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Central Route Coordinator News – September 2021

Run for the Wall Central Route

Hello Central Route Riders.

Greetings from Sunny Southern California!

I just returned from a two week road trip, which included our annual Angel Fire Labor Day Reunion and Service Project at Angel Fire’s Viet Nam Veterans Memorial. During the weekend, we set a record for the largest number of bricks laid in one day. This reflected a lot of hard work by both the organizers and those who worked throughout the weekend. For those of you who have never participated in this Labor Day weekend project, I recommend that you put it on your 2022 calendar.

While in Angel Fire, Jenny Ward gave me a box of letters and thank you cards from Kim Tincher, principal, and children enrolled in Rainelle Elementary School in West Virginia. The letters thanked us for the money we donated earlier in the year, and expressed hope that we will be able to return in 2022. I regret that I didn’t see the box until our Saturday night dinner was over and everyone had left the building. I promise to bring the box of letters with me to Ontario in May.

Registration for RFTW 2022 opened on September 11, 2021. If you plan to ride with us in 2022, you need to register and sign a liability waiver. Early registration helps our planning efforts. We would like to know how many riders to expect in Ontario, and how far each plans to ride.

There have been some changes in our Central Route Leadership Team. After many years of dedicated service, George Creasy decided to step down as Fuel Team Leader. Fortunately for us, Phillip (X-Chief) Garcia stepped up and offered to take the reins for 2022. Phillip has made the run seven times, five serving on our fuel team. He had been selected to serve as Assistant Fuel Team Leader in 2020, but as you know, we didn’t go that year or the following. Phillip comes highly recommended by George. Anyone wishing to serve on the Fuel Team should reach out to Phillip at

An additional change in Leadership occurred in our Chaplain Team, due to the passing of Rupert Harrell. Duane Gryder will serve us in 2022 as Senior Chaplain. I would like to extend my thanks to both Phillip and Duane for accepting these new positions.

Stay Safe. God Bless the United States of America.

Tom “Boomps” Miller
RFTW Central Route Coordinator

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Save The Date

Homes for our Troops

Greetings from Colorful Colorado.

On October 23rd, Run For The Wall in partnership with Operation Family Fund, will participate in the first of several ceremonies through which our recent contribution to Homes For Our Troops will come to fruition.

Our first recipient will be Marine L/Cpl Kevin Honaker. His home will be built in Sparta, Tennessee. The first event in this process will be the Community Kickoff.  Since Run For The Wall and Operation Family Fund will have significant roles in this event, we would like to have a strong RFTW presence.  To that end, Ron “Sky” King, our Director of Risk Management, is taking the lead in coordinating our participation.  Here is a tentative schedule of events… we will have more information as it becomes available:

  • We will gather on Friday, Oct. 22nd, in Cookeville, TN for a meal to be paid by the attendee(s), and fellowship. Cost to be determined, but should be in the +/- $15.00 range.
  • Hotels will be in Cookeville. Information for making reservations will be posted separately.
  • We will need a headcount for the meal and money to be paid NLT Friday, 10/15/21. Once we determine the final cost of the meal, payment will be made to our Treasurer, Jenny “Lady Jen” Ward. She will provide information on the process.
  • We will ride as a group from Cookeville to Sparta on Saturday, Oct. 23rd, for the Community Kickoff presentation.

This our 2021 mission at work, helping to provide homes specially built and adapted to the needs of severely wounded current conflict veterans. When we speak of “promoting healing among ALL veterans, and their families and friends,” this is it! I hope to see a huge RFTW turnout. See you there!


Dave “Papa Smurf” Klemme
President, RFTW Board of Directors
“Freedom Isn’t Free”

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Immediate Opening on the RFTW Board of Directors

Greetings from the foot of the Rockies in beautiful Colorado!

Joe “Java Joe” Bookataub, our Director of Purchasing, has tendered his resignation from the RFTW Board of Directors because of personal/family issues. He didn’t feel that his circumstances would leave him the time to carry out his responsibilities properly. I respect his decision and all of us on the Board wish him well.

This leaves us with the need to recruit a replacement to complete Joe’s term which runs through June of 2024.  As the title implies, the Purchasing Director is responsible for acquiring all items necessary to conduct the Run every year. These include hats, windshield banners, placards, sleeves/brassards, plaques, certificates, etc.  This position also works closely with the route Quartermasters to ensure that durable items, such as sleeves/brassards, Road Guard radios, and the like, are returned, accounted for, and stored for use in subsequent years. Of course, the overarching responsibility is to work closely with the other members of the Board to provide guidance and direction for Run For The Wall® Inc.

If you’re looking to “give something back,” and possess both the experience and attention to detail necessary for this position, send a resume and cover letter highlighting your qualifications to our Vice President & Chairman, Jim Marshall, at .  Please include your history with RFTW, including any service or leadership positions you have held.

At one time or another, all of us have thought to ourselves, “If I was running this lash up…” Well, now’s your chance! Remember, decisions are made by those who step up.


Dave “Papa Smurf” Klemme
President, RFTW Board of Directors

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Presidents Message – September 10, 2021

Friends and Fellow RFTW Riders…

Today is September 10th. Tomorrow marks the 20th Anniversary of one of the darkest days in our nation’s history. While we pause to reflect on the events of that tragic day and remember those who were lost, let us also remember the nation’s transformation on 9/12, when we put aside our differences and truly became one people united in a common cause.

In keeping with that theme, Run For The Wall® will open registration for RFTW XXXII on September 11th at 08:46 EDT, the exact moment American Airlines Flight 11 struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

Because we cleared all previous registrations for the past two years, everyone who plans to make the Run in 2022 must register anew.  When you log on to do so, you will find that the registration process has been greatly streamlined.  Thanks to the hard work of Ron “Sky” King, our Director of Risk Management, and Ted “Boots” Kapner, our Director of Public Relations and Media Communications, the process has been greatly simplified and will be entirely “paperless.” Please be aware that after you complete the payment process for your registration, you will need to return to the registration page and complete the waiver of liability before you exit the site. Your registration cannot be completed without this step.

This leads us to what I am sure is the most pressing question on all of your minds: Will we be able to conduct the Run next May?  Let me assure you that the Board of Directors is absolutely committed to carrying out our mission in 2022. Planning for all of our routes has been underway since before our Face-To-Face meeting in July, and will continue as usual in the months leading up to next May.

Having said that, we must all recognize that COVID-19 presents many factors that are beyond our control, and we have no way of knowing what conditions may exist across the country when the time comes. One of the core principles Run For The Wall® has always embraced is that we respect and abide by the laws and customs of the states and communities through which we ride, and we have a responsibility to follow that principle when it comes to COVID restrictions.  In the event that circumstances again work against us, the BoD has asked all of our Route Coordinators to prepare contingency plans for alternative activities. They will be presenting these plans to the Board at our November meeting.

In other news, Central Route held their reunion and service project at the New Mexico Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Angel Fire over the Labor Day weekend. I was fortunate to be able to attend and the turnout was fantastic. The David Westphal Foundation raises money for the Memorial through the sale of bricks that commemorate the service of veterans, both past and present. These bricks line the sidewalks of the memorial, and each year Central Route riders emplace that year’s collection. Because the event could not be held last year, there were two years’ worth of bricks this year… over 850 of them! But in true RFTW fashion, our riders got the mission accomplished for another year, and in record time.

Finally, I’m happy to report that our fundraiser to benefit Homes For Our Troops was a complete success. We met our goal of raising $25,000 from our ridership, thanks to the generosity of so many of you.  That amount was matched by the RFTW Board of Directors for a total of $50,000, which was in turn matched dollar-for-dollar by the Operation Family Fund, a non-profit foundation dedicated to helping veterans of our current conflicts.  On August 28th, Homes For Our Troops received a check from “Run For The Wall® in partnership with Operation Family Fund,” for $100,000!  In the coming months, we will be working closely with HFOT to ensure that RFTW/OFF have a presence at the presentation ceremonies for several veterans receiving homes funded in part by this donation.

Is it May, yet?


Dave “Papa Smurf” Klemme
RFTW Board of Directors