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SandBox RC Newsletter – SEP 2020 – First Virtual Quarterly Briefing Edition

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Howdy from Texas!

Welcome to September!  Labor Day may mark the unofficial end of Summer for most folks, but for me it marks the official beginning of focused planning for the Run next May.  Your SandBox Route Leadership team has made preliminary contacts over the course of the summer for the places we had planned to visit last May and the responses have been very positive – in some cases already with early commitments to support.  Now that Summer is drawing to a close, and the cooler Fall riding season takes over, more plans for local rides are filling my mind and you know where that road leads…  IS IT MAY YET?

This update will cover the same topics as last month plus more with new info, so please read carefully.  The topics are 1) Registration, 2) StandBy List, 3) Patches, 4) Quarterly Virtual Status Briefing and 5) Kerrville Reunion.

1) REGISTRATION

Very important considerations for Registration that you need to know… A).  If you were registered for the SandBox Route for 2020, you are and will remain registered for the SandBox Route for 2021.  If you find you must withdraw from the route, please notify me at sb-registration@rftw.us so that we may bring in someone from the StandBy List.  B).  If your registration info changes (Insurance date, Driver License info, etc.) DO NOT try to update this info with electronic OnLine Registration.  You may write in the updated info when you show up in person for sign-in next May. 

2) SANDBOX STANDBY LIST

The SandBox Route StandBy Registration List is still in effect and accepting applications for those not already registered on the SandBox Route.  The Standby Registration procedure is the same as it was last November – before you sign up, please review this link for instructions:  SandBox Route StandBy Registration – 08 NOV 2019.  NOTE:  If you plan to ride only on the SandBox Route, first register online for any one of Central, Southern or Midway Routes with your start and endpoint as Washington DC – when picked up on SandBox Route, the Registrar will change your endpoint to Marseilles, Illinois.

3) SANDBOX ROUTE 2020 COMMEMORATIVE PATCH

The limited first edition patch is still available!  It was designed and stitched back in February to be used as a fundraiser on the Route.  The patch is available for a donation $20 to the SandBox Route.  The patch is no longer limited to 1 per person.  The patches will be provided per the order in which requests are received.

SandBox Route Inaugural Run Patch
SandBox Route 2020 Commemorative Patch

Here’s how to get yours…  Send an e-mail with your request to:  sandbox-patch@rftw.us.  In the e-mail, please include your Name and Mailing Address and how many patches you’d like to reserve.  You will receive a reply with instructions on where and how to send your donation.  When your donation is received, the patch will be mailed to the address you provided in the e-mail. 

Now for the hard part…  I have received a large number of e-mails reserving patches for which the donation was never received.  The number of patches available is dwindling so I must release your reservation if the donation is not received soon – 26 reservations from back in June are close to being cancelled.

Don’t delay – donate today! That’s all there is to it! I’ll be watching for your e-mail!

4) QUARTERLY VIRTUAL STATUS MEETING

It’s finally here!  SandBox Route Virtual Quarterly Route Briefing #1 is scheduled for Tuesday, 22 SEP 2020 at 7:00 PM Central.  It will be on ZOOM and the meeting link may be found below.  At this briefing, you’ll get an update on our route, the stops, some of the places we’ll be visiting and behind the scenes information on how the planning is conducted throughout the year.  You’ll also get briefings on some of the special participation events you can sign up for along the route.  Don’t miss this great opportunity to meet and greet many of the Route Leadership and get firsthand info on what to expect come next May.  Below is the date, time and link info you will need.

Topic: RFTW SandBox Route Quarterly Update #1
Time: Sep 22, 2020 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting:  https://zoom.us/j/91293655282

5) TEXAS RIDERS REUNION

The Kerrville Reunion is on and will be happening in just a few weeks.  Cowboy is publishing regular updates which may be found on the RFTW website forum at https://rftw.us/forums/topic/kerrville-tx-reunion.  Lady Bug and I will be there, and we hope to see you all there too!

That’s all for now. Y’all take care, stay well and stay strong!  Remember, all roads lead to all roads so no matter where you go, TOGETHER WE RIDE!

WALL 2 WALL!

Bugs out!

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RFTW XXXII Sand Box Route Coordinator
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SandBox RC Newsletter – AUGUST 2020 – Mid-Summer Heatwave Edition

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Howdy from Texas!

August already – are you kidding me?!?  Hard to believe that it’s been almost three months since we were doing the SandBox Virtual Daily Briefings back in May.  But three months down is three months closer to next May and the grand reunion!

I’ll try to keep this short, but there are some VERY IMPORTANT items that all of our SandBox Route Riders and Leaders need to know dealing with 1) Registration, 2) StandBy List, 3) SandBox Commemorative Patch, and 4) Quarterly Virtual Status Meeting.

1) REGISTRATION

There are a couple items on Registration that you need to know…  A).  If you were registered for the SandBox Route for 2020, you are and will remain registered for the SandBox Route for 2021.  If you find you must withdraw from the route, please notify me at sb-registration@rftw.us so that we may bring in someone from the StandBy List.  B).  If your registration info changes (Insurance date, Driver License info, etc.) DO NOT try to update this info with electronic OnLine Registration.  You may write in the updated info when you show up in person for sign-in next May.  The OnLine system for updating an existing registration is complex and will ultimately require individual revision by our Registrar and there will be hundreds of such changes since almost everyone needs some kind of update.  A simple write-in next May is very much preferred.

2) SANDBOX STANDBY LIST

The SandBox Route StandBy Registration List is still in effect and accepting applications for those not already registered on the SandBox Route.  The Standby Registration procedure is the same as it was last November – before you sign up, please review this link for instructions:  SandBox Route StandBy Registration – 08 NOV 2019.  NOTE:  If you plan to ride only on the SandBox Route, first register online for any one of Central, Southern or Midway Routes with your start and endpoint as Washington DC – when picked up on SandBox Route, the Registrar will change your endpoint to Marseilles, Illinois.

3) SANDBOX COMMEMORATIVE PATCH

The limited first edition patch is still available!  It was designed and stitched back in February to be used as a fundraiser on the Route.  This patch was made in a limited quantity and though we may produce another for next May, there will be no re-order with the dates of our originally scheduled Run – the Commemorative Patch…

SandBox Route Inaugural Run Patch

Here are the details…  The patch is available for a donation $20 to the SandBox Route.  The patch is no longer limited to 1 per person.  The patches will be provided per the order in which requests are received.

Here’s how to get yours…  Send an e-mail with your request to:  sandbox-patch@rftw.us.  In the e-mail, please include your Name and Mailing Address and how many patches you’d like to reserve.  You will receive a reply with instructions on where and how to send your donation.  When your donation is received, the patch will be mailed to the address you provided in the e-mail.  If you’ve written to reserve a patch but haven’t sent in your donation – please send it in soon or risk losing your place in line.

Don’t delay – donate today! That’s all there is to it! I’ll be watching for your e-mail!

4) QUARTERLY VIRTUAL STATUS MEETING

The response and enthusiasm for the SandBox Route Virtual Daily Briefings was so positive that I proposed a quarterly SandBox Route Virtual Status Meeting that will be open to all riders and leaders from the Route and others who may be interested.  We expect to stand up Zoom as the Virtual Briefing System of Record here very soon and when that happens, I will coordinate the first of our quarterly virtual briefings.  The briefing will be announced and have a link provided right here on an upcoming Special Edition RC Newsletter, so watch for it in the next few weeks.

That’s all for now. Y’all take care, stay well and stay strong!  Remember, all roads lead to all roads so no matter where you go, TOGETHER WE RIDE!

WALL 2 WALL!

Bugs out!

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RFTW XXXII Sand Box Route Coordinator
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RFTW SandBox RC Newsletter – JUNE 2020 – SandBox Route Patch Edition #2

Howdy from Texas!

Summer days are upon us along with the beautiful sunny & HOT days made for riding!  HYDRATE! HYDRATE! HYDRATE!  I see lots of our Run Family posting about their journeys and meet-ups with others.  I often ponder on the ways our Mission Statement may be applied to fulfill its purpose outside the normal path taken along the Run.  Thinking about Rides and Meet-ups led me to the very first tenet of that Statement:  “To promote healing among ALL veterans and their families and friends”.  Sometimes we get so involved in reaching outside the Family that we forget that every contact we make within the Family is also supporting the Mission.  So… GREAT JOB SUPPORTING THE MISSION, FAMILY!

The Donations for the SandBox Route Inaugural Run Commemorative Patch are coming in fast and steady.  Within the first 7 days after the announcement, close to 40% of the patches were accounted for and the reservations are still coming in. I just mailed out a large stack of envelopes with patches for those who have sent in their donations.  Watch for them to show up in your mailbox soon!

Some folks are asking, “Should the patch be worn upside down?”  It’s your patch and totally your call. However, my thoughts are that this is a commemorative patch, not a participation patch.  When mine is sewn on, it will be right side up.

If you would like to secure one of these limited-edition patches, please follow the instructions below to make your reservation.  The patch was designed and stitched back in February to be used as a fundraiser during the Run on the SandBox Route.  There is a very limited quantity of this patch and though we may produce new patch for next May, there will be no re-order of this patch depicting the dates of our originally scheduled Run – the Commemorative Patch.

Don’t delay – donate today!

SandBox Route Inaugural Run Patch

Here are the details…

  • The patch is available for a donation of $20 to the SandBox Route.
  • Due to limited supply, please restrict your order to 1 patch per person.
  • The patches will be provided per the order in which requests are received.

Here’s how to get yours…

  • Send an e-mail with your request to:  sandbox-patch@rftw.us
  • In the e-mail, please include your Name and Mailing Address.
  • You will receive a reply with instructions on where and how to send your donation.
  • When your donation is received, the patch will be mailed to the address you provided.

That’s all there is to it!  I’ll be watching for your e-mail!

Y’all take care, stay well and stay strong!  Remember, all roads lead to all roads so no matter where you go, TOGETHER WE RIDE!

WALL 2 WALL!

Bugs out!

RFTW XXXII Sand Box Route Coordinator
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RFTW SandBox RC Newsletter – JUNE 2020 – SandBox Patch Edition

Howdy from Texas!

I hope you all had a chance to read Peppermint Patti’s Virtual SITREP’s and view the SandBox Route Virtual Briefs that were held on the originally scheduled days for this year’s Run.  If you did, you saw that we gave away 6 of the SandBox Route Inaugural Run Commemorative patches.   Now it’s your turn to get one!

This limited-edition patch was designed and stitched back in February to be used as a fundraiser on the Run.  This patch was made in a limited quantity and though we may produce another for next May, there will be no re-order with the dates of our originally scheduled Run – the Commemorative Patch.

SandBox Route Inaugural Run Patch

Here are the details…

  • The patch is available for a donation $20 to the SandBox Route.
  • Due to limited supply, please restrict your order to 1 patch per person.
  • The patches will be provided per the order in which requests are received.

Here’s how to get yours…

  • Send an e-mail with your request to:  sandbox-patch@rftw.us
  • In the e-mail, please include your Name and Mailing Address.
  • You will receive a reply with instructions on where and how to send your donation.
  • When your donation is received, the patch will be mailed to the address you provided.

That’s all there is to it!  I’ll be watching for your e-mail!

Y’all take care, stay well and stay strong!  Remember, all roads lead to all roads so no matter where you go, TOGETHER WE RIDE!

WALL 2 WALL!

Bugs out!

RFTW XXXII Sand Box Route Coordinator
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RFTW SandBox RC Newsletter – MAY 2020 – Virtual Wrap-up Edition

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Howdy from Texas!

I’ve gotta tell you, I feel almost like I’ve been out on the Run for a few weeks and then magically appeared at home on the last day.  These past 3 days of coordination with our SandBox Route folks has been a phenomenal experience that has made me even more proud of the strength and resilience of our RFTW family.

The SandBox Route Virtual Daily Briefings gave us a chance for face time with folks we’d have otherwise  not seen, heard from people with heart touching stories of names on the MECW, had a little fun with daily drawings and in the end, built up a little more anticipation for next year’s Run while tapping that magic that recharges as all through the Mission itself.  From my seat at the show, the Virtual Briefings were a huge success and I intend to conduct quarterly (at least) open SandBox Route Status briefings throughout the year as we prepare for 2021.

Before we walk away from 2020, I need to acknowledge some of the exceptional efforts and accomplishments that made this Virtual Run a Success…

Don “Ten-A-See” King, Mary “Cupcake” Pittman, Richard “Rags” Getchell, Brandon “Five-O” McCray, “Peppermint Patti” Bogan and of course, Gwynne “Ladybug” Dunlap – whether on camera or behind the scenes, your input, contributions and support made all this possible.  To our Guest Speakers, Rosa Salinas, Dane Long and Darrin Isham – thank you for sharing a little about your connection with a person whose name is on the Middel East Conflicts Wall.  Your message is very important to us all, even more so when we know your heart is doing the talking.  Your presence with us on the Briefings brought this all home.

I also need to acknowledge you, the dedicated RFTW Rider, the RFTW Leadership Team Member, the RFTW Mission Supporter – all Patriotic Americans of the highest caliber!  Your continued focus on the Mission and what it means to the Gold Star and Blue Star Families, the POW/MIA Families, the KIA/WIA Families, the Veteran and the Veteran’s Families CANNOT be over emphasized!  This Mission lives in your heart and breathes through your actions.  Thank you all for your unwavering support and exceptional contributions.

As we close out the logbook for this year’s efforts and start focusing on the year ahead, we all may see the light shining on May 2021 when we will join once again to Ride for Those Who Can’t.  Until then ride safe, be well, stay strong and Continue the Mission!  And always remember that all roads lead to all roads, so no matter where you go, TOGETHER WE RIDE!

WALL 2 WALL!

IS IT MAY YET?

Bugs out!

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RFTW SandBox RC Newsletter – MAY 2020 – Virtual Daily Briefing Edition

Howdy from Texas!

Well, the SandBox Route Virtual Brief plan is coming together!  We have a special guest speaker for each day as well as well as some other folks very important to our mission who will be joining in. Following are the instructions and guidelines for you to join the Briefings. Please read them all carefully to ensure you will be ready to go…

You’ll Need to Pre-Load ZOOM:  To join in the briefing, you’ll need to pre-load the “ZOOM” app onto your computer, phone or pad (whatever brand).  The ZOOM app should be available in your App Store or may be found online at https://zoom.us.

Briefing Day Link:  Then on briefing day, just click on the following Link to join the video conference: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/71783303711?pwd=T2hrMVZwRXlTdjhpYXJGRzhTUUJkdz09

Dates and Times:  Below are the dates and times for each day’s briefing:

  • Sunday, May 24, 2020 at 08:00 AM Central Time
  • Monday, May 25, 2020 at 08:00 AM Central Time
  • Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 08:00 AM Central Time

TEST RUN:  On Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 08:00 AM Central Time, I will initiate a test run of the meeting so that anyone can log into ensure they have the setup correct.  You will use the same meeting link as shown above for the actual briefing.  NOTE:  Since the actual briefings will be relatively short, there will no time for troubleshooting on the actual briefing days – Saturday is your chance to ensure that you will be able to join.

Briefing ROE (Rules of Engagement) – please read carefully:

  • The meeting will open for you to join at 07:55 AM, but the briefing will start promptly at 08:00 AM.
  • Please log into the meeting with your Real Name (and road name if you like).  This is important for the drawing as discussed below. 
  • Run time for the entire briefing is planned for only 20-25 minutes, unfortunately not enough time for comments or a Q&A Session.  Please e-mail your questions or comments to me and I will reply or address on a future newsletter.
  • Microphones:  Please keep your microphone muted – one furbaby on a tear can jam audio for the whole meeting.  Love the furbabies!!!
  • The (Virtual) Door Prize Drawing:  You must be logged on at the time of the drawing to win.  The drawing pool (names in the hat) will be taken from the list of participants on the call.
  • ZOOM Meetings are system limited to 40 minutes – we will be cutoff at 08:35 AM at the latest.

SandBox Route Inaugural Run Patch

That’s about it – not too hard!  But pre-planning for the system setup is very important to your success in joining and enjoying the Briefing.  I hope to see you all online! 

Y’all take care, stay well and stay strong!  Remember, all roads lead to all roads so no matter where you go, TOGETHER WE RIDE!

WALL 2 WALL!

Bugs out!

RFTW XXXII Sand Box Route Coordinator

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RFTW SandBox RC Newsletter – MAR 2020 – PMA.2 Edition


Howdy from Texas!

By now, I’m sure you have all heard that the Run is cancelled for this year.  I can’t express how very disappointed I am that we had to come to this decision – but under the circumstances, it is the right decision.  So you might ask, how does my admonition for a Positive Mental Attitude still apply here?  Well here’s how it works…

I have written before how our annual Run is a recharge for the soul and a wonderful opportunity to see the family every year, giving us the motivation and energy to get through to the next year.  But I have also understood that the Run is only a part of the Mission.  Let’s read through that Mission statement together…

  • 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
  • To Support our military personnel all over the world

When I read that some of our legendary riders were counting on this year’s Run to be their finale (I’m looking at you Old School!), I deeply feel for them and will miss them on the road – does that mean we can’t promote healing for them?  We may not be in DC to help raise awareness for the continued call for accounting – does that mean our voices can’t be heard?  We may not be at the Apex on Saturday morning to lay a wreath in memory of their Sacrifice – does that mean we can’t honor them?  Through all this, our military personnel from all branches are standing the watch at dangerous locations around the world – does this mean we won’t support them?

The answer to all these questions is a resounding NO!  Everyone one of us who believe RFTW is family, and who LOVE this Run would not hesitate to make extraordinary sacrifice and selfless efforts to be a part of it.  But we all know the underlying purpose is always THE MISSION!  Will we Continue The MissionYES!!!

Here’s where your continued PMA will play a huge role…  Every tenant of our Mission is about people.  We as a family, are accustomed to having two weeks in May when we totally focus on each other as well as the people for whom our Mission is dedicated.  Some folks are contemplating making a run across the country anyway – that’s a decision each person must assess and make for themselves.  But also ask yourself – is it about the ride or the Mission?  If you need the ride – do what you have to do, may God bless you for a safe journey. 

If you don’t ride, you can still serve the Mission.  For every one of our loyal enthusiastic riders there may be hundreds of veterans in your area that could use some attention or encouragement.  Let’s Continue the Mission by letting them know that they are not forgotten.  Deliver a care package or make a visit if allowed.  How about your voice – let’s write letters to our congress folks to tell them where we want them to focus attention.  Your personal letter along with hundreds from the rest of our family will ensure they know we’re still here, even when they don’t hear our pipes.  There are also many war memorials all over the country, likely one in your area or at least nearby.  We can honor our fallen at those as well.  Finally, our service members around the world take no pause in defending our Freedom and supporting our interests in much less hospitable conditions than ours.  The USO and other service organizations are constantly seeking support to provide to our troops. 

So here’s my PMA challenge to everyone who considers themselves a part of the family:  Find your personal PMA and channel it in your own way to Continue the Mission.  The whole of our collective effort is much greater than the sum of each individual action.  So let’s hear your ideas, let’s see your actions and let’s celebrate your accomplishments!  Your sharing of all three will be contagious in a good way and we’ll see that the Family is strong and that our reach is still significant and effective.

This regrettable delay of RFTW XXXII for a  year may be upon initial assessment, a sad time in our history.  But with your collective effort and dedication to our Mission it can be turned to a phenomenal positive so that when we get together in May 2021, the gathering will be as much celebration as a reunion. 

I know there will be many details to attend as we contact our wonderful supporters to coordinate this development – we will get to that.  Your SandBox Route Leadership will be holding its first RFTW 2021 planning meeting next week, so we’ll have that covered as well.  My immediate concern is for you, my RFTW Family and to let you know that our focus has not failed and that YOU are the biggest part of our continued success.  The Mission depends on you and I know my Family will be even stronger after this challenge. 

Remember, all roads lead to all roads so no matter where you go, TOGETHER WE RIDE!

See you all in May 2021! (or Kerrville or Angel Fire or…)

WALL 2 WALL!

Bugs out!

RFTW XXXII Sand Box Route Coordinator



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RFTW SandBox RC Newsletter – MAR 2020 – PMA Edition

Howdy from Texas!

How are you feeling?  I’m doing great, my family is all well and most everyone I know is going about their daily routine with the usual caution against social illness.  All of us face challenges every day, some are small and some aren’t but the common thread to getting past them is belief that you will.  When we look across the room (or across the country) at the people in our extended RFTW family and know that they are facing similar challenges as us, then that relationship should foster a sense of understanding for our shared situation.  This large-scale challenge which is now classified as a “National Emergency” affects us all personally in much the same way.  On the Run, I always stress the need for PMA – a Positive Mental Attitude can be the foundation upon which a plan to meet those challenges may be developed. 

My fellow RC’s have published absolutely essential guidance about where to find good information about the precautions you should take against contagion.  I’d like to address the Mental and Emotional aspects of how we approach the issue. 

Everyone who is personally invested in this Mission is anxious to know how current events affect the Run planning and what the plan is in case of ___________.  Some folks actually talk to others about their concerns (phones still do voice calling, right?) and others take to Social Media (SM) to display their serious concerns.  In very many cases, the impersonal format of the SM Post emboldens people to post things that may stir emotional responses that may provoke even more emotional replies.  Please allow me to assure everyone that your Board of Directors and Route Coordinators are ALL personally devoted to the safe and successful execution of this Mission and are considering every course of action available to make that happen.  If you must make SM Posts, please find your personal PMA and keep in mind that whether you are addressing the Board of Directors or just throwing thoughts in the wind, a lot of people will see it.  The seed of emotion we sew will yield the harvest of enthusiasm that was planted.

Finally, please be patient and trust that those whom we have entrusted to prepare this 32nd annual RFTW Run for execution have its best interest in mind.  You may be confident that they bear the weight of its success and will do everything possible to make it the phenomenal event that we have all come to expect.  They also understand that you – the rider and the volunteer – are the heart of this Run.  For your part, please stay safe, stay well, stay positive, stay on course and stay prepared to Continue the Mission!

See you all in May!

WALL 2 WALL!

Bugs out!

RFTW XXXII Sand Box Route Coordinator
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RFTW SandBox RC Newsletter – JAN 2020 – New Year/New Route Edition

Howdy from Texas!

Now that we’re in the new year, we all more and more often hear and say, “Is it May yet?”  For RFTW Riders like me, hearing that phrase always invokes a sense of excitement for what lies ahead, and I instantly have thoughts of saddling up for a ride to Ontario!  For the past several years, those three days in Ontario have been filled with detailed briefings and serious preparation for the Run.  But the part of those three days that always stand out as memorable are the mini-reunions taking place at every curbside in the parking lot and in every hallway of the conference center.  I think back to my first PL year with the Looney Toons crew leading Southern Route’s 3rd Platoon – Bugs, Sidewinder, Roadrunner, Coyote and Chaps.  Next was leading 1st Platoon with COB, Hollywood, Idaho and Chaps again.  Then on to riding as ARC with Slacker and as RC with Captain America along with the outstanding leadership teams and riders that made it all happen.  Every one of those encounters and many more represent a family relationship that is a potential reunion in May.  Just today I wrote to a friend of mine that, “…the bonds of brotherhood remain stronger than the space and time between us.”  That is so true for our RFTW Family.  Remember that all roads lead to all roads and that regardless of where you are or when you ride, there is likely someone else you know out there riding too.  TOGETHER WE RIDE!

Service

What is service?  What does it mean to you?  Can one serve this country without being in uniform?  Ask the Navy wife who holding a small child while standing on the pier waving at the giant grey boat taking away her husband.  Ask the Husband who keeps the kids going to school every day, explaining to them at night why Mommy must be overseas with her Army unit.  Ask the RFTW Rider whose child has been in uniform overseas or that rider whose patriotic sense of duty leads them to this family to give something back.  Yes, those people serve – and thousands like them do so every day.  Service is more than an action when inspired from the heart.  For many of us, Service is a state of being or a fulfilling purpose when selflessly directed toward those whom we care about.  I am truly humbled to be counted among all the amazing people who Serve the great Mission of Run For The Wall.  Whether you wear sleeves and a colored hat, or you are an FNG riding in a platoon, there are times that each of us NEEDS to serve and there are those difficult times when we may need to BE served.  The wonderful thing about family is that either way, the Service continues, and we stand strong together. 

New Year / New Route

As I write this Newsletter, we are 114 days away from Kick Stands Up on the Inaugural Run of the SandBox Route.  Interest in participation with the SandBox Route has been very high and extremely positive.  The execution of our Mission over the years has cast a wide net of support as we seek to not only raise awareness for the travesty of those left behind overseas, but to support those who came home and the family and friends of those who didn’t.  The fact that the RTFW can focus that Mission through SandBox Route onto our recent era veterans and their family & friends with NO revision to its purpose speaks to the timelessness of its goals.  We need ALL our RFTW Family with a heart to support that mission involved in making it successful.  To that end, I have directed the RFTW Registrar to add all those currently on the Standby List to be added onto the SandBox Route.  If you have already requested and been granted entry onto the list, you should be receiving notification soon that your “Ride to” has been changed to Marseilles.  You’ll then be contacted by our Platoon Coordinator, Paul “G-Rex” Steigleder for your Platoon assignment.  The Standby List has been active for three months and will remain in place in case others want to sign up, but as of now the list is empty.  For instructions about getting on the next round of the Standby List, see the November 2019 SandBox RC Newsletter at this link:  SPECIAL REGISTRATION EDITION #3 – 08 NOV 2019

SandBox Route Patches

Some folks have been asking about the SandBox Route Tab patch.  You should see now that the Route patch is available at the RFTW store on line at rftw.us under the “Shop” tab.  It’s properly designed with the SandBox colors and will make a great addition to your vest or chaps.  There will also be an “All The Way” patch available in the trailer after we pull out of DC that will complement it nicely.  Also…  I have been working on a SandBox Route Inaugural Run commemorative patch that will be sold as a fundraiser for the Route.  The design is at the factory now and I expect the patches will go into production soon.  When the sample is available, it will be published, and we’ll start taking pre-orders.

Are you Ready?

I sincerely doubt any of us would answer “No” to that question, but let’s break it down to the basic issues that we all need to consider before getting on the road in May…

  • Mechanical Condition – Be sure your bike is in good condition for a 1000 (or more) mile ride.  Although our Route is planned at just over 800 miles, those of us who ride one of the legacy routes from Ontario may have put as much as 6000 miles on the bike before we even leave DC on May 24th.  Tires, oil change, and scheduled servicing may be available somewhere along the way but doing it during our short 3 days of the Run will take away valuable time you would otherwise have available for the Mission.
  • Physical Condition – The Run always includes long, hot, cold, dry, wet, misty, tiring, enjoyable days on the road.  Be sure that your mortal engine is ready for the long haul as well.  Some simple daily activity, exercise or walks will pay off well in keeping you awake, alert and safe on the road.  Our Hydration Support crew works very hard to ensure there will ALWAYS be water available for you to pick up between segments of the Route.  Some people start hydrating early so they get used to holding more water – your choice, but regardless of conditions, be prepared to drink a lot of water along the way! 
  • Mental Condition – I’ve written a lot in the past about PMA – Positive Mental Attitude.  Keeping that in mind, we all bring our own ideas and expectations for what the Run will mean to us and what we would like to get out of it.  Be positive, talk positive and share positive with others.  For me, this positively incredible event is a family reunion with a purpose and a Mission Statement of Healing, Accounting, Honor and Support and I ALWAYS have high expectations!

Final Comments

Congratulations to our Founder, GySgt James “Gunny” Gregory, USMC(Ret) on his selection to the South Carolina Biker Hall of Fame!  Gunny’s outstanding contributions and leadership for our biker and veteran communities are legendary and enduring.  Every time we put on that RFTW vest, we represent a Mission that was created to directly support the return of our missing service members and the well being of their families.  Gunny’s legacy will soon be enshrined in that Hall of Fame, but his Mission continues.  So, congratulations again to my Brother and Mentor, Gunny!  See you in Ontario!

WALL–2–WALL!

Bugs out!

Very best regards,
Billie “Bugs” Dunlap
SandBox Route Coordinator
Run For The Wall XXXII
bugs@rftw.us

RFTW XXXII Sand Box Route Coordinator
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RFTW SandBox RC Newsletter – DEC 2019

Merry Christmas from Texas!

The holiday season has swept in again and it’s been a great time to wrap up tasks and enjoy the accomplishments of another year of diligent planning for coming events.  Yes, I’m talking about May!  Your SandBox Leadership Team has been preparing for the coming year in anticipation of a great Run on all the Routes, but especially focused on our Inaugural SandBox Route from DC to Marseilles.  The motivated dedication of those leaders has never been more clearly demonstrated considering that very many of them are also involved in the planning and leadership of other routes leading into DC.  Big shout-out here to our ARC, Ken “Six String” Dugas (MR RC) and our RGC, Don “10-A-SEE” King (MR ARGC) for your phenomenal dedication to the RFTW Mission and the future success of our SandBox Route!

Registration

Registration has now settled down and the SandBox Route remains at maximum fill.  However, it’s more like a tide moving in and out than a steady sea state.  Along with our RFTW Registrar, John “Wicked” McKee, I have been closely monitoring registration numbers and using the StandBy List to immediately fill slots as they open.  Since the list was created early last month, we’ve been able to place 9 riders into the Route.  As of right now, there are only 8 riders waiting to be placed from the list.  With six months to go before KSU next May, I am confident that these folks will be placed into the Route as spots become available.  That largely depends on the honest and timely notification from SandBox Registered Riders who may unfortunately find that they will not be able to make the Run.  If you determine that you will not be able to make the Run, please contact the registrar at registration@rftw.us as soon as possible so that we may draw from the StandBy List to place riders in your open spot.  Keep in mind that a NO SHOW for the Run may mean that a StandBy Rider will be left standing when the Run departs.

For more information and instructions about getting on the Standby List, see the November 2019 SandBox RC Newsletter at this link:  SPECIAL REGISTRATION EDITION #3 – 08 NOV 2019

Route Planning

The 2020 SandBox Route is 99% complete thanks to the steadfast efforts of our Road Guard Captain, Don “10-A-SEE” King and our Pennsylvania State Coordinator, Tom “Kid” Schultz.  Here’s the rest of the story…  One of the most unpopular segments of the Recon Run was Hwy 30 through Pennsylvania.  That segment was selected due to the extra coordination that would have been necessary to take the group onto the Pennsylvania Turnpike along I-70.  Through exhaustive correspondence and coordination with the PA Turnpike Authority culminating in a face-to-face meeting to finalize the agreements just two weeks ago, 10-A-SEE and Kid have developed an approved plan to pass through the Turnpike with full support of the PA Turnpike Authority and PA State Police!  The details of the plan will be very explicitly briefed to our riders before making that passage due to the strict safety and administrative concerns for the operation.  But that doesn’t mean it will be difficult, just well defined.  It’s nothing that this awesome group of SandBox Riders can’t handle!

Team Leader Highlight – Dave “Double-D” Davies, Outreach Team Leader

Dave “Double-D” Davies is a Great American and Patriotic Rider from Oakland, California.  He has made 4 ATW Runs with the Southern Route and most recently served on my SR Leadership Support Team as FNG Liaison and Admin Assistant on RFTW XXXI.  Double-D became involved in Military Veterans causes after the loss of a close friend to combat action in Iraq in 2003.  Since then, he has maintained a close supportive relationship with that friend’s family.  Since then, he has chaired a committee that hosts a Military Fund Raising Event which over the past 13 years of his leadership has raised over $350,000.  He also maintains a very strong supporting relationship with the Gold Star Foundation in northern California.  When I speak of a Middle East Conflict Affected Person, you should picture Dave Davies.  On the SandBox Route this year, Dave will lead an Outreach Team of three who are already contacting Gold Star and Veterans Groups to coordinate their attendance and participation at our stops along the way.  Dave’s selfless dedication to the RFTW Mission, the riders and the people we contact along the way exemplifies the motto of Mission > Self.  Look for Dave and his team wearing Green Hats on the SandBox Route and let them know you appreciate them.

Hotel List Publication

The SandBox Route Hotel List is nearly complete and will be published along with all the other Routes on 01 JAN 2020.  It has been reported that some folks are already trying to claim an RFTW rate ahead of the hotel list release and are experiencing resistance – those rates don’t go into effect until after the List is released.  Keep in mind that whatever the circumstance, if you invoke the RFTW name, then you are representing the organization in some form – please be a good representative.  Our continued participation at some excellent hotel properties and even our passage through some municipal areas can be drastically altered by the harmful actions of just one person – please don’t be that person.

Itinerary Book

New for 2020, the SandBox Route will have an Itinerary Book published with useful information about schedules, routes, contacts and points of interest for the Route.  It will be published in early Spring at the same time as the other Routes publish.  However, since the route selection is new for SandBox this year, I will publish the actual Route and Timing cards early next year so that our Riders can get a look at the path we’ll be taking.

Platoon Make-up and Assignments

If you are a Platoon Rider, you’ve likely already received a contact from Paul “G-Rex” Steigleder, our Platoon Coordinator.  We’ll be running 7 platoons on this inaugural run as you may have noted on the SandBox Route Contact List.  There, you can also view the Platoon Leadership assignments.  Please reply to G-Rex with your preference for Platoon Assignment if you have one.  We’re working toward pre-coordinating Platoon assignments and other administrative aspects of the Route as best we can to mitigate time constraints after we arrive in DC prior to departure.

Final Comments

The Christmas and New Year holidays almost always provide opportunity for a joyous time spent with family and friends.  Almost always…  As we all know, the Middle East Conflicts continue and many of our best and brightest are standing the watch, every day and every hour.  As you give thanks for the many blessings we enjoy in this great nation, please remember to also give thanks for the service member who is sacrificing time with family to stand that watch.

Merry Christmas Gonzo!

WALL–2–WALL!

Bugs out!

Very best regards,
Billie “Bugs” Dunlap
SandBox Route Coordinator
Run For The Wall XXXII
bugs@rftw.us

RFTW XXXII Sand Box Route Coordinator