Name: Trent Caster
First and foremost I would like to thank all of the many volunteers that made this the most memorable journey I have ever taken. It’s right up there with the birth of my kids and the marriage to my wife of almost 19 years now.
I did post some of this in another thread, so I apologize if you have read that and I’m repeating myself.
The beauty of the Run is that it serves many purposes for those on the mission. Each has his/her own reasons and the experiences are just as diverse.
I hooked up with the CR group in Gallup, NM and rode up to Burlington, CO. I started riding and standing with the PGR 2 years ago as a way I can give back to all the vets that have served, are serving and will serve this great nation. It is truly my honor to ride and stand for all of them. Some of the missions can be emotionally overwhelming, so when a good friend of mine “Bones” told me about the RFTW, I thought I would be fine and was ready for the experience.
What an experience!!! I experienced emotions I never expected. They ran from pride and feeling I was a part of the “family” to feeling very out of place. Let me try to explain.
Imagine that every town you go through no matter how big or how small was like a parade. People standing on the sidewalks, overpasses, etc. waving flags and holding banners, cheering, waving, etc. as you ride down the street with this mission in the front of your mind. What an overwhelming sense of pride to ride in honor of those that can’t. Just gives you goose bumps. Now, imagine, that you’re a non-vet at the Vietnam Memorial in Angel Fire, NM. It is a sobering place. One of reflection, remembrance and healing. Why are YOU there? You’re not a vet. What healing powers are there for you? Might get to feel a bit out of place at this point. That is until you get a big ole bear hug from a vet that says “Welcome
Home Brother.” You return the heartfelt statement and tell him you’re not a vet and that you are on this ride to show your appreciation and support to those that serve. Then this man turns to you, looks you right in the eye and says, “It doesn’t matter. You’re a member of this family and we’re on this mission together. Thank you for being here.” Now is when you just might have one of those AH HA moments….Are you kidding me? Thank ME for being here? It’s not about me, it’s about YOU, you vets that have made sacrifices I could never understand. But ya know what? Just because I wasn’t there, doesn’t mean I don’t care. We are, one big family!!! We are all in this together for one common cause. That’s why
I’m on this ride! To raise awareness of our military personnel and just how important they are to our way of life in this great nation. They are not to be forgotten. They are to be honored.
I want each and every vet to know I have such a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation for the decision you have made to protect this country and those less fortunate and to allow us to live the lives we do in this great country. I ride in your honor and hope to ride in your honor until I am no longer able.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this great cause.