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June 2020 Central Route Coordinator News

Greetings from Nuevo,

I hope this finds you safe and well. Most of our quarantines are coming to a close. Mine was pretty exceptional. Jan and I were lucky enough to be invited to serve as Camp Hosts at Carpinteria State Beach the months of April and May, just after our state parks closed. No worries about social distancing with the park closed! The “down” side of living at an empty beach is the absence of wifi, which explains why I haven’t been in contact for a couple months.

Speaking of contact, a few of you have reached out to me about jobs for next year. While it is too soon to know what the specific needs are for next year, you can always visit our website and fill out the volunteer form. Alternatively, you can reach out to individual team leaders, who’s contact information is also on the website.

Even though RFTW did not happen this year, we are still committed to helping those schools that depend on our support each year. Jenny Ward has done an excellent job with the schools fundraiser she started after our COVID cancellation, raising over $10,000. She is also putting together a ride to Raynell, West Virginia, to present the elementary school principal with our check.  Stay tuned for more information.

Another ride coming up will be this weekend, June 12, to Carson City, Nevada. The Combat Hero Bike Build unveilingpresentation will be Saturday, June 13, at 4pm at Battle Born Harley Davidson in Carson City. John Barker leads these efforts, and invites you all to participate. He says three other vets who have received bikes in the past will join them. Many of those attending are planning their stay at the Best Western in Sparks, Nevada, as John arranged for a special rate.

There are other RFTW reunions planned for the summer. Check out the website for details.

Ride safely and stay well. God Bless the United States of America.

Tom (Boomps) Miller

Run for the Wall

Central Route Coordinator

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2nd March 2020 Central Route Coordinator News

Greetings from my quarantine compound, 

In 1966, Robert F. Kennedy delivered a speech that included, “There is a Chinese curse which says ‘May he live in interesting times’. Like it or not, we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty, but they are also the most creative of any time in the history of mankind.” 

The decision reached by the board of directors and route coordinators to cancel 2020 RFTW was absolutely necessary because COVID19 regulations in every state we traverse made it impossible for a group as large as ours to congregate anywhere.

None of us like it, but it is what it is. 

The state coordinators were given several hours notice of the board’s decision, so that they could contact our host hotels and those organizations that support us along the way. It is your responsibility to cancel your own hotel reservations. It is my understanding that all of the 2020 registrations will be rolled over to 2021. The board asked that Bruce and I continue to serve as Route Coordinator and Assistant Route Coordinator for 2021. It is our hope that we see each of you on the run next year.

One last point: the six elementary schools we support along the way will really miss the generous donation they receive from Central Route when we visit. Jenny Ward, our Central Route Treasurer told me Cochiti, a reservation school we support, did not even have funds for pencils and paper before we presented them with our first donation.  If you would like to individually contribute to our schools, you can send a check to RFTW and write “SCHOOLS” in the memo. Checks should be sent to Jenny Ward at 1766 South Erie Highway, Hamilton, Ohio 45011. Thank you in advance for your generosity. 

Ride safely and stay well. God Bless the United States of America.

Tom (Boomps) Miller
Run for the Wall
Central Route Coordinator

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March 2020 Central Route Coordinator News

Run for the Wall - We ride for those who can't

Another greeting from The San Bernardino National Forest!

It’s March! I hope that the weather where you live is starting to warm up enough to enjoy some routine motorcycle riding. Most of us do not need an excuse to get on a motorcycle, but if you do, consider looking locally for a group such as PGR or American Legion Riders, so that you can get used to riding with others in formation. May will be here before we know it.

Over the last few weeks, we have held meetings with our state coordinators and other leadership to finalize changes in meal and gas stops. It is always amazing to me when I realize just how many hours state coordinators log to make sure that our trip across country runs as smoothly as possible.  The itinerary was posted, removed for revisions, and will be reposted soon. Carol Olmstead, our Ontario Coordinator, has also been busy readying for our arrival, organizing a Meet and Greet for Sunday May 10, and a Spaghetti Dinner for May 12 after the Safety Meeting.

This year, thirty participants from RFTW will have the privilege of washing the Korean War Memorial. I had the honor of participating a few years ago, and that act of service produced an emotional experience for me… I felt connected to those who made that ultimate sacrifice so many years ago. If you have never had the opportunity to participate, I urge you to consider it. I will assign volunteers on a first come-first served basis. If you’d like to volunteer, email me at  ASAP.

Calling all Campers! Dave “Bounce” Talley offered to serve as our Camping Coordinator! If any camper has any questions, Dave can be reached by calling (716) 347-8520, or writing Thanks, Dave!

Last item: As of this writing, our Central Route has 381 registered riders. Please make sure both you and your motorcycle are in top condition by the time May arrives.

Ride safely,

Tom (Boomps) Miller
Run for the Wall
Central Route Coordinator

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February 2020 Central Route Coordinator News

Greetings from The San Bernardino National Forest!

I returned from our “Face-to-Face” Board of Directors Meeting in Dallas, Texas, last week, where a number of items were brought to my attention. One of the topics of discussion concerns those riders who bring their dogs. Because there were dogs running loose last year, the BOD instituted a rule stating that all dogs must be on leash at all times. I hope this says enough about this topic.  I wouldn’t want any innocent dog (be it service, comfort, or other) to be sent home because his or her owner can’t abide by this edict.

Another change for this year involves our arrival in Arlington, Virginia, at the Holiday Inn. Due to limited parking space at the hotel, riders from all three routes are instructed to stay on their bikes. Those who have reservations at the Holiday Inn will be directed to the underground parking lot. Those who are staying at other hotels will be directed back onto the street to go to their respective hotels. This is all in an effort to avoid the problems we’ve had in past years.

As most of you are aware, 2019 was Rolling Thunder’s last year.  AMVETS will be hosting 2020’s Memorial Day Weekend Demonstration Ride named Rolling to Remember.  ( ) As of this writing, we have no detailed information about any RFTW involvement. Those of you who are planning to ride the Sand Box Route know that both events commence on Sunday.

The following information should be of concern to all our riders who plan to camp along the way. We are still looking for a Camping Coordinator. We are in need of an experienced rider who has camped with us enough to advise others about conditions in various campgrounds. For this valuable service, our Assistant Route Coordinator, Bruce Bartolomeo, has promised to donate half his RFTW salary. Please give him a call if you’d like to take advantage of his generous offer.

If you’ve been on the run for a number of years, and would like to take a leadership position to help guide our RFTW organization, there are three Board of Director positions opening up this summer.  To apply, submit your resume to Dave Klemme (Papa Smurf) at No Later than 31 March.

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Your name Here!

Last item: What is the condition of YOUR motorcycle? I know some of you, like Barry, Bruce, Nick, and Mike have purchased new motorcycles for our 2020 run. But the rest of us need to make sure that we get our bikes into the shop to make sure they’re in top condition for 6000+ mile mission.  I trust you are all still working on your own personal health care goals, and will also be in your top condition by the time May arrives.

Richboy’s Bike. First Run was 2019.

Ride safely,
Tom (Boomps) Miller
Run for the Wall
Central Route Coordinator 2020

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Central Route Coordinator News – January 2020

Happy New Year!

Fundraising for our 2020 RFTW has begun in earnest! I want to thank everyone who is working to raise money or who has generously contributed. It has always amazed me to see the different creative ways people have imagined to generate funds to support our mission. One I am sure you will be hearing a lot about is the stained-glass windows Southern Route Road Guard Captain Bob Mazone made for each route to raffle. The monies raised from this particular raffle will go to schools we support along the way. The tickets will be sold out of the merchandise trailer starting in Ontario, and the drawing will be in Lewisburg, West Virginia, on our last morning.

Central Route Stained Glass

The hotel list was posted at the beginning of the year. If you have not made your reservations, you can use the links on our website. For those of you who have already made your reservations for Wentzville, the Wentzville Holiday Inn was added late, and is holding a block of rooms for RFTW riders. This hotel is the closest to the location of our dinner and breakfast site.

As of this writing, the state coordinators are finishing up the itineraries for their state, including gas and lunch stops and evening programs. Please plan on attending all evening programs, as local volunteers work all year to raise funds and plan for your visit. If you miss a program, you not only short-change yourself, you miss the opportunity to receive their heartfelt thanks and to offer your own.

As of this morning, registration for our route is over 300, and we have a little over 100 days until KSU (Kick Stands Up). I trust you are all working on your own personal health care goals and will be in your top condition by the time May arrives.

Ride safely,

Tom (Boomps) Miller
Run for the Wall
Central Route Coordinator



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Central Route Coordinator News – December 2019

Greetings from Southern California! The days are getting shorter and the nights longer; as they say in The North, “Winter is coming!” More importantly, Spring follows, and you cold weather folks can look forward to riding again! I hope you are remembering what I advised about getting in physical shape and honing your riding skills by taking advantage of an advanced riding course when weather permits.

After looking again at our RFTW website, I see that we still have openings on our Staging and Fuel Crews. If you filled out a Volunteer form and have not heard back from a team leader, please reach out to them directly. Their contact information is listed on the Central Route Hub on the RFTW website under Central Route Contacts. We are also creating a new position for a “Camping Coordinator.” This person will be responsible for having and distributing all the camping information for each of our overnight stops. If you have been camping with Central Route for a number of years and are interested in this position, I would love to hear from you.

Also, if you have not done so yet, please officially Register for the 2020 Run, this helps us and our supporters plan for meals, stops, etc.

Our hotel list is being finalized, as I write this newsletter. It should be out by the end of the month. I encourage you to make reservations in the hotels on our list, as they support RFTW, but I also understand the need to stay within a budget. If you are looking to cut costs by sharing a room, you might locate perspective roommates by checking on our website first under “Scuttlebutt,” then go to “Forums” on the drop down list, and then “General Discussion”.

From my family to yours, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tom “Boomps” Miller
Run for the Wall®
2020 Central Route Coordinator

For you new people, and our FNGs… Here is one of the RFTW Promo Videos.  A small taste of what’s to come..


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Central Route Coordinator News – October 2019

Greetings from Southern California! Fall has arrived, temperatures have dropped to the mid 80s, and we are one month closer to May!

The biggest news I have this month is that we have changed our Day 4 overnight stop. We will overnight in Limon, Colorado instead of Goodland, Kansas. This decision did not come easily, because we all love that Goodland layover. The citizens of Goodland and the program at Northwest Technical College provide us with a delicious supper and hearty breakfast, space for camping, facilities for showers, and space for a church service on Sunday morning. They decorate the gymnasium in red, white, and blue and their elementary school children contribute their artwork and letters. It is a reception that we all deeply appreciate.

However, by overnighting in Limon, we cut 109 miles off a very long day and add it to Day 5, which is a relatively short one. In my opinion, that ride through eastern Colorado and western Kansas is one of the most grueling stretches of the entire run. By postponing the last leg of it until Day 5, we tackle it first thing in the morning, when we are all fresher and the winds aren’t as strong. This change also gives us more time between our breakfast and lunch stops on Day 5. Some RFTW old-timers may remember that we actually used to overnight in Limon. Though I believe this change will make things easier and safer in the long run, an overnight change like this does require a huge amount of work from the state coordinators. I would like to give a shout out to Tom (Twitch) Brunette and Carl (Rusty) Brown for their persistent efforts.

There may be other gas stop or lunch stop changes along the way as our state coordinators finalize plans through their state. I’ll keep you apprised as our plans evolve. As a reminder, the hotel list for all overnight stops will be published around the end of the year, and the final itinerary will be completed in early spring. Last year’s itinerary is still available on the website. Speaking of the website, I noticed there were still some openings in our staging and fuel teams. If you were thinking of volunteering, I recommend you do it sooner rather than later, as these teams do fill up.

Last month I urged you to start getting in shape physically for our 2020 RFTW. This month I would like to encourage you to start working on riding skills. If it’s been a while since you’ve taken an advanced riding course, I strongly encourage you to find one in your area and complete it prior to May. It’s easy for us to develop and slip into bad riding habits. Rider courses help us recognize and overcome these. A consistent theme in our After Action reports was the complaint that some riders did not know how to ride in a pack. A way to overcome this and gain experience is to join clubs or groups that do ride in a pack, such as Patriot Guard.

You have a lot to do in the next 204 days! Get busy!

Tom “Boomps” Miller
Run for the Wall®
2020 Central Route Coordinator

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Central Route Coordinator News – September 2019

Greetings from sunny Southern California! My name is Tom Miller, and it is my honor and privilege to have been selected as the 2020 RFTW Central Route Coordinator. For those of you who don’t know me, my first run in 2008 was “A Once in a Lifetime Experience” that I have repeated every year since. I spent two years on the Staging Crew, followed by eight years as a Road Guard, the last three as Road Guard Captain. I served under Eamon Tansey in 2019 as Assistant Route Coordinator.

As an 18-year-old, I enlisted in the United States Army in 1967. From March 1968 to March 1969, I served with the First Cav Division as an Infantry Squad Leader. After returning from Vietnam, I spent the last 14 months of my enlistment as a Drill Sergeant in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. I have always been proud of my service, and proud of all my brothers and sisters who have served our country, and all those family and friends who have supported our military. This is why Run for the Wall has been so important in my life for the last 13 years.

Joining me as part of your Leadership Team are Bruce Bartolomeo, as Assistant Route Coordinator, Kirk Olson as Road Guard Captain, and Jenny Ward, as Leadership Support Lead. All three of these talented individuals bring a lot of experience, enthusiasm, and dedication to the job, and I feel fortunate to have them with us.

The finalized itinerary for all RFTW Routes, including Central Route, will  be complete and published in the early spring.  Take a look at the posted 2019 itinerary.  2020 will most likely be the same with some possible adjustments.  Just date adjust for 2020.  We leave Ontario, CA on Wednesday morning, May 13, 2020 and arrive Washington, DC the Friday afternoon of May 22, 2020.  If you are new to RFTW and want to get a feel for what riding with us and RFTW is like, please also check out, the New Participant tab and the 10-Days in May section of the RFTW website.  There you will also find an FAQ section.

As of this writing, our teams and crews are being put together, so if you are thinking of volunteering to serve the Run, now is the time. The 2020 RFTW Central Route Volunteer Form is on the Central Route Hub of the RFTW website. The form explains minimum requirements for each job. If you meet the requirements, I encourage you to complete the form and hit the submit button.

On the subject of volunteering, we had a great reunion at Angel Fire and Eagle Nest, New Mexico over Labor Day Weekend. The Central Route has a long-standing tradition of coming together during that weekend to volunteer our service at the New Mexico Vietnam Veterans Memorial. During our time there, we lined the sidewalks with over 500 personalized bricks dedicated to former and current military personnel. This brings the total number of bricks respectfully placed by RFTW participants to over 5,000.

I know we’re 236 days out, but it is never too early to start getting in shape for the Run. Those of you, who are coming back from past runs, know well how grueling those ten days on the road can be, especially in adverse weather conditions. I encourage you to start an exercise program and stick with it for the long haul! I know two long time RFTW vets who have a good-natured bet going to see which one of them can lose the most weight before May! Whatever it takes to stay healthy enough to ride!

Tom “Boomps” Miller
Run for the Wall®
2020 Central Route Coordinator

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Central Route Coordinator News – April 2019

Central Route

Only 23 days to go and 587 people are registered  for Central Route

Only 23 days to go before you start on the greatest motorcycle ride in the world.

If you are an FNG please read the New Participant section on the webpage “RFTW.US”, 10 days in May and FAQs.

Don’t forget to pre-register! Pre-Registration ends on April 30th at midnight.  This will help those organizing the Run with knowing the number of meals and fueling spots to cater for. This will also save you $20.00.  You don’t have to pay your registration fee until you turn up at your starting point.

  1. Prepare your bike, tires, etc.
  2. Start drinking extra water
  3. Don’t over pack

This is a great experience and to fully appreciate it please enter the Run with an open mind and no negative attitudes. To operate this route takes a lot of effort on our volunteer leadership, so if you are directed to do something or move somewhere just do it.  While on the Run during the day there is no time to explain why you are being asked to do something. When we arrive at our destination for the night please feel free to ask as many questions as you would like.  Our Leadership teams are there to help you.

Cars and Slingshots are very welcome on the Run and if registered can participate in all our events.

Important: Vehicles and slingshots cannot travel in the Pack or fuel with the Pack. The best spot would be a couple of miles ahead of the Pack.

 Note:  Even if you preregister, you still must bring all your documents to the registration point, license (motorcycle endorsed) bike registration, up to date insurance. If you are bringing a minor you must have a notarized permission letter.

This has to be checked by registration in-person before you are assigned a platoon.

Every year we have some folks who turn up who forgot their docs.

If you do not have the proper documentation, you cannot participate in RFTW.

It would be a shame after planning for this great mission.

Looking forward to seeing you in May

Eamon “ Boomer” Tansey
Central Route Coordinator 2019

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Central Route Coordinator News Mar 2019

Central Route    Mar 2019


Only 74 days to go

Points of interests.




  1. Start drinking more water
  2. Increase your exercise
  3. Learn to ride in a group, especially side by side.
  4. Plan to have your bike checked, tires, brakes etc.

On the Run

  1. Have $100.00 in ones, fives and tens for fuel. (no change given)
  2. Cars and slingshots are very welcome but can’t ride in the main pack and must fuel separately
  3. Don’t over pack
  4. Notify your credit card providers that you will be travelling. Make a copy of all docs and keep it at home, i.e. credit cards, license, registration etc.
  5. Follow instructions from leadership, Platoon leaders, Roadguards, Fuelers, Stageing etc. They are all there to ensure your safety.
  6. Thank all of the people at towns and stops across the country that donates their time and contributions to make this the ride of a lifetime.
  7. Leave all stops cleaner than when we arrive, pick up all trash.
  8. Prepared to be overwhelmed by the welcome and patriotism you will receive


Note:  Even if you preregister, you still must bring all your documents to the registration point, license (motorcycle endorsed) bike registration, up to date insurance. If you are bringing a minor you must have a notarized permission letter.

This has to be checked out before you are assigned a platoon.

Every year we have some folks who turn up who forgot their docs and that is a shame after planning for this great mission.

If you do not have the proper documentation; you cannot participate in RFTW.