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Registration Reminder

In under 40 hours, registration rates will change:

Traditional Route (CA to DC) Fees

  • Early Bird Registration
    Sept. 11, 2022 through Jan. 31, 2023: $45 per person
  • Regular Registration
    Feb. 1 through Apr. 30, 2023: $60 per person
  • Last Minute Joe
    After May 1, 2023: $75 per person

Sandbox Route Fees

  • Early Bird Registration
    Sept. 11, 2022 through Jan. 31, 2023: $15 per person
  • Regular Registration
    Feb. 1 through Apr. 30, 2023: $20 per person
  • Last Minute Joe
    After May 1, 2023: $25 per person

This would be a great time to save a few dollars!!

Click here to register now!!

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President’s Message – Remember The Mission!

Remember the Mission

I received a phone call the other day that really set me back in my chair a bit and again made me think about Mission.  The caller was concerned, and voiced the concerns of others he knows, that RFTW has strayed from the Mission.  This isn’t the first time I’ve heard that we have strayed, but this time it really resonated with me.  I wanted to share some thoughts with you and reinforce the hope we Continue the Mission not only in words, but that we truly remember why we ride.

The first three words of our Mission Statement are “To promote healing…”.  The Run for the Wall philosophy (click here to see both the mission and philosophy) expresses that through participation in the Run, our riders can “reflect and heal on their journey…” “in the hope they can return home to a new beginning”.  Healing. Hope. New Beginning. Powerful words.

Run for the Wall Mission Statement

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.

During the call, we spoke of the “22”. How every day we continue to lose veterans to suicide. I thought about how, long ago, a group of Vietnam Vets recognized issues our government was not willing to address, and like veterans do, took it upon themselves to make it happen.  How, in the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood, they started our Mission.  How some of our current vets are suffering from the same traumatic impacts associated with serving that many of our Vietnam Vets suffer through.  How wars and conflicts, generations apart, are still impacting those who carry out our national policies. How maybe we have lost some of our focus on the Run.  And it doesn’t have to be PTSD related.  Our society is recognizing moral injury as a serious issue as well.  Are we still truly dedicated to helping reduce the number suffering?

The call made me reflect on my FNG year and how my platoon leader, every morning, spoke with each member of the platoon to see how they were doing, to see if they needed anything.  To ensure that our experience on the Run was living up to our needs and expectations.  To make sure the members of their platoon were taken care of.  Leadership at its best.  He went the extra mile to ensure each and every one of us was taken care of based on our individual needs.

I thought about our Chaplain Corp. How so very well prepared they are to help us heal, about how their Mission is solely dedicated to helping others.  How they go out of their way to look for signs of stress and other indicators that might require their special skills.  How they are always available.  I remember hearing about an individual on the Run that came home from Vietnam in 1969 and had not been east of the Mississippi since.  How, for three straight years, our chaplains and others worked with this person to get him across the Mississippi.  In the fourth year, this person was finally able to go to the Wall.  No One Left Behind!!

I thought about the man wearing a Vietnam Veteran hat that approached me one year at the Village Inn restaurant in Colby, KS.  We were on our way to California for the Run and, of course, had our RFTW vests on.  He came up to our table and asked if we were part of RFTW.  I stood to greet him, and when I answered in the affirmative, he shook my hand and thanked us for doing what we do.  He was a Vietnam vet, a motorcycle rider, and explained that while he wanted to go to the Wall, he just could not, it was too painful.  He spoke of when RFTW stopped in Colby and how proud he was as he relived his past with others that understood.  I gave him a hearty Welcome Home and invited him to sit with us and talk.  He had to get to an appointment but wanted to reach out and let us know that what we do makes a difference.  Maybe, just maybe, him seeing us again and speaking with us made a difference in his life.  We Ride for Those Who Can’t.

I thought about our Outreach teams.  How very important their job is – reaching out and touching families that suffered through the ultimate sacrifice or those that may still have MIA family members or friends.  Reminding those families and friends that they and theirs are not forgotten.  That we will continue to call for an accounting of those missing in action.  That we Ride For Those Who Can’t.

I thought about our Ambassadors and how they stop and reach out to people across the country, whether at an overpass on an Interstate or gathered to meet us at one of our stops.  How many veterans and veteran supporters have our Ambassadors touched?  How many Welcome Home hugs or handshakes have they given?  How many thousands of supporters have our Ambassadors encountered and carried the message that we Ride For Those Who Can’t and that we sincerely appreciate them coming out to support our efforts.

I’m sure each of you have had similar thoughts and experiences.  As we prepare for Run XXXIII, let’s not lose sight of the healing aspect of our Mission.  If we dedicate ourselves to Continue the Mission, if, in the spirit of true Brotherhood, we look out for one another, if we think about the special skills our Chaplains and others bring to our Mission, we can help ensure that no one is left behind.  No One Left Behind!!

With those thoughts in mind, I would like to challenge everyone, especially those in leadership positions, especially at the platoon level, to take an extra moment each and every day to ensure your people are okay.  Make sure your people know you care and that you have their best interests at heart.  I know you have their best interest at heart, else you would not volunteer for a leadership position.  Make sure you are familiar with the resources we have immediately available so we can continue to promote healing.  Don’t be ashamed to ask for the help of others if you do not have the answer or expertise to help a fellow rider.

It is not about the “ride”.  It is not about what color hat you might wear.  It is not about paid gas stops or free food.  If you are here for those things, perhaps you might want to take some time to reflect on what RFTW is really about.  Rededicate yourself to reflecting and living our core values and to Continue the Mission.

I know there are times when we get caught up in the logistics and the planning of the Run.  I know that there are so many things that demand our attention that sometimes it seems like we can’t see the forest for the trees.  But I assure you, the Board of Directors, our RCs, our Platoon Leaders, our Stagers, our Fuel teams, our Road Guards, everyone in a leadership position, is truly focused on ensuring that we live up to our Mission statement and Philosophy.

Let’s take the time to refocus on the Mission.  Maybe, just maybe, we will make a difference in someone’s life.

Let’s continue to promote healing in the hope that our riders will return home to a new beginning.

 John “Turkey” Staub
Acting President, RFTW, Inc.
2011- CR FNG
2012 – CR Participant
2013 – CR Staging Team
2014 – 2015 – CR Staging Team Ass’t. Lead
2016-2017 – CR Staging Team Lead
2022 – CR Platoon Coordinator
2020 – Present – RFTW BoD member

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President’s Message – January 2023

Happy New Year!!!

2022 is finally behind us, and as I write this, we are 133 days from KSU, and the preparations for Run XXXIII are moving along.  The hotel lists were published on 1 January, and reports are that room reservations are moving along at a rapid pace.  Hats off to our State Coordinators, whose countless hours establishing the critical support for each route make this process so easy for us!!

Speaking of 2023, if you haven’t yet registered, I encourage you to do so before 1 February when the registration fee goes up.  Currently, our registration numbers are ahead of last year. Since the accuracy of our registration numbers drive the State Coordinators planning, if you haven’t yet registered, please CLICK HERE to register today!

One thing I ask all of you to help us with is the recruitment of new riders.  Our age demographics continue to show older riders as the majority.  Our concern is that without an influx of younger veterans and riders, we may eventually get to a point where it is difficult to host four routes.  We need to CONTINUE THE MISSION!!!  In order to CTM, we need younger participants, we need to mentor those younger participants for leadership positions.  We need to expand our outreach to veteran organizations, to military organizations, to those who care and support our Mission.  We have presentation templates so that the message we carry to outside organizations is consistent and meet the intent of RFTW.  I encourage you all to reach out to your local VFW, American Legion, Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, and others to recruit new riders.  Remember, it isn’t simply about going All the Way; it is about making a statement through participation!!  Whether you ride one leg, three days, or ATW, we need our voices and the voices of those who cannot ride, to be raised and heard at the highest level.  We Ride for Those Who Can’t!!!

Finally, now is the perfect time to not only get your bike prepared for the Run, but to prepare yourself.  I’m not big into new year resolutions, but I firmly believe that physical fitness plays a huge role in a successful and fulfilling Run.  With 133 days to KSU, now is a perfect time to get a health checkup, to begin a fitness regimen so that you are prepared for the Ride.  Those on CR last year well remember leaving Barstow with temps at 68° and arriving in Needles for lunch with temps hovering around 106°.  It was a demanding ride, requiring hydration, focus and preparation.  A fit body can have a huge impact on your mental wellbeing, and riding through these types of conditions are certainly challenging.  Let’s all be prepared for what lies ahead.

I sincerely hope 2023 brings you and your family joy, happiness, peace and fulfillment.

IS IT MAY YET!!

John “Turkey” Staub
Acting President, RFTW, Inc.
2011- CR FNG
2012 – CR Participant
2013 – CR Staging Team
2014 – 2015 – CR Staging Team Ass’t. Lead
2016-2017 – CR Staging Team Lead
2022 – CR Platoon Coordinator
2020 – Present – RFTW BoD member

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President’s Message December 2022

Winter has arrived in south central Pennsylvania.  The earth is resting and relaxing in anticipation of the upcoming spring.  We too take this time of year to relax a bit; to reconnect with family and friends; to begin building our stores of energy for the upcoming spring.  As you know so well, spring is a very important season for RFTW.  Your Board of Directors is ready, willing, and able to move forward.  Is it May yet?

When I relax, I often like to do a bit of reflective thinking.  My thoughts often come around to RFTW and the Mission; to those who contribute so much and those who have given so much.  I think of resilience, dedication, commitment.  I think of how those words describe the volunteers who make RFTW what it is.

Resilience – I remember being out staging the pack one cold morning in Angel Fire, NM.  It was dark, around 20 something degrees, and we were getting ready to ride through a mountain pass above 8000 feet in elevation.  I was cold and feeling a bit of self-pity.  Then I caught myself thinking of those who are still unaccounted for, who may still be a prisoner of a foreign government.  Those who would probably give anything to trade places with me.  Suddenly, I realized I didn’t have it so bad.  I looked around and saw the Road Guards working, the Staging Team working, leadership meeting, all so we could carry our message across this wonderful nation of ours.  Resilience – determined to carry-on despite conditions or circumstances that mere mortals would shirk from.  We are resilient!!

Dedication – I often say a silent thank-you for the dedication of the many, many people who really make the Run happen.  Our state coordinators work so many hours, drive so many miles, meet with so many people to ensure the riders have food, fuel, and a warm place to sleep.  Our route leadership teams meet countless times, pour over a myriad of details to ensure Mission success.  All this so that our riders can carry the message across the nation.  Dedicated to the Mission, our philosophy, and to achieving our goals.  I am thankful for their dedication and feel a sense of comfort knowing we will succeed because of their efforts.  We are dedicated!!

Commitment – I think of our riders, the people who truly execute our Mission.  I think of the countless acts of silent heroism many have made so that we could be where we are today.  The danger so many have faced so bravely.  The continued determination to ensure our message is heard, despite age issues, health issues, perhaps even family and job issues.  Many of our riders and volunteers spend vacation time away from family and jobs to ensure the success of our Mission.  Many of us may not be as young as we once were, but WE ARE COMMITTED!!

We came off two years of COVID restrictions and pulled off RFTW 2022 because of the resilience, dedication, and commitment of all involved.  I ask that in this holiday season, regardless of whatever your beliefs are, that you too take a moment and reflect on the Mission, on healing, on our philosophy.  Let us be determined to make RFTW XXXIII even better than previous Runs.

WE RIDE FOR THOSE WHO CAN’T

If you haven’t yet registered, I encourage you to click here do so!!

If you haven’t yet finished your holiday shopping, I encourage you to click here and help yourself and RFTW.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to one and all.  I hope you and yours have a peaceful, fulfilling, and gentle holiday season.

IS IT MAY YET?

John “Turkey” Staub
Acting President, RFTW, Inc.
2011- CR FNG
2012 – CR Participant
2013 – CR Staging Team
2014 – 2015 – CR Staging Team Ass’t. Lead
2016-2017 – CR Staging Team Lead
2022 – CR Platoon Coordinator
2020 – Present – RFTW BoD member