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Midway Route Coordinator July 2024 Newsletter

Photo Credit to Jim “Hoofer” McCrain

 

Fellow riders and supporters, let me be the first to welcome you to Run for the Wall Midway Route 2025!  I am extremely honored to have been selected by Don “10-A-See” King and appointed by the Run for the Wall Board of Directors to humbly serve you as the Route Coordinator for the coming year.  It is a position that I take very serious as the bar has been set high by over decade of extremely large Midway boots that I now step into.  Collectively with your support and dedication we will make it another great year.

I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to thank Don “10-A-See” King for all that you have done over the last year to help prepare me for serving Midway as the RC.  You are an outstanding example of what a servant leader is.  I truly appreciate the countless hours of mentoring, input, and conversations that we have shared over the last twelve months.  Most importantly I thank you for the friendship…It’s all good brother!

I would like to thank the Board of Directors for approving my nomination of Mike “Heavy” King as Midway Route’s 2025 Assistant Route Coordinator.  For those that do not know Mike, he has served Midway Route as the Oklahoma State Coordinator and a Road Guard LEO Liaison.  Mike is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army with 29 years of military service and currently serves as the USAG Fort Sill Director of Emergency Services & Provost Marshal.  He is also a Blue Star father to a daughter serving in the Navy and a son in the Army.  Mike brings of wealth of knowledge, experience, and expertise to RFTW and I am excited to have him as part of our team.  Please join me in congratulating him in the new role!

As many of you know, 2025 is a monumental year for Run for the Wall.  It not only marks the 35th Anniversary since the ’89ers went kickstands up starting this journey but it is also the 50th Anniversary of the official ending to the Vietnam War.  Having just attended the Face 2 Face meeting with the RFTW Board of Directors, RC, and ARC’s I can tell you that the a great deal of effort has been put into “The Year of the Vietnam Vet.”  Much more information will be released in the coming weeks so if you have not yet done so please go to the Contact page on the RFTW website and sign up for email updates.   I would also encourage you to “surf” around the website if you have not done so in a while.  The BOD has been updating several things that I believe you will all find beneficial.  Stay tuned for more to come…

Thank you to everyone that has provided an After Action Report (AAR) so far.  I can assure you that each and every one received is read by not only myself and the ARC but also by the members of the Board of Directors.  We truly appreciate the input regardless of it being good, bad, or ugly.  Your comments not only help us ensure we continue maintaining what is working but also focus on improving the areas we are falling short.  If you have not done so but would like to provide an AAR please go to respective Route Hub and click on After Action Report.  For Midway you can find it at https://rftw.us/after-action-report/  These can be filled out any time of year as well as during the Run.  You are also welcome to reach out to myself, Mike, or the Board of Directors directly.  Our information can be found on the website.

Run for the Wall is a 10 day mission however we are very fortunate to have the BOD’s support for Midway to leave a day early in order accommodate the logistics around several stops we have along our journey to DC.  Our mission is no different than the other routes but we need the Board’s approval to depart from Ontario a day ahead of the others to make this work.  Please take a moment to thank them for the continued support of Midway’s 11th day!  That being said planning for 2025 is well underway.  The majority of last year’s leadership and State Coordinators are returning but just like Uncle Sam says “I WANT YOU”  Each and every volunteer position is critical to the safety of making it all the way and successfully completing our mission.  You can find out more about each position on the website as well as complete the online application under the Volunteer Sign Up page.  Over the coming months I will be highlighting respective Team Leader and what their crew does but in the meantime if you have questions please do not hesitate to reach out directly.

“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.”  This is why we ride.  Together let’s make 2025 a year to remember and give our Vietnam Veterans the WELCOME HOME they so deserved 50 years ago.

Say their names.  Tell their stories.  Never forget.

Eric “Pitch” Fort

Route Coordinator – Midway 2025

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Midway Route Coordinator’s July 2024 News Letter

Midway Route

Good morning from Hot and Balmy Middle Tennessee!!!

Hope everyone is home safe and sound and had a great 4th of July!!!

I would like to take this opportunity to Thank; All the riders for supporting the 2024 Midway Route and especially the former FNGs.  Second, the leadership which did a spectacular job.  Third, the Chaplin Corp including Hydration and Chase.  Fourth, the Outreach and Ambassadors who represented us.  Fifth, the Road Guards which kept us safe all the Way. Finally, to my support team who was always there to pick up my shortfalls!!  Thank you all for a great job to ensure Midway Route Mission Completion in 2024!!!

I want to encourage all to write an AAR so we can continue to improve the Midway Route.  Leadership needs to hear from you on your thoughts for improvement as well as, the things we are doing right.  Please comment on the outreach day in Cookeville.

It was a great honor to have been the Midway 2024 Route Coordinator.  Without the support of the Midway Family, I could not have accomplished the Mission.  I thank you all for that support and the opportunity!!  I look forward to seeing you all in May 2025 and hope all Former FNGs will bring someone with you next year!!!!

I am excited that the BOD approved the Leadership team for Midway Route 2025.  Eric “Pitch” Fort is going to be an outstanding Route Coordinator and I ask you all to support him a 100%, as I will!!!

IS IT MAY YET!!!

Regards,

Don “10-A-SEE” King
Route Coordinator
RFTW Midway Route 2024

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Homes for our Troops Special Announcement

Please join us as we present Navy HM3 Randell Leoncio with the keys to his new, specially adapted custom home in Escondido, CA.

DATE: Saturday, August 24, 2024
TIME: Check in begins at 9:30 a.m., Ceremony from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
LOCATION: 32520 Mesa Lilac Rd, Escondido, CA 92026

This event will be hosted outdoors under a tent (rain or shine), please dress accordingly. Join us after the ribbon cutting for light refreshments and an opportunity to tour the home.

Volunteers are needed at this event!

This is the last home RFTW supported due to the generous donations from our riders. If you can make this event, your assistance will go a long way to completing this very important mission.

Larry Medcraft is the RFTW focal point.

If you are in So. Cal. please plan to attend this important event to show support for our veterans.

HM3 Nathaniel “Randell” Leoncio

Escondido, CA

Originally from the Philippines, Nathaniel “Randell” Leoncio joined the Navy to serve as a corpsman with the Marines with aspirations to become a firefighter paramedic.

On Oct. 4, 2005, Doc Leoncio was on his first deployment, serving with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, when his vehicle drove over an improvised explosive device (IED) in Ramadi, Iraq. The explosion flipped the vehicle over, pinning HM3 Leoncio underneath. Fellow HFOT Veteran Corporal Neil Frustaglio, who was riding in the vehicle behind Randell’s, was the first to rush over to help. Cpl Frustaglio rocked the vehicle back and forth so HM3 Leonico could crawl out. Randell lost his leg right leg, but before he was evacuated, he directed the other Marines on how to treat himself and others who were injured. HFOT Veteran Cpl Travis Greene was also serving with HM3 Leoncio at the time of his injury.

Medically retired, Randell is now a prosthetist at Balboa Naval Hospital, where he treats many fellow HFOT Veterans. He would like to take his education further and get his Ph.D. in a related field and get involved more with policy. “I love what I do, helping people like me walk and be active again,” he says.

Receiving a specially adapted custom home from Homes For Our Troops home will enable Randell to progress more easily in his career without the challenges of living in a non-adapted home. In his current residence, Randell often has to hop into the shower because it is too small for his wheelchair, and he has trouble reaching the cabinets in the kitchen. Though he currently manages these obstacles and is mobile within his home, Randell knows it will get more difficult as he ages and risks injuring himself further. “If I ever injured my left leg, I would struggle a lot to even get into our home,” he says.

In his free time, Randell enjoys spending time with his wife, Abreail, a Navy Nurse, and his stepsons. His main hobby is off-roading with his jeep, and he also likes camping, snowboarding, and working on cars.

When Randell moved to the United States at the age of nine, he settled in Southern California. He is choosing to remain in the state and build his HFOT home there to be close to family, healthcare, and his job.

Randell has seen the difference an HFOT home has made in the lives of his patients, enabling them to return to school, pursue careers, and start families. He is grateful to HFOT supporters for providing his fellow injured Veterans with this gift. “I want you all to know that you are making a difference and improving injured Veterans’ lives.”

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New Director of Public Relations Announcement:

Become a Board Member!

The Board of Directors is looking to fill the upcoming vacancy of Director of Public Relations.

This is a critical, sensitive position with a 3-year commitment that requires certain skills to further the public persona of RFTW with an eye towards attracting new riders. We live and work in a hugely electronic environment, so knowledge and familiarity with computers, social media platforms, media outlet communications, etc., is paramount.

The successful candidate will have a background in the use of Microsoft Office products including Word, Excel, and similar tools like Zoom. Public Relations experience, including speaking with the media, is required. Effective writing is essential. The successful candidate will need to be closely attuned to the Bylaws and SOPs of RFTW and be willing and able to actively assist the Social Media Director on multiple social media programs and platforms. Occasional training sessions with route volunteers to ensure an understanding of our social media objectives may be required. Public speaking ability is critically important.

The Director of Public Relations is responsible for:

  • Attend all Board of Director Meetings
  • Perform all duties under the auspices of the RFTW BoD President
  • Consistently promote the ONE MISSION with four routes concept
  • Build relationships with media outlets and communication partners that lead to mainstream coverage of RFTW events
  • Serve as the key news media contact for RFTW
  • Work closely with the Director of Social Media to ensure continuity across various messaging and presentation platforms.
  • Responsible for online reputation management.
  • Increase the visibility of RFTW by managing the brand image through determining and designing marketing materials and organizing and overseeing the creation of RFTW promotional materials. Works closely with the Director of Social Media to ensure consistency in message and content.
  • Manage, produce, and update written and visual multimedia content for emails, website, and social media networks to raise the visibility of RFTW
  • Respond to media requests in a timely manner
  • Control the flow of information between RFTW and the public and manage the public perception of the organization, ensuring that information across all channels is accurate and positive
  • Build, project, and maintain a positive image of RFTW to the public through communication media
  • Produce/ oversee the production of and distribution of creative presentations, press releases, leaflets, brochures, and other types of media agenda for internal and external distribution
  • Develop public relation strategies that promote RFTW products, brand, and MISSION
  • Respond to requests for information release from the media or other, vetted interested parties
  • Coach other RFTW representatives in appropriate ways to communicate with the public and designate appropriate RFTW spokespersons and sources of information
  • Build liaisons and relationships with related organizations, such as motorcycle groups, veterans’ associations, civic and service-related organizations and individuals/groups that support the RFTW MISSION and those that may be the beneficiaries of donations from RFTW
  • Check the facts and veracity of statements from individuals or groups regarding RFTW, making certain public statements can be properly sourced and validated, thus creating consistency and accuracy across all channels of communication
  • Develop a public relations plan for potential negative scenarios in order to both control public narrative and to protect the integrity and reputation of RFTW
  • Prepares an annual budget for presentation and approval at the July Face-to-Face meeting.

Appointment to the BoD places demands on your free time. We meet a minimum of once a month, often twice. There are occasional emergency online meetings with as little as 5 days’ notice. Occasional travel is required with certain travel expenses reimbursed. In July each year the BoD convenes Face to Face meetings where attendance is paramount. Our winter Face to Face meeting may be in person or via video teleconferencing. We also meet Face to Face each year in Ontario prior to the Run.

The successful candidate will submit a resume outlining their skills relevant to those listed here, along with a brief description of their Run experience, website content management and social media experience, and the names of three references we may contact. Veterans are also required to submit an SSAN-redacted copy of their DD-214 that shows Character of Service (type of discharge). Once selected, the successful candidate will also have to submit to a Character & Fitness Examination (CFE), essentially a background check at the Board’s expense. Additionally, the BoD reserves the right to interview candidates for positions on the Board of Directors during the selection process. This interview may include a Zoom meeting.

Those wishing to apply should submit their package to Secretary@rftw.us no later than 30 August 2024. Questions can be directed to President@rftw.us.

If you want to serve Run for the Wall, this is an excellent opportunity to impact the future of our organization. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Central Route Coordinator July 2024 Newsletter

Riders and supporters, I’d like to officially WELCOME YOU to the beginning stages of the 35th Annual Run for the Wall, which will commence on May 14, 2025.  I’d like to thank the RFTW BoD, and my predecessor Nick Hentges for the honor of being selected and appointed Route Coordinator for Central Route 2025.

I officially would like to welcome all of you to our 2025 Run and the Central Route.  Especially, I’d like to welcome all newcomers, riders, and FNG’s.  All are welcome to ride with us, whether you are a Veteran (from ANY era), Active Duty, or non-veteran supporter.  Some people think you need to be a veteran or have a military background to ride with us.  That is not the case. We welcome all people and riders from all walks of life.  Additionally, there are no Red or Blue teams on this ride.  We are one team and one family. This is a Mission, and we do this 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 honor and Ride for Those Who Can’t. If you ride, you are Welcome ride with on this incredible journey.

Not only will May 2025 be the 35th Annual Run, it also coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the official end to the Vietnam War, when the South Vietnamese capital city of Saigon fell on April 30, 1975 (link).  The signing of the Paris Peace Accords on January 27, 1973 did not hold.

Therefore, RFTW is declaring 2025, “The Year of the Vietnam Vet”, which is truly allowing us to honor our roots and our Vietnam Vets like never before.  There will be many special events and things focusing on this theme that will be revealed in the months to come.  Remember, many of our veterans still need their “Welcome Home”, so let’s make sure we reach as many of them as we can.

Focusing on “The Year of the Vietnam Vet” is also allowing us to say THANK YOU to those that came before us, so we can build upon and continue the legacy that James “Gunny” Gregory (our Founder) started in 1989 with the FIRST Run. It is extremely important that we honor our roots, history, and the foundation of RFTW, so we ensure the continuation of RFTW for the next 35-years and beyond.  We would not be here today, do what we do, look forward to every May, and most importantly “Ride for Those That Can’t”, if it were not for the Vietnam Vets that came before us.  They laid the foundation for what RFTW is today and what we will become, as we expand and grow to reach the NEXT GENERATION of vets, riders, and supporters.

For those that may not know me, I am not a Vietnam Era Veteran. I was 7-years-old in April 1975, when Saigon fell.  I went into the Navy in the summer of 1987 after graduating from high school. My father, Harlan Olson, is a Vietnam Veteran, and I do RFTW to honor all veterans from all wars and service, but especially him.  Dad was also the Central Route Coordinator in 2018 for the 30th Annual RFTW, so I am proud to be following in his shoes and footsteps.  To my knowledge, we are the first pair of father-son RFTW RC’s, and I certainly hope not the last.  My FNG year was 2009, and I have done almost every official RFTW since then.  I only missed the 2022 Run due to a broken shoulder.  Last year I served as the Assistant Route Coordinator.  I have also served as Road Guard Captain, Assistant Road Guard Captain, and as a Road Guard over the years.  I also served on the BoD as the Public Relations Director from 2016-2019.

You all may be wondering who the 2025 Assistant Route Coordinator is going to be… It is my privilege to announce that Jim McDonough has accepted the position as my Assistant (ARC) for the 2025 Central Route RFTW.  Jim was commissioned as an Ensign in 1983 and became a Naval Flight Officer in EA6-B Prowlers.  He left Active Duty in 1994, and transferred to the Naval Reserve, where he ultimately retired in 2014 as a Navy Captain (O-6).  Jim also is a retired Sergeant of the Kitsep County Sheriff’s Office in Port Orchard, WA. Jim has served both RFTW as a Platoon Leader, Asst Platoon Leader, and Quartermaster. I am truly thrilled and humbled to have him as my ARC in 2025.  Please join me in welcoming and congratulating him.

Believe it or not, planning for May 2025 and the 35th Run is already starting. All of the new RC’s will be meeting with the RFTW BoD in about a week and a half to officially kick things off.

Our very next order of business that is coming up immediately is the RFTW Angel Fire Reunion and workdayThis reunion will take place Friday, August 30 – Sunday, Sept 1, 2024.  Most people come in some time on Friday and leave on Sunday morning.  If you want to come a day early on Thursday, or stay later than Sunday, that is up to you.  There is great riding in the area.  I will re-iterate that this reunion is for anyone from any of our Four Routes.  Central Route does stop in Angel Fire as an official stop on our itinerary in May, but what makes this reunion special is that we lay memorial bricks along the walkways of the memorial. RFTW has adopted the memorial for many, many years.  Each brick has the name and service dates of any serviceman or servicewoman. Living or deceased. Each brick is read aloud and marched to its place on the memorial grounds by an RFTW rider.  The memorial provides our lunch on Saturday, Aug 31.  Part of your registration and sign-up fee will include dinner on Friday night and Saturday night.  You are responsible for  making your own lodging reservations in Eagle Nest, NM or Angel Fire, NM.

Go here to register for the reunion: https://forms.gle/txe74T5fRRAzCC9EA

  • Please register. This helps us prepare for number of people and meals for the reunion.

There will be more to come in the coming months, leading up to our departure in May 2025.

In my 16-years of being involved with RFTW, I am sure I’ve messed up a time or two.  I want you all to know that I’m humbled and honored to be your Route Coordinator for our 35th Annual Run For The Wall.  I’ll  work hard and do my best to make it meaningful to you all.  Let’s make it count, and one to remember.

Until They All Come Home,
Kirk “Pretty Boy” Olson
Route Coordinator – Central Route 2025

Kirk Olson carrying his Father's Memorial Brick for placement at the Angel Fire Reunion, August 30, 2014.
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New Commemorative Founders Shirt Now Available!

I am happy to announce the first of many new products for 2025 is now available for purchase through the online store. This new shirt commemorates the original 89’ers that started Run For The Wall in 1989. The back of the shirt replicates their original shirt showing the Lincon Memorial, The Three Servicemen Statue, US Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima), Washington Monument and the pack arriving at the Vietnam Veterans Wall. The shirt will be offered in men’s sizes S – 4XL and priced at $40 – $45 depending on size.

Throughout the coming weeks, I will be announcing new products for the upcoming 35th annual Run For The Wall in 2025. Many of the new products will also recognize the 50th anniversary end of the Vietnam War and that we’re designating 2025 as the year of the Vietnam veteran. A couple teasers, shown below, are the newly designed Run pin as well as the FNG patch. These will be available for purchase when the store fully opens on September 1st.

Finally, I have read every After Action Report (AAR) and taken all of your feedback for consideration in future products. Please keep the AARs coming as I’m always looking to expand or refresh our products throughout the year!

Ride safe everyone! Is it May yet?

Alan “Xbox” Steiner
Director of Merchandise
Run For The Wall
https://rftw.us

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President’s Message – June 2024

Run for the Wall®

Well, Run 2024 is in the books and from all indicators we see, it was quite a year!! Now, those long, hot summer days have kicked in, bringing perfect weather for outdoor activities. Please be safe as you enjoy the outdoors and just like on the Run – STAY HYDRATED! Heat stroke and dehydration are serious medical emergencies, but prevention will ensure they don’t ruin your summer!

As happens each year, the Run 2025 RCs were nominated by their respective RCs, the Board met, voted and we are pleased to announce our Run For The Wall XXXV RCs are: Kirk “Pretty Boy” Olson for Central. Eric “Pitch” Fort for Midway, Ken “Radar” Ley for Southern and Bill “COB” Brehler for SandBox. We look forward to working with them as we begin preparations for Run 2025. We will soon meet and vote on their respective ARC nominations, so watch for another announcement soon.

Each new RC will soon begin the process of building their leadership teams. We received many insightful and constructive comments about leadership on the Routes this past year. If you find it in yourself to volunteer, there are multiple opportunities to step up and assist. Whether you help in actual platoon or route activities, chase or hydration support, merchandise assistance; all are essential to having a successful Run 2025. If you wish to volunteer, please go to your favorite route hub (click here for Central, click here for Midway, click here for Southern, click here for Sandbox) and fill out a volunteer form. If you wish to volunteer for merchandise support, please send an email to merchandise@rftw.us.

I want to send out a huge thank you to all our riders who sent in AARs. The Board and the Route Coordinator/Assistant Route Coordinator review every AAR so that we can understand this issue(s) presented and consider your comments, both favorable and those not so favorable. If you have yet to send in an AAR, click here to do so now. Please keep those comments coming in.

We are only 327 days out from KSU for Run 2025, the Year of the Vietnam Vet. As we prepare for our upcoming Face-to-Face with the new RCs and ARCs, Run 2025 promises to be both significant and historic. We have special shirts in design, special pins are ordered, a special FNG patch is in design, and following our F2F, we hope to have additional announcements about plans for 2025. We are already looking at Run 2026 also, so if you have thoughts or ideas, please click here to send in a contact form.

You may have heard that we moved a couple of director positions around. As has happened in the past, the workloads for the different positions vary, and in trying to find balance, Todd Taylor has moved from Operations to Purchasing, and Mike Turner has moved into Operations. As announced before the Run, the BoD will meet at the end of June to discuss and perhaps vote on a new Public Relations/Communications director. If you wanted to apply and haven’t yet done so, click here to review the announcement and information on how to apply. The deadline is 30 June. Following the July F2F, we may have a slight change in some Director duties; more to follow on that.

So many wonderful things happened to make Run 2024 a success. Everything that made each Route successful happened because of our cadre of volunteers. It truly takes an entire Army to make each Run happen, and I am at a loss for words when it comes to praise for all of those who make it happen each year. My hat is off to one and all. If you know a volunteer, give them a hug. They certainly deserve it!

As you may have heard, it is likely we will be moving to a new DC host hotel in 2025. The Holiday Inn is soon going to be sold to condominium developers, and while there are no guarantees that will happen, we simply cannot make plans when facing an uncertain future. Our new DC/Arlington coordinator is already on top of the issue, so keep an eye out for more information as we make decisions on where to land Run 2025.

That’s about all I have for now. I would like to leave you with a couple of thoughts. At each of his morning meetings, CR RC Nick Hentges read a saying that I thought was particularly poignant, and I wanted to share it with you. It reads:

It is not the worst thing to die in war, it is not the worst thing to be missing in war. The worst thing is to be Forgotten in War.  Say their names, tell their stories.  Never Forget.

No one left behind is more than a standard we all live up to. It is a way of life. It is part of our Mission. If you or someone you know find themselves struggling with their mental health, please know you can contact the VA Veteran’s Crisis Line by dialing 988 then press 1 or text 838255 and speak or chat with a qualified responder.

Let us remember to keep our focus on the Mission. It is why we ride!

Say Their Names – Tell Their Stories – Never Forget.

Back to Basics. Back to the RFTW Mission.

Is it May yet?

TurkeyJohn “Turkey” Staub
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
2023-2024 – CR/SB Road Guard

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Merchandise Store Reopening June 15th

Just a reminder that the store will be open again beginning June 15th for shirts and head gear only. All remaining items, including the new 2025 products, will begin selling September 1st. Keep an eye out for some new exciting products that will coming in September!

I also want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the shortages that occurred this year during the Run as well as the feedback given in the After Action Reports. I truly value all of your inputs and take every one seriously. Without going into the reasons, measures will be taken to make changes for next year. In the meantime, while not a fix, I do want to offer everyone a 20% discount (excluding sale items) on all available shirts and headgear, as well as free shipping through the end of the month in June.

Please feel free to reach out to me anytime as I value your feedback on our products and operations of the Store.

Respectfully,

Alan “Xbox” Steiner
Director of Merchandise
Run For The Wall
Email: merchandise@rftw.us
https://rftw.us

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Special President’s Message

Run for the Wall®

Here is a very special announcement for those Run 2024 participants.  Mark Ruffalo, a Central Route FNG this year and the owner of California Harley-Davidson, is offering a RFTW 24 Hero 2023 Model Blowout Sale!!

Contact Mark Ruffalo via text message at 949-610-9484 with your name, 2023 model and color preference, and he will check availability while supplies last.  These are 2023 models at dealer cost!!

Thank you Mark for riding with us this year, and especially for your support to our riders!!!

TurkeyJohn “Turkey” Staub
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
2023-2024 – CR/SB Road Guard

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2024 Central Route Coordinator Newsletter #1 June 2024

Aloha RFTW O’Hana,

I hope everyone has either made it home safely or is safely on their way.

I would like to start this newsletter with a heartfelt MAHALO to all that supported us in our Journey across the US to Washington DC. We could not complete our MISSION without the support received from numerous communities, Companies, and Individuals across the Country.

I would also like to thank all of our Volunteers and Leadership on the Central Route. The teams performed superbly this year and we had a great Run (Aside from a little bit of Hail in KS). I give credit for our successes to these amazing people and accept any and all shortfalls or failures as MINE alone.

I also want to acknowledge our RIDERS! You all did a fantastic job under some adverse conditions and CONTINUED THE MISSION. I know some had to turn back due to Mechanical issues or other reasons and I hope to see you ALL back next year. Please spread the word and bring new people to the RUN next year.

I am adding a small bit of detail about the donations we made this year (Thanks to all of you!).

We donated approximately $65,000.00 (+/-) to the following organizations along our Route. RED Text denotes Veterans Organizations.

Hulet Elementary School
Operation Transition Outside the Wire
https://operationtotw.org/ 
American Legion, Holbrook AZ
Veterans Helping Veterans, Gallup NM
National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center
https://veteranswellnessandhealing.org/about-us/
Village of Eagle Nest NM
Missouri National Veterans Memorial, Perryville MO
https://mnvmfund.org/
Arlington Assembly of God (this Church Allows our riders to camp and feeds them-They need a new Walk in Refrigerator/Freezer)
Elks #2644 Veterans Committee
Anstead Elementary
Valley PK-12 School
Rainelle Elementary
David Westfall Foundation
https://www.vietnamveteransmemorial.org/
Fort Riley BOSS
https://riley.armymwr.com/programs/boss
Willing Warriors Foundation
https://www.willingwarriors.org/
Sons and Daughters In Touch
https://sdit.org/
Santo Domingo School, in NM
Cochiti Elementary School in NM

These Donations not only help organizations along our Route, but they also help spread the word about us and our MISSION as well as teach the next generation of Patriots what has been sacrificed for their freedoms and the freedoms of their family and friends.

These donations are from our Riders and many supporters that assist us all year, every year.

Once I have a bit more time, my final Newsletter will list some of the many donors (Some do not wish to be identified).

Many have asked me this year “How can I get more involved”.  As a non-FNG, you are eligible to apply for a leadership position. This includes platoon leadership, fuel and staging teams, chase vehicle team and other leadership support positions. So, if you think you might be interested, consider submitting a volunteer request form for next year. SIGN UP HERE!

Another important thing to note: AFTER ACTION REPORTS. Please go to the link and fill out the form. This helps us understand what, in the individual’s opinion, worked well and what did not. It also helps us identify potential problems and address them for next year. I have read EVERY ONE of the ones that are streaming in and have started a spreadsheet to track suggestions, criticisms and things that people identified as good things. The RC for next year will receive all of these and make decisions based on this input. If you don’t make us aware of issues, we cannot work to correct them. Keep in mind that we do value any and all input, all reports will be read and considered, but not all suggestions will be implemented. We especially appreciate suggestions on how to make things better rather than just criticism of things that riders did not like or agree with.

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT

 

In Closing, I have a few questions?
1. HOW FAR DID WE GO?
2. HOW MANY ROUTES DO WE HAVE?
3. HOW MANY MISSIONS DO WE HAVE?
5. WHY DO WE RIDE?
6. IS IT MAY YET?

MUCH ALOHA AND MANY MAHALOS TO MY OHANA
Nick “Richboy” Hentges
RFTW Central Route Coordinator 2024