would be a great way to honor Royce by having a big turnout for this mission. Royce is fine and doing well and I think this will bring a smile to his face,  Google: https://homelandmagazine.com/?p=1994 for more information.

Moreover, we have received the details from the AMVETs regarding the demonstration “Rolling to Remember” also on Sunday. If you have signed up for this event the staging is set at 0600 with KSU at 0630 in the underground area of the Holiday Inn. The riders will be escorted to the Rolling to Remember staging area by RFTW Road Guards. Run For the Wall will have priority parking at the Pentagon parking area starting at approximately 0700. If you are on Facebook and plan to participate, please  go to our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RunForTheWall/?view_public_for=280980122905 and participate in the Poll so we can get a good headcount for AMVETS for their planning purposes.

Is it May yet? Respectfully submitted,

Les “Easy” Williams
RFTW BOD
President

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President’s Message – January 2020

While thinking about the time frame between now and kickstands up on May 13, I am astonished how fast time has gone by since our mission complete in May 2019.

January is normally the time we all begin thinking about getting our bikes in good running order. Most do this in January or February to beat the spring rush at dealerships or repair shops. Tires are an item you want take a good look at, as well as any curious noises you hear after starting up from a winter rest.  Last year I left town with a very curious electrical problem that seemingly was causing the oil pressure gauge to go lower than normal. I put a new sending unit on it and it increased but not to where it needed to be, while other electrical anomalies popped up.

My Harley did fine from Colorado to California holding an okay pressure so, patting myself on the back for doing a good job, I promptly stopped worrying. Later, on the Midway Route in Forrest City, Ark., the battery went dead and all the checks were not good! I missed two days of the Run riding around in a chase vehicle looking for a dealer who could install a new stator. (Thanks, Chase and Chaplain Corps! You went way above and beyond!) I guess the phrase from former President Ronald Reagan, “Trust but verify,” applies to this Harley.

We finally drove into Boswell’s Country Road Harley Davidson in Cookeville, Tenn., in front of the pack. This dealership—like most along all our routes—made our bike (and a few others) a priority. That afternoon and night we actually brought them eight bikes. Amazingly it was a Monday but the service manager called in extra help, allowing eight riders to continue the mission.

The next thing that needs attention is our own health. Run For The Wall is a grueling 10-day mission that takes a lot of stamina both physically and mentally. Starting to get in shape now will pay great dividends in May. If you are on any medications, it is prudent to discuss with your physician whether these meds could interfere with your driving skills in any way.

After the holidays is a great time to start walking off those extra pounds you put on. I already have started to peel off the five pounds I put on over Christmas and hope to reach my goal by end of February.

Walking 4-5 miles daily or swimming is a great way to improve your physical and mental strength. Here in Colorado I walk a lot and often have to dress like Nanook of the North to accomplish these goals but it seems to help make the RFTW mission a better experience for me and those around me.

These are just a few of the things that help you prepare for the mission of your life. Next month I’ll discuss a few of the other things you can do to help your planning process. Meanwhile, for those new to RFTW and those who want a refresher, check our New Participants tab on the website for many good tips on preparing for this mission.

If you have not seen the new RFTW updated website please go to rftw.us and check it out. There are many improvements and I am sure you will find it easier to use while enjoying the new videos. I would like to thank Central Route road guard Ted Kapner for the update and many donated hours to RFTW. Also, thanks to BOD Communications Director Nick Hentges for his help in the transition process.

One more thing…

Many have asked about the AMVETs Rolling To Remember Run event that will take place on Sunday, May 24. We have not received any details yet but we are prepared to provide RFTW escorts early Sunday morning for those who would like to participate. After talking to their executive director, it appears this will be a very well managed event. I encourage RFTW riders to consider participating in the first Rolling To Remember Run. If you would like to read more about this and see the new patch check out https://amvets.org/rolling-to-remember-demonstration-ride/.

Is it May yet?

Respectfully submitted,
Les “Easy” Williams
RFTW BOD President

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President’s Message – December 2019

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to everyone this holiday season.

Connie and I, and the Board of Directors wish you all the very best during this holiday season and a very happy New Year.

We are looking forward to the 2020 Run For The Wall and working hard to make the 32nd RFTW the safest and most memorable mission for all our riders.

The planning process has produced several changes on all the routes including the first operational mission of our new Sandbox Route. Once again, I urge all riders to stay current by reading the monthly messages your Route Coordinators post on the website and RFTW Facebook. Moreover, I suggest that our new riders read the article “Ten Days in May” in the New Participant website hub. This day-by-day story of what happens on our 10-day mission will answer many, if not all, of your questions.It is this time of the year that we start getting inquiries about when the hotel list will be available. These lists much be checked for accuracy and other details before we publish them. Most of that has been completed and the Hotel Lists will be published at midnight January 1, 2020 on the website under each route hub. All the routes have three or more hotels at each overnight stop while four hotels will be available in Ontario and Arlington. So, there’s ample room for everyone who wants to use these hotels. We only ask you be polite and patient with the clerks who are trying to help you. Typically, we hear only a few complaints from hotels when some of our folks choose to lose their tempers which lets us know that the vast majority of folks are civil. Please help us on this issue because hotels who are confronted with bad attitudes respond by refusing to block rooms for us the following year or raise prices so high we have to go elsewhere. Remember: You always have the freedom to use other hotels at the overnight stops.

We are keeping an open line of communications with the American Veterans, better known as AMVETS, and their planning process for a new demonstration in Washington. They have secured a permit from the National Park Service for a rally from May 22-24, 2020. The AMVET demonstration will be known as “Rolling to Remember.” AMVET Executive Director Joe Chenelly told me the 2020 events will be held “to make the nation, especially our voters, aware of what is happening , what isn’t happening and what needs to happen to address our POWs, our MIAs, and our veterans and active-duty service members who are dying by suicide.”

Joe also told me that this will be a mission and not a party. RFTW has pledged to participate in the demonstration on Sunday and help where we can. I will continue to inform our riders of the details in these messages over the next few months.

Once again thank you all for making our mission – your mission.

148 days until May 1

Respectfully submitted,
Les “Easy” Williams, President
Run for the Wall Board of Directors

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President’s Message – October 2019

Run for the wall

November is always an opportunity to focus on “We Ride For Those Who Can’t.” It’s an opportunity for all riders and supporters to reflect on the sacrifices made by veterans by attending ceremonies on Veterans Day in your town or city. It’s also a time for us to remember those who served during wartime and other eras.

In past years I have tried to honor folks from WW2, Korea, Vietnam and more current conflicts in our events at Ontario and in these messages. This November I would like to honor PFC Carl J. Klemme USMC.

PFC Klemme enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on April 17, 1917 in Denver, Col. Carl Klemme was 18 years old and was on his way to Europe as the United States committed to enter World War I. Our nation entered this stalemated trench war three years after it began in 1914—as the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) commanded by Gen. John “Blackjack” Pershing USA. Although Carl Klemme likely never met Gen. Pershing, he would see this war from a very different perspective.

After completing USMC basic training, PFC Klemme began his foreign service in France Aug., 22, 1917. Klemme participated in “active operations against the enemy,” Mar. 15-May 13, 1918 in the Toulon Sector, Verdun, France. From May 31-June 5,1918 he saw combat in the Aisne Defensive. Then from June 6-17,1918 the 5th Marine Regiment moved into the Chateau Thierry Sector and engaged the enemy in an unorthodox night attack in their trenches with bayonets fixed.

This victory was won at a place known as Belleau Wood, assuring Paris was safe, and where the Germans gave the Marines their nickname “Teufel Hunden” or “Devil Dogs.” Gen. Pershing later said, “The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle.”

The 5th Marine Regiment and PFC Klemme then cleared the sector of German soldiers making way for Gen. Pershing’s operation known as the St. Mihiel Offensive conducted Sept. 19-22, 1918. PFC Klemme and his fellow Marines then found themselves at the line of departure in the Meuse-Argonne Sector on Oct. 1, 1918. After several days of heavy combat PFC Klemme was wounded in action on Oct. 4, 1918 and was forced off the battlefield only to recover and serve out his foreign service as part of the Army of Occupation in Germany.

PFC Klemme was Honorably Discharged from the Marines on July 18, 1919 and awarded the “recognized wound chevron” (Purple Hearts were not awarded until 1932 and the recognized wound chevron was later exchanged for the Purple Heart), the Good Conduct Medal, WWI Victory Medal, and the German Occupation Medal. Moreover, an additional honor was awarded to the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments after WWI ended and was presented by the French government to these Marine regiments after having earned the Croix de Guerre with palm leaf three times during WWI.

PFC Klemme did not receive this award after he was discharged. The award is a green fourragere (braided cords) worn on the left shoulder that was permanent for anyone who fought in these campaigns and temporary for others who joined the units in the future.

On Oct. 18, 2019 PFC Klemme’s son, Dave Klemme, USMC Maj. (ret), attended formation of new troops joining the 5th Marines at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Dave, who serves as RFTW BOD chairman and Central Route road guard, showed the documents below to Commanding Officer Col. Rob Weiler of the 5th Marine Regiment who said he was delighted to see this history and will submit the appropriate paper work to award Dave’s father the fourragere.

During the formation, Col. Weiler held up the documents, explaining, “This Marine’s father served at Belleau Wood in WWI and these historical documents are why you all are being awarded fourrageres today.”

 

 

   

 

Please participate this Veteran’s Day—“To promote healing among ALL veterans and their families and friends, to call for a full accounting of Prisoners Of War and those Missing In Action, to honor the memory of those Killed In Action, from all wars, and to support our military personnel all of the world.”

Oh, and by the way, the 2020 planning process is progressing very well! However, there are some changes on each of the routes. I urge you all to read the monthly route coordinators’ messages found in the Route Hub so you are informed. I would like to urge everyone who is thinking about riding with RFTW 2020 to register early so route coordinators can get a feel for the numbers they will have in 2020. This is a safety issue, Folks, as well as an administrative one. If you are just thinking about riding with us but maybe not completely sure, you can register without paying. However, it is cheaper to pay when you register and we need early numbers to safely plan. Thank you and remember this is One Mission – Four Routes.

Is it May yet?

Respectfully submitted,

Les “Easy” Williams
President
Run For The Wall Board of Directors

P.S. According to sources reported by Wikipedia, the Army’s 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Division AEF was awarded the French Croix de Guerre with Palm three times, and awarded the French fourragere for service during WWI campaigns at Chateau Thierry, Aisne-Marne and Meuse-Argonne…. In total, 434 AEF officers and men were certified to wear the French fourragere as an individual decoration.

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President’s Message – September 2019

The Board of Directors had a busy month dealing with an array of issues that need completing prior to the 2020 RFTW. One of those issues goes on annually during August and September is to read the After-Action reports submitted by our riders. Those reports give us many new views on specific issues that often require changes to our Standard Operations Procedures (SOPs). Moreover, our entire SOPs are reviewed for elimination, modification or addition.

BOD director of operations Doug Lyvere is the lead on these issues and submits all the changes for the board to review. Needless-to-say, Doug is a busy guy and has his hands full for most of the year. After our October meeting the board will vote on the reviewed items both modified and new. All Route Coordinators participate in this process and add suggestions that make this process successful and our mission safer.

During our September meeting we received a monthly briefing from the Route Coordinators reporting that although some leadership positions remain open, most have been filled. There were some reports of location changes so please read your monthly RC messages to learn about these changes. The RC monthly messages are important to read each month because there is not only information about location changes but many other important issues that riders need to know. These messages can be read by clicking on one of the four routes noted on the Route Hub tab of the RFTW website.

Leadership Changes

Prior to these briefings the Board of Directors received a letter of resignation from Sandbox Route Coordinator Marcel “Senior” Miller. The board accepted his resignation and have appointed a new RC for the Sandbox Route. Billie “Bugs” Dunlap was appointed to lead the Sandbox Route for the 2020 RFTW. Billie’s Assistant Route Coordinator will be Ken “Six String” Dugas.

Special thanks to Kirk “Pretty Boy” Olson for many years of service on the BoD. Kirk resigned the BoD Director of Public Relations & Communications position to assume the Central Route Road Guard Captain role. Nick “Rich Boy” Hentges was selected to fill the Director of Public Relations & Communications position for Run For The Wall.

Re: Registration

As you may have noticed there is a new registration form this year. This new form has some additional information that is easy to understand and will assist us in knowing during what conflicts and eras you served (or are serving) your country. We would like to thank you in advance for taking a moment to check the boxes of where you served.

The Sandbox registration will be open on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. Please take the time to read the new directions as well as the bright red restrictions on certain vehicles.

Reunions

I also have heard some great feedback from folks who attended the Angel Fire reunion in New Mexico and the Midway-sponsored all routes reunion held in Franklin, Tenn. The number of bricks laid at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Angel Fire was astounding and moving and included honoring many Medal of Honor recipients and Navajo Code Talkers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget the Sept. 20-22, 2019 Texas all-routes reunion to be held in Kerrville, Texas. The contact information can be found in the regional events tab on the website. It’s not too late to make it to Kerrville!

Is it May yet?

Respectfully submitted,
Les “Easy” Williams
RFTW BoD President

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President’s Message – August 2019

August has been a very busy month for the RCs and the Board of Directors. The planning process is in full swing for all of the above as well as State Coordinators along all the routes. Our Ontario State Coordinator is very busy with several chores including the start of finding the right hotels in Ontario that can accommodate the many needs RFTW must have to safely complete our mission.

Board members, like many of you, have watched as RFTW has grown over the past few years putting pressure on our current infrastructure on both coasts as well as along each route. Ontario presents special needs in that each route has asked for more and more meeting rooms. With the addition of the Sandbox Route those demands have increased. Other events have also pressured time commitments for those meetings and special events. Honestly, Carol Olmstead and I wish there were more hours in the days we are in Ontario. Since that is not possible and the demands for rooms or special events continue, we will likely start scheduling meetings into the evening hours and perhaps for very early in the mornings.

When the hotels are locked in, we will brief the Route Coordinators about the availability of rooms and times. We will, once again, ask everyone to have your requests or scheduled event in by no later than Jan. 31. It may be possible this year that some meetings will have to be scheduled for the great outdoors. The annual safety meeting will once again be held in Lot D where the route leadership can meet and greet their riders and provide them with the safety briefing of how we ride. The time allocated for this briefing is the longest of any event we have in Ontario and the BOD encourages all route leadership to use it to help new participants become familiar with how we ride safely.

So, while I am on the subject of riding safely, I urge all riders to find a certified motorcycle training group and complete one or two of their riding courses. Annually many of our riders who submit an After-Action Report ask, Why doesn’t RFTW hold training courses before the Run? A simple answer is we are not certified to train folks nor would our liability company be happy with us if we did! The best way to do this is go to a certified training group, take the courses, and then for the rest of the winter/spring practice your new skills. Moreover, for new and returning riders who are not accustom to riding for long miles and days in a group situation, please begin a training program that will get your body and mind in better shape for the 2020 mission. For anyone who is on medication and seeing a physician we urge you to talk about this opportunity with your doctor before arriving at a RFTW departure point. If you are emotionally and physically in shape for this mission, your rewards will be many.

As we approach the end of summer it’s once again Central’s All-Routes Reunion starting on Labor Day weekend in Angel Fire, N.M.—a great place to once again fulfill our mission by honoring those who served. It’s a working weekend but one that’s good for the soul. This year there will also be a Midway All-Routes Reunion also held on Labor Day weekend in Franklin, Tenn. For many years I have heard folks who live in the Eastern U.S. wondering if a reunion would ever be held there. Now’s your chance, folks, and the itinerary looks great. The last reunion of the season, Southern’s All-Routes Reunion will be held in Kerrville, Tex. also with a full itinerary of events. If you have not experienced riding in the Hill Country of Texas, don’t miss this chance. A wonderful long weekend with a great hotel, great food and a chance to renew friendships. Check here for details: https://rftw.us/forums/forum/regional-gatherings

Finally, the BOD, RCs and ARCs had a successful meeting July in Denver. Many thanks to BOD Treasurer Ken and Jenny Ward for all the arrangements. It’s a big job to find reasonable accommodations for these mandatory face-to-face meetings at a cost-effective location, and Ken and Jenny always go above and beyond. Following the Saturday meeting, Ray Brammer introduced the new RFTW belt buckle. Check it out in the store! https://rftw.us/product/run-for-the-wallr-belt-buckle/

Until next time have a great end of summer. Remember the inscription on the tablet behind Abraham Lincoln’s massive statue:

“In this temple / as in the hearts of the people / for whom he saved the union / the memory of Abraham Lincoln / is enshrined forever.” Check this out next time we all sit at President Lincoln’s feet—RFTW 2020

Is it May yet?

Respectfully submitted,
Les “Easy” Williams
RFTW BOD President

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President’s Message – July 2019

June and July have been very busy months with route coordinator selections, collection of data needed to wrap up the 31st Run For The Wall, and the election of a new member of the Board of Directors. The route coordinators for 2020 as voted on and approved: Central Route RC Tom “Boomps” Miller, Midway Route RC Ken “Six String” Dugas, Southern Route RC Bob “Captain America” Nelson and Sandbox Route RC Marcel “Senior” Miller. The new member of the BOD is Jim “Ancient 6” Marshall who is the LEO road guard on the Midway Route. Welcome to everyone and congratulations to all the new RFTW route coordinators.

The RCs will attend the BOD monthly meetings during the 2019-2020 planning year. Each month the they will write a monthly update on the planning progress along with additional items helpful for rider preparation. Moreover, they will post the names and contact information of the route leadership positions after they are all selected. All of this information can be found under the Run Information tab on rftw.us.

Speaking of meetings, the BOD will hold its summer face-to-face meeting in Denver, Colo. July 19-21. This will be one of the busiest meetings I have attended based on the agenda prepared by Chairman Dave Klemme. I have watched over the past three years the growth of RFTW at all levels and with that growth comes additional planning and careful risk management.

The July meeting will deal with issues from Ontario, Calif., to Washington, DC. as reported by senior leadership and the riders who have given us their input via After Action Reports. The BOD members have read all the AARs submitted from all routes while the RC/ARCs have read all the AARs submitted by riders on their routes. I want to thank those who have submitted AARs and remind everyone else there is no time limit on submissions of these reports. I was pleased to see how many writers commented on the increased emphasis on safety on all the 2019 routes. We will continue to review all aspects of safety along our routes which may include changes of locations and time frames—some due to matters law enforcement cooperation in urban areas. With that said I would like to thank those LEOs from states and cities who support us with great enthusiasm.

The California State Police begin by getting us out of Ontario, the New Mexico State Police take us border-to-border, and the Virginia State Police get us into Arlington each year with great courage and skills. To all other LEOs who help RFTW, you have our complete respect and gratitude.

Many of you have heard about a tragic incident that occurred near Gorham, N.H., when members of the Jarhead MC traveling in a group to a charity event were struck by a truck that veered across the centerline and crashed head on into their formation. See memorial service photos at right and below.

That incident was widely reported across the nation’s news media, however, little has been heard since. I would like to post a few pictures in this message of the first funeral of one of those Marines killed.

There is a Go-Fund-Me account created for “Jarheads MC – Victims and Families support.” If you want to make a direct donation the address can also be found on this site.

Thanks to Alan “Cross Country” Silva, Midway Route ambassador, for the pictures and information. Keep these Marines and their families in your prayers.

That’s about it for now so keep tuned for the August message and how the planning process is going for the 2020 RFTW. By then I hope we will have the scoop on the details of the first operational Sandbox Route and how to become part of that mission.

Before I sign off, I would like to thank Capt. Royce Williams USN (ret) for spending the Ontario weekend with RFTW.

He told me he had a great time visiting with all the riders and meeting “America’s veterans.”

Royce said he was impressed with the great welcome he got and the new friends he met.

Moreover, I want to thank CJ Machado for making this visit possible and her unwavering devotion to America’s veterans. You both are always welcome at RFTW events.

Is it May yet?

Respectfully submitted,
Les “Easy” Williams
RFTW BoD President