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President’s Message – October 2018

The Board of Directors meeting in September can be summarized as routine business with nothing sensational occurring! September always seems to be a month when our route coordinators are busy filling positions and working on ideas of how to buy more time during fuel stops for riders to use bathrooms and hydrate. They are making every effort to provide that time so please remember that our route schedules are planned so we arrive and depart on time to meet obligations to citizens who are supporting us. Once again please keep up by reading your RC’s monthly messages on the www.rftw.us website.

Online registration has recorded 156 riders since its August opening. I am, again, asking that if you are planning to go on the 2019 RFTW, please register as early as possible. Last month I mentioned that you can register online then pay when you pick up your packet wherever you join us. As a reminder: Remember to bring your CURRENT driver’s license, registration AND insurance cards with you when you pick up your packet. It is mandatory to show those items to the registration volunteers when you pick up your packets—no exceptions.

For those of you who are thinking about joining our mission in 2019 and those who have not been on the website for a while, I encourage you to check out the new tab titled “New Participants.” Inside is the diary of a new participant titled, “Ten Days in May.” It is an excellent article for any new participants seeking to learn more about Run For The Wall. The tab also has a new FAQ that answers a full array of questions. Just go to: https://rftw.us/10-days-in-may

Also, as promised, from the RFTW Sustainability Committee, there is a NEW Poster and Talking Points document on the website.  Please use these resources to promote Run for The Wall. Our riders are our best recruiters and advocates. Go to: Resources for Promoting RFTW, under the Scuttlebutt tab.

During September many riders attended the Kerrville, Tex., All Routes Reunion. Many board members have told me they had a lot of fun and enjoyed the weekend. Thanks to everyone who planned this event which annually ends the reunion season.

That same weekend RFTW also was invited to the annual celebration of the signing of the US Constitution in Grand Lake, Colo.

This celebration is a week-long event that features noted constitutional scholars every night in one of Grand Lakes many restaurants.

Left, Grand Lake and Granby Fire Departments hoist a Garrison flag over Main St. at the end of the parade route.

At week’s end there is a parade, concert series, and more celebration of this historic document. New to GLUSCW this year was a barbecue cookoff—great eats! The event board president Tom Goodfellow said they hope to make that bigger and better next year.

We got an opportunity to talk about RFTW to many citizens in attendance who were interested in our mission. The Combat Heroes Bike Build also was there, represented by Ray “Cornman” Cornmesser and friend, Michele (see photo at right).

Since we swore to “support and defend” the US Constitution when we joined the military and during promotion ceremonies, I highly recommend this Constitution week celebration.

Is it May yet?

Respectfully submitted,
Les “Easy” Williams
RFTW BOD President

 

 

At left, view from parade start. Lots of barbecue vendor booths on both sides of Main St.!

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President’s Message – September 2018

The Board of Directors met in early August and were briefed by the Route Coordinators on how the planning process was proceeding. Most of the leadership positions have been filled, but the process is still not complete. Midway Route had five vacancies in State Coordinator positions at that time, however all of these positions have now been filled, and all are busy with planning for RFTW 2019. Midway also briefed several changes to their itinerary in Arizona (Kingman) and North Carolina (Fayetteville).  Details of these changes are being worked out and will be published by Midway RC Glenn “Wombat” Waggoner in a future Midway RC message.  RC messages are published monthly on the website under the Run Information tab.

Another issue discussed was the large number (320) of “walk-in” registrations from all three routes in 2018. That amounts to 16 platoons we had no information on for planning purposes. In this case information does equal safety. Moreover, the manhours to enter these 320 handwritten registrations into the database takes weeks given hard-to-read handwriting, forms that were rained on while written on a tailgate of a pickup, and phone calls to straighten out unreadable blocks of information. The BOD, and the Risk Manager in particular, want everyone to know that when you register online you do not have to make the $30 payment. You can wait to pay when you pick up your packet at whatever location you join RFTW.

The BOD announced that beginning with the 2019 RFTW, any walk-in riders who have not pre-registered online will be required to pay a $50 fee, if they register as a walk-in, and not online.

During the past few months the RCs and BOD have been working on an array of improvements mentioned in after-action reports. One project that should resolve the problem of FNGs not having enough information prior to the runs is a newly created FNG diary titled, “Ten Days in May.” This covers a generic FNG from Ontario to Washington riding on the Central Route. This information and other FNG-related information will soon be found on the home page under a new tab titled, “FNG Data.” The Board of Directors has asked the Midway and Southern Route Coordinators to find a volunteer to write a similar diary that contains the culture of their respective routes. We hope this will give FNGs a chance to learn how each route finds “the path home” and the reason we use the phrase, “One Mission, Three Routes.”

Since our riders are our best recruiters, they continue to ask for advertisements to assist their efforts. Since newspaper and magazine advertising are beyond our budget, we created our own advertising poster so they can spread the RFTW story and leave posters at motorcycle dealerships, Legion/VFWs, and other service organizations. That project is also complete and the flier will be downloadable under the new FNG tab and the “About” tab. The poster is designed to be read quickly and encourages the reader to visit our website. Technical work on the website is underway for this project and should be ready for use in the coming week.

The annual RFTW all-routes reunion at Angel Fire was held over the Labor Day weekend. The weather was perfect through out the weekend and allowed for a mission complete at the Angel Fire Veterans Memorial. As you may know this is a working weekend with riders laying a record number of (581) memorial bricks by days end Saturday. The planning and coordination for this mission is amazing and congratulations to the vast number who participated and organized the weekend, an effort headed by Steve Berniklau.  Thanks to Alfredo Gomez for organizing visits to two Native American schools prior to visiting the Angel Fire Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Don’t forget the Kerrville, TX, all-routes reunion Sept. 21-22. For information logon to rftw.us and this thread under the Announcements tab: https://rftw.us/forums/topic/tx-reunion-2018-for-all-rftw-riders/.

Sept. 21 is National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

“To promote healing among ALL veterans and their families and friends, to call for and 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.”

Is it May yet?

Les “Easy” Williams
President
Run For The Wall Board of Directors

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President’s Message – August 2018

The Board of Directors were invited to the Springfield, MO, All-Routes Reunion held in late July. The reunion was a great success with riders from all three routes attending. Many thanks to DeWayne and Linda Howard for planning all the events, rides and the great hotel. DeWayne and Linda have turned over the reins to anyone who would like to step-up and organize next year’s event. During this, I think I heard the “General’s Driver” say he would “look into it.”

The Board of Directors continued the planning process for 2019 by voting in favor of all three Assistant Route Coordinators. Central Route, Tom “Boomps” Miller; Midway Route, Ken “Six String” Dugas; and Southern Route, Robert “Captain America” Nelson. Moreover, two new Road Guard Captains were approved: Kay “Nine Mile” Klemme – Central, and Richard “Taildragger” Schultz, – Midway. Congratulations to everyone, and thank you all for stepping up to keep RFTW’s mission alive.

Other issues decided at this meeting:

Anyone who has any Ontario event requests that are not annually held, or that might cost RFTW money, must submit an event request to the BoD no later than April 1,2019 for approval. After that deadline no changes will be made to the itinerary. For several years After Action Reports have complained about the lateness of the Ontario itinerary. Our effort is to have that itinerary published the first week of April. Submissions can be made to the Board President (me) via email at: les.williams@rftw.us.

**Additionally, Run For The Wall® is a registered trademark owned by Run For The Wall, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Use of this registered trademark without written consent from Run For The Wall Board of Directors (BoD) is a violation of Copyright Law. Consent may be obtained by sending requests to the BoD Secretary Dick McKay, dick.mckay@rftw.us , who will present the requests to the BoD for review and approval. Requests must include how the trademark will be used, e.g., posters, merchandise, shirts, etc. Please include any graphics that will be used in conjunction with the trademark. All profits from the use of the Run For The Wall® trademark must be used to benefit the Run For The Wall mission. The use of the Run For The Wall® trademark for personal gain is strictly prohibited.

Finally, a reminder that the Eagle Nest / Angel Fire, NM, All Routes Reunion/Mission weekend begins Aug. 31, 2018, and ends on the morning of Sept. 2, 2018. This year many riders will meet prior to the event in Albuquerque, NM, at the Holiday Inn, 5050 Jefferson Street NE on Thursday, Aug. 30. They will stage at the Holiday Inn at 1845 and ride to El Pinto’s restaurant for dinner. On Aug. 31 this group will depart at 0800 and ride to the Santa Domingo Elementary School and the Cochiti Elementary School to visit the kids that cheer the Central Route from the bridges heading to Santa Fe. As of this writing there are 16 riders that will be riding, including this writer. I understand Alfredo Gomez and Eamon Tansey will be leading the pack. If you are interested in riding on this mission, Gomez has it on his FB page and you can commit on that posting.

Also, there is a banquet and dinner on Saturday night in Eagles Nest, NM. If you want to attend that dinner, please register and pre-pay for the dinner, so the people preparing the food get an accurate count.

Register & Pay for the Saturday night Reunion Dinner here:
https://goo.gl/forms/IvlVATPUSKnDFjs13

Additional details regarding the Annual Eagle Nest / Angel Fire, NM Reunion and Brick Laying Project can be found here.
https://rftw.us/forums/topic/2018-rftw-reunion-brick-laying-project-at-angel-fire-nm-memorial/

Contact Steve Berniklau at: steve.berniklau@rftw.us for any other questions.

Here are a few Angel Fire Reunion/Mission pictures from last year’s event, courtesy of Janelle Olson.

Les Williams, President
Run For The Wall Board of Directors

 

 

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President’s Message – July 2018

In Congress, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Massachusetts: John Hancock

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

New Hampshire: Matthew Thornton, Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple

Massachusetts: Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

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President’s Message – June 2018

I purposely am submitting this message late, knowing many folks take their time returning home—whether it’s visiting family, friends, or Civil War battlefields along the way. I hope your trip back was safe and enjoyable.

Thanks once again to all the RFTW volunteers for their hard work throughout 2017-2018 – as well as all the American citizens who supported our three routes across the nation with your cheers, flags, and welcome home gestures. We could not do this without your support.

A special thank you goes out to our three Route Coordinators who did a superb job leading their routes this year. Harlan Olson (CR), Mike Huber (MR) and Chad O’Dell (SR) logged long hours from July 2017 through June 2018. You may wonder why their leadership spills over into June 2018? These leaders will attend the BOD meeting in late
June submitting their selection of 2019 Route Coordinators, as well as give the BoD their after-action briefing on this year’s RFTW. Once this meeting is complete these folks then will continue to give time and energy to their routes as mentors for 2019. They have been the essence of One Mission – Three Routes.

After-action reports are important to the long-term success of Run For The Wall. I encourage all of our riders to submit an after-action report. This file can be found on the website under the Scuttlebutt tab – https://rftw.us/submit-an-after-action-report/ These reports are all read and then passed on to the relevant route coordinators. Improvement is something everyone can participate in.

Just a reminder of the first All Routes Reunion in Springfield, MO, July 19-22 at the DoubleTree Hotel. For further information, contact dewayne.howard@rftw.us or checkout the rftw.us website. This is a great time to visit with new and old friends. If you have never seen Branson, MO this is a great opportunity to see this fun town. Moreover, if you are a history enthusiast you can visit the site of the second battle of the Civil War at Wilson’s Creek. This is one of best preserved Civil War sights in the nation and is only 20 minutes southwest of Springfield.

During the 2018 RFTW many new folks discovered the honorable mission we have supported for 30 years. We saw an increase in the number of current conflict warriors and were pleased to have 11 active duty Marines, lead by the Sergeant Major of Marine Corps Logistics Base, Barstow, Calif., on the first leg of the Midway Route. These Marines rode to Ontario early May 16 to join RFTW and were asked by Midway RC Mike “Bandit” Huber to ride in the front, leading Midway onto the base at Barstow. They were greeted by the largest crowd of supporters Midway has seen during their several parades through this Marine base. We received a letter from the Sergeant Major thanking RFTW for the warm greeting they got indicating they will be back next year! Sergeant Major Martinez, you and your Marines are always welcome to ride with RFTW.

We all support our mission: “To promote healing among ALL veterans and their families and friends, to call for an accounting of all the 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.”

For the second year we also honored those who have served RFTW with Carol Olmstead’s picture board where riders posted family connections and friends who have passed away, but always will be remembered.

One person entered into that historical archive this year was long-time MR and SR rider Earl “Dirt” Carr from Purcell, OK. His memory also was honored at the Wall. (photo left.)

RIP, Dirt, know you are loved.

Les “Easy” Williams
President, Board of Directors
Run For The Wall, Inc.

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President’s Message – May 2018

These messages from me, started in July 2017 as RFTW continued the planning process for this 30th Annual Run For The Wall. In a blink of an eye it is now May. I wanted to give a loud shout out to all the volunteers across the country for their tireless work to make our mission successful. To the leadership of all the routes, state coordinators, riders, and all the American citizens who support us across the nation, you have our undying gratitude for your support. We could not accomplish this mission without you. If anyone looks deep into the heart of Run For The Wall, they will find the above patriots working diligently throughout the year to make this mission stronger each year.

Just a reminder that the Pre-Run Ontario itinerary is also posted on each of the “route hubs” on the website, click on Run Info. If you have any questions about the start of our mission, that’s the place to get answers. Since the days in Ontario are a dynamic time, we have made a few changes in the past week to that schedule. The only cancellation we have, as of this writing, is the First Aid class. All other events are still on. If you have signed up for the Riverside National Cemetery run, you will find it a great way to start RFTW 2018. It’s a solemn reminder of why “We Ride for Those That Can’t.” If you are a registered rider you can join this wonderful mission. It is scheduled for staging at 0730 on Tuesday, May 15. There will be a riders meeting at 0830, and you will depart at 0900. These events will be adjacent to the Gateway Host Hotel on E. Guasti Rd.

We have talked a great deal this year about safety and focus on rider skills. For those riding to Ontario and those joining at any of our overnight stops, use these “Run To The Run” trips to begin keeping safety and focus foremost in your minds. Although we cannot predict the weather, you can be sure to find anything from hot and dry, to cold and raining (or even a little frost) during this mission. Check the day’s weather on your mission and prepare yourself accordingly. Once your day begins on the routes, your leadership does not stop if it begins to rain. We only stop for fueling, meals and overnight stays.

Our mission officially ends at the apex of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. However, an escort to Rolling Thunder will stage early Sunday morning for RFTW riders wishing to join in that demonstration.  See the back pages of any of the detailed route itineraries for times, etc.

Just a quick reminder to everyone: Our hotels and towns we visit are very important to RFTW. Be patient with hotel employees and keep these locations clean. Motorcycle parking at hotel overhangs is a violation of the fire codes in all towns we visit. Please do not park under these porticos.

Moreover, remember the donated meals and fuel are not free – patriotic American citizens work hard to provide these donated items to RFTW, so feel free to express your gratitude to those folks.

See you all in Ontario, or along the road and Welcome Home!

Les “Easy” Williams
President
Run For The Wall Board of Directors

P.S. Rumor has it Deano will be singing his “Nobody Knows” song that everyone loved last year and other songs in Ontario—look for him near the Merchandise trailer.

It’s MAY!!!  WELCOME HOME!

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President’s Message – April 2018

Here it is April already and getting closer to the 2018 RFTW. We have talked a lot during this lead up to The Run about having your motorcycle and its rider in the best condition possible. Both of these items are very important to a successful and safe mission. It is not too late to get that much needed “update training” to sharpen all your skills for this awesome mission to Washington, DC. We have touched on slow riding being a skill that always needs sharpening. This mission requires a complete focus on slow riding, as we slow down to exit interstate highways to fuel our riders. The slow riding, and attention needed increases as we approach the fueling areas, and then exit to restage our platoons. Although slow riding is easier on trikes, focusing on the people all around you is just as important. Being wider adds another level of necessary awareness. Safety is everyone’s business, so if you are new to RFTW don’t be bashful—ask your platoon leaders questions at the mandatory all routes riders meeting Tuesday afternoon, May 15 at 1600 in Ontario. If you join us on any overnight stop, your platoon leadership will also be available to you at those times to answer questions.

Your Route Coordinators are taking care of last minute issues, and leadership staff of all routes are in place. State Coordinators from California to Arlington, VA, have their hotel arrangements and other duties completed, making this magic work across the country. Each year we meet-and-greet American citizens in all the cities and towns that we stop in. They work hard all year long to raise money to feed our riders and, in some cases, fuel them. None of this is “Free.” Someone has worked hard on your behalf, so please thank them for what they do for us. At each stop our Route Coordinators honor these American patriots with plaques and recognition. This is often done while we are eating, so we ask that you do not get up and leave during these ceremonies. Courtesy goes a long way.

Our hotels are very important to RFTW. Their friendship and locations are hand picked to keep our operations on-time and running smoothly. Often there will be a waiting line to check into the hotel. Please be patient with the clerks. Last year RFTW nearly lost one of our premier hotels in Arlington, VA, because one rider became abusive to a clerk who was trying to help. Folks, we need these hotels! So, behavior is important! Moreover, RFTW discourages pets on the mission, and hotels will need to know about any service animals that you may have, and will ask for VA registration for Service Dogs.

Carol Olmstead, California State Coordinator, has told us the USMC Band will return on Tuesday in Ontario before the mandatory rider meeting. For those who have listened to these Marines perform, you know it is an outstanding afternoon of great music. Carol also told me that she will have the Ontario itinerary ready to publish on the website early this month. She also will have a picture board honoring all those who have ridden with RFTW and have passed away. Please bring pictures and a bio of that person for Carol’s Honor Board. She also told me the vendor booths are all filled. She will also have the RFTW merchandise trailers open in the parking lot to handle your shopping needs.


Amazing moment at Lincoln Memorial with RFTW Riders Saturday, May 27, 2017!

Once RFTW arrives in Arlington, VA, our Mission is not over. There are several activities you will want to attend on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (Rolling Thunder). On Friday Evening, May 25, 2018, you have the opportunity to attend the Marine Corps Evening Parade, featuring: “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, “The Commandant’s Own” The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, the Marine Corps Color Guard, the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, Ceremonial Marchers, and Cpl. Chesty XIV, the official mascot of Marine Barracks Washington.

Register Here for the Marine Corps Evening Parade – It’s Free for RFTW.

If you are an FNG this year, you will be escorted over to Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday morning to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to watch the changing of the guard and the wreath laying by RFTW riders picked by the Route Coordinators. After that ceremony, you will hop on your bikes to prepare to ride over to the Lincoln Memorial for a group picture. Once this is done, we will visit the Vietnam Memorial Wall where RFTW Route Coordinators will place our annual “Mission Accomplished” plaque at the apex of The Wall.

We are pleased to announce that on Saturday morning, RFTW has been selected to wash the Vietnam Memorial Wall—Early (likely 0600 staging). The RCs have selected the 30-person platoon (10 from each route) that will form up at the Holiday Inn in Arlington early Saturday morning. Gunny Gregory and Chuck Wright will lead the Wall Washing Mission. Fifteen riders will begin washing the Wall until they reach the apex. They then will hand over their washing tools to the next 15 riders who will complete the mission. The Park Service estimates the mission will take 25-30 minutes.

For those who will be traveling to Ontario or other locations to join RFTW 2018, please drive safely. You are all important to us.  And for those of you who have not yet registered, please know you are still welcome, including: Non-Veterans, Veterans,  Active Duty, Reserves, and National Guard are encouraged to join us for 1-day or 10. Do as many miles and days as you’d like or can with us. Going ALL THE WAY, is not required to ride and participate.

We understand every situation is different and invite all to join us on this moving, memorable ride across America to pay tribute to our veterans and active duty military, to keep alive the mission to return our POW/MIA/KIAs from all wars.

To each and every one of you, Welcome Home and God Bless America.

IS IT MAY YET?

Les “Easy” Williams
President
Run For The Wall®
We Ride For Those Who Can’t

 

…And if you Can’t Hardly Wait… Here is a very small taste of what’s to come in May 2018.

 

We request that you learn how to use Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter. When Uploading your photos to these sites, PLEASE use the above  #hashtags in your posts/comments. If you don’t know what a #hashtag is, please ask your kids or grandkids, or Click Here.

Example: You are about to post a photo to Instagram or Facebook that you just took with your phone. Your description/comment might look something like: Here’s me in Washington, DC! #RunForTheWall #RunForTheWall2018 (#hashtags are not case-sensitive)

Also, if you don’t have Instagram, you should. It’s a true photo sharing site, and you can link it to your facebook, too, so any pictures you post, go in both places automatically.

*Lincoln Memorial video footage by Joffrey Mason and used with permission.
*Aerial Video footage by Joffrey Mason and used with permission.
*Song Title: America’s Song
Featuring: Will.I.am, David Foster, Faith Hill, Mary J. Blige, Seal, and Bono
by Songwriters: William Adams / David Foster / George Jr Pajon

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President’s Message – March 2018

With only 74 days left before Kick Stands Up, Run For The Wall 2018 is closing in on many details vital to the mission. Route Coordinators are working to complete their itineraries that will be available in early April for printing and posting on the website. Their other duties are far too numerous to detail in this message. These Route Coordinators and their staffs have been doing outstanding work since June 2017 planning the 30th Annual RFTW. On behalf of the Board of Directors we want to commend Harlan “Whiteburch” Olson (Central Route), Mike “Bandit” Huber (Midway Route), and Chad “Slacker” O’Dell (Southern Route) for their service to our veterans and our supporters. RFTW is in good hands.

The numbers of registered folks continue to be very high, in fact, we are over 500 more registrations than at this time last year. These numbers are a good sign—especially the numbers of FNG’s which appear to be between 35-45 percent of registrations. We welcome every one of you for this 30th mission of RFTW. Please take the time to care for your motorcycle, so it is in top condition for this awesome mission and that your skills and physical condition are, too. All these tips make for a successful and safe operation.

In February, RFTW joined forces with M-25 and DRUSA, and completed our mission to restore seven veteran and other homes in and around Alvin, TX. (We actually made it to an eighth home to remove and replace the roof, and remove an out-building.) Seventy volunteers showed up at the Emmanuel Worship Center with tools, ready to work. I greeted many friends and made new ones during the week. I cannot thank the 70 volunteers who showed up more – they are folks who contributed to the fund raiser and furthered that with a week of skilled labor. I want to thank the FNG’s who came to Houston to work and become part of the RFTW family. Those FNG’s: Ric Castro, CO, Eva Wilson, KS, Mitch VanDever, OK, Doug Warren, MI, and Don Gagnon, OR (FNG 2017) all contributed to this mission’s success.

The entire project was planned by Bill Terry, DRUSA ops boss and his team, along with Gary “Shepherd” Burd and his M-25 team. Thanks to Terry Ray, CR Platoon Leader, for coming all the way from California in his Prius loaded down with his tools and ready to work! Thanks to Terry for also posting a video on FB of the mission – great job! Many women joined the mission and worked on or for one of the seven teams throughout the week (see attached pictures).

To everyone who participated and contributed through the fundraising, I am happy to report – mission complete for now. Many have asked if further hurricane relief will happen in the future. Bill Terry said they would like to return, and will keep us in the loop – so stand by for information. DRUSA is an outstanding organization, and I would not hesitate to work with them in the future.

Below are pictures and two videos – One long and one short – of the hurricane relief work effort – see FB or Instagram (evafromthefarm account) for more. From top to bottom, left to right – Gary Burd helps crew in replacing roof in Houston house; teams confer in Emmanuel Worship Center before work; Louann and Roger, veteran’s home—they have a catering business that was impacted by the hurricane and, after a few days of help at their house, brought hot lunch to workers at a trailer in Dickinson, TX —paying some back; new fence completed in two days at veteran’s home; and finally some of the women and girls (youngest was 13) volunteering through RFTW, DRUSA and M-25.

Les “Easy” Williams
President
Run for the Wall Board of Directors

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President’s Message – February 2018

Here it is February 3rd, and only 101 days to KSU (Kick Stands Up!) — although you still have plenty of time to maintain your bikes and your own personal health for this very special mission.

Yes, your health is as critical to this mission as your motorcycle. The mission requires riders stay focused on riding in formation, and quickly adjusting to changing speeds and conditions. The mission requires this focus to get all our riders to Washington, DC safely. It is 10 days of focus and concentration interspersed by moments of such greatness that you forever will be amazed.

As of this writing, we have 907 people Pre-Registered for the 30th Annual Run for The Wall.  John “Wicked” McKee is updating this total every couple of days, and can be viewed on the front page of the RFTW website, as people register.

Our registration is open 24/7. Just head to www.rftw.us and sign-up for one day or 10 days – whatever you choose you will be welcomed. We have posted our hotel lists for all three routes, and if you join us along the way check out the hotel locations, so you can pick up your registration packages at the host hotel, or at the next day’s morning briefing and get ready for the mission.

Our Route Coordinators and the Board of Directors have continued the planning process throughout the winter. Currently, we are working on route itineraries which should be ready by April.  In the meantime, check out the posted 2017 itineraries, and date adjust for 2018. 2018 will be mostly the same in regards to stops, etc.

Our Ontario, CA itinerary will see one change on Tuesday afternoon/evening. In place of a banquet we will have mandatory all-routes meetings in the Ontario Convention Center Parking Lot C (KSU lot). We will a have a colors ceremony followed by the Combat Heroes Bike Build presentation. After the presentation we will introduce each Route Coordinator who will speak and then direct their riders to a designated area for their specific route. You will all have a chance to meet your platoon leaders and familiarize yourselves with the mission and our riding methods. Your platoon leaders will help answer your questions and you will have plenty of time to get to know each other. There is no rush during this scheduled event—we have the parking lot until 2000 hours! If you have any suggestions on further enhancing this segment for both riders and leadership, please let us know.

By the time this is published 50 RFTW riders including M-25 will be travelling to Alvin, Texas, to help veterans repair their homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey. Harvey is tied with Hurricane Katrina as the costliest tropical cyclone on record, inflicting at least $125 billion in damage, primarily from catastrophic rainfall-triggered flooding in the Houston area. Work begins on Monday because of generous RFTW riders who wanted to help. Check the Forum beginning Feb. 5—we will attempt to send pictures, so Kirk Olson can post them to keep you all up-to-date on how the work is progressing.

Is it May yet?

Les “Easy” Williams
President
Run for the Wall Board of Directors

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President’s Message – January 2018

Here we are in January already. I hope you all have a very happy and prosperous New Year. The Board of Directors and the Route Coordinators have been busy with planning the 30th Annual Run For The Wall. The results of some of that planning can now be accessed on the Route Hubs (Central Route, Midway Route, and Southern Route) of the website with the 2018 hotel lists. Moreover, the Houston Hurricane Relief Project volunteer sign-up has been going very well. As of this writing, we have 19 volunteers who will gather in Alvin, Texas, on Sunday, February 4, 2018 for registration and briefings. We are very proud of everyone who participated in the fund raising. Now the hands-on work begins on several veterans’ homes. Connie and I will meet you all in Alvin ready to help get local veterans back into their homes. I am still waiting for details on motels/hotels, and will post on the Scuttlebutt tab when received. Anyone wanting to sign-up just CLICK HERE.

Another result I am happy to introduce is the new logo for RFTW. Created by the sustainability committee and approved by the BoD, this logo contains all the values that Run For The Wall has embraced over its 29 years of operations. The logo has bright red, white and blue colors which represent our patriotism and love of country. The colors represent our mission, the “…sacrifices and contributions made by ALL VETERANS who have served our nation. Veterans of recent conflicts and those currently on active duty, Non-veteran Supporters and Patriots are especially welcome to join and ride with us as, We Ride for Those Who Can’t.”

The Motorcycle in the logo recognizes how we conduct our mission. The Gold Wings represent the angels who have kept us safe on each run, while the Headlight supports the promise we have made to those POW/MIAs and their families. “We Will Not Forget.”

The Vietnam service ribbon will still be visible on many items, including the RFTW website. The new logo does not diminish the fact that RFTW was started by Vietnam veterans. It will always be our recorded history. The new logo was created to ensure that RFTW does not die with us Vietnam veterans, but carries on through the next generations.

Les “Easy” Williams
President
Run for the Wall
Board of Directors

RFTW Logo with Shadow