The e-mail registration period closed Sunday night with new riders added to the SandBox Route.
The Open Registration Period will begin tonight at 7:00pm (Central Time) sharp and will close when the target number of additional riders is reached.
Leading into tonight’s registration period, following are a few notes and instructions. Please read carefully to help make your registration successful…
1. Tonight’s Registration Period is intended only for those who are NOT already registered for the SandBox Route into Marseilles. If you already registered for the SandBox Route with a “Ride-To” of Marseilles, Illinois, then you are good to go with no further action required. To confirm you are registered, review your registration confirmation e-mail under the “Ride-to” section and look for “Marseilles – MUST Pay Now”. If it says anything else, you are NOT registered for SandBox Route.
2. VERY IMPORTANT: This Registration Period is intended FOR PLATOON RIDERS ONLY. If you are currently assigned to a Leadership Team but have not yet registered, contact your Team Leader for instructions on how to register using a separate process. Registering tonight as a Platoon Rider will remove you from Leadership Teams.
3. REGISTRATION PROCESS: The “SandBox Route” will not be a listed Route Option. You should register for your preference of the original three routes with a “Ride-to” of Marseilles. If you plan to ride only the SandBox Route portion from DC to Marseilles, still select one of the original three routes for registration with a “Sign-in” of Washington and a “Ride-to” of Marseilles.
With the current level of interest in SandBox registration, I expect the remaining available slots will fill up quickly. Your attention to detail to ensure you have filled out all the required information and made the correct selections on the first attempt for registration tonight will increase your chances of successfully registering onto the SandBox Route.
Once again, thank you for your patience and for helping make this inaugural SandBox Route a great success!
Very best regards,
Billie “Bugs” Dunlap
SandBox Route Coordinator
Run For The Wall XXXII
Detailed planning for SandBox Route #1 is well underway and the pieces are coming together. As I mentioned on the last newsletter, I intend to open registration again for a limited run and I believe that we are now ready to do so. There remains a great deal of interest from folks who were unable to register, and we will do our best to make this registration period as fair as possible. With that in mind, there will be two paths to registration as described below.
UPDATE NOTE: This 2nd Registration Period is intended only for those who are NOT already registered for the SandBox Route into Marseilles. If you already registered for the SandBox Route with a “Ride-To” of Marseilles, Illinois, then you are good to go with no further action required. To confirm you are registered, review your registration confirmation e-mail under the “Ride-to” section and look for “Marseilles – MUST Pay Now”. If it says anything else, you are NOT registered for SandBox Route.
PLEASE NOTE: THESE PROCESSES ARE FOR PLATOON RIDERS ONLY. If you are currently assigned to a Leadership Team but have not yet registered, contact your Team Leader for registration instructions.
For those already registered for Central, Southern or Midway Routes with a “Ride-to” into DC AND have already paid as of 21 OCT 2019:
Compose an e-mail with the Subject Line: “SandBox 2nd Registration”
In the e-mail, please provide the following:
Registration Date (the date on which you registered on line)
Confirm that you are a Motorcycle/Trike/CanAm Rider (not a passenger)
Confirm that you are registered into DC.
Confirm that you have already pre-paid your registration
Send the message to SB-Registration@rftw.us
Message must be received by midnight central time on 03 NOV 2019 to be considered.
Applicants who meet the criteria above will be manually registered onto SandBox Route in the order in which the messages were received.
Only those registered as of 21 OCT 2019 AND that have already paid for registration are eligible to apply for this registration method.
Both these items will be confirmed on RFTW registration rolls prior to extending your registration onto SandBox.
If you have a Motorcycle Passenger registered to ride with you, please note their name in the message and their registration will be adjusted with yours.
Please also note that meeting the criteria noted above does not guarantee SandBox Route registration if the available spots are filled before your message is received.
For those currently not registered for any Route or who have not paid for their registration:
Open registration will commence precisely at 7:00 pm Central Time on Tuesday evening, 05 NOVEMBER 2019.
This registration will be via the normal online registration at rftw.us
Registration will once again close as soon as the number of available spots has been filled
Note: The number of spots is based only on the number of registered bikes. Motorcycle Passengers registering will not count against the number of available spots.
These are two separate groups of open spots, so filling the first one will not eat into the second one.
Please follow the instructions carefully or your application may be missed.
Thank you for your patience and for helping make this inaugural SandBox Route a great success!
Very best regards,
Billie “Bugs” Dunlap
SandBox Route Coordinator
Run For The Wall XXXII
The SandBox Route is alive and moving forward! Following the resignation of Marcell “Senior” Miller, the RFTW Board of Directors has confirmed me as your SandBox Route Coordinator. Before proceeding here, I would like to express sincere gratitude to Senior and the SandBox Leadership team that planned and conducted the Recon Route and have gotten us to this point. Although there has been some flux in the path, I am very positive about where the SandBox Route is going and how we’re going to get there. With this newsletter, I intend to provide insight to where we are and what to expect as we proceed towards May.
Every new RC takes a critical look at how the last Route was organized and executed with an eye toward improved efficiency and effectiveness. For the SandBox Route, that means converting the experiences from the limited execution of the Recon to a full up Route intended to provide safe and successful passage for our riders. With the lessons learned from the Recon and the valuable experience of many that have made the other Routes so successful, we are moving forward to grow the SandBox Route at a sustainable pace without overwhelming our benefactors along the way during our first Run next May. Here I will address some topics about which many have been asking…
The Mission & The Objective
The fourfold Mission of Run For The Wall is the same for all four routes. As RC for the SandBox Route, I embrace that Mission and will work toward the execution of its tenants every day leading up to and throughout the Run itself. However, the SandBox Route also embraces a unique specified objective to reach out for and show support to our Middle East Conflict era veterans by developing and promoting a path to healing. Over the past 31 years RFTW has enjoyed great success on this Mission of support for Veterans and Families from all services and conflicts. Although the objective is clear, it is essential that we include ALL era veterans and supporters on the SandBox Route as we endeavor to pass the torch of service and support to those who will ultimately lead this entire Mission into the future. For that is also an objective of all the Routes – plan for and follow a path that will Continue the Mission beyond that time which those of us here now can see.
Growth of the Route
RFTW XXXI had the largest number of people ever registered for all three of the CA to DC routes. Some were concerned that our supporters would be overly burdened by those numbers, but would still do whatever was needed to provide for the Mission. Our supporters on the SandBox Recon got a taste of the task ahead with a small group and did a great job ensuring the Riders were given the provisions necessary to continue. Now it is time to grow, but we must do it in a way that ensures sustainable progress and a positive development toward the objective of reaching and supporting more of our recent era veterans. To support that future growth, the SandBox Route must not explode onto the scene with an overwhelming legion of riders. There is great interest and expectation for this Route and a great number of people wish to be a part of it. Unfortunately, just like on Recon we will not be able to bring along everyone who wants to participate this year. Please understand that none of us wants to keep anyone away – we ask that you keep in mind the Mission and the Objective and do what you can to support the long term success of both in whatever way you are able.
Recurring themes across the After Action Reports (AAR’s) from the Recon Route included issues concerning condition of the roadway, fuel stop pump availability, and restroom availability. There were other important issues, but these three are directly addressed by Route and Stop selection. Over this past weekend, our Road Guard Captain, Don “10-A-See” King rode from DC to Marseilles, Illinois in search of a more suitable route and fuel/rest stops with the capacity to accommodate our passage. His preliminary report is that the trip was a great success as he also met with many of our State Coordinators along the way to solidify expectations for further support and coordination. I look forward to receiving his full report very soon as we continue to plan the route ahead.
As many of you have already seen, Registration for the SandBox Route is closed having reached current available capacity as noted above. As our Route and Supporter capacity becomes firm, we may be able to open registration for a limited number of additional riders. Should that happen, an announcement will be made well in advance with a specified date and time for registration opening and it will close again after the new capacity is reached.
Also, I have been contacted by several people who mentioned that they were registered for SandBox who are not showing on the list. Please review your confirmation e-mail under the “Ride-to” section and look for “Marseilles – MUST Pay Now”. If it says anything else, you are not registered for SandBox Route.
Our RFTW Family is made up of the most caring and patriotic people you could possibly imagine. Your continuing dedication to the Mission has been unwavering for over 31 years and has only grown stronger since the start. Your acceptance and support for the addition of the SandBox Route proves that the Mission is timeless, and that we are preparing a path to long term continued success. I can’t tell you how many people have told me they will serve in whatever capacity they are needed. As we work toward a sustainable incremental growth of this new Route, the service needed from many people will be that of enthusiastic supporter. Ray “Ghost Rider” Wyatt’s Southern Route RC motto from 2017 is particularly fitting here: “Mission > Self”. In whatever capacity you serve the Mission, you will be part of it, and we need the entire Family to come together if we are to successfully reach and support the people who need it the most.
I wanted to take a moment and attempt to bring a bit of clarity to the process that Sandbox will follow regarding matters of rider registration, walk-up registrations and rider platoon assignments. I know that many of you have questions as to when registration for Sandbox will open and how it will be handled. So I want to make sure that you are getting information that is accurate and from the horses’ mouth (as they say).
On the matter of Rider Registration. The rumors that you may have heard that Sandbox will be a “capped” route are true. During the Recon of Sandbox we uncovered aspects of the route that we determined will need an additional year or two to develop before we can take large numbers of bikes. Building out a new route requires us to balance many different issues. Things such as rider safety, our impact on the communities that we visit, the capability of the organizations hosting us and the safety of the general public are all of paramount concern in this process. As such, we decided to take a measured growth approach to this.
We have decided to open registration for Sandbox at some point after October 1, 2019. The precise date will be based on many factors that are at play. Rest assured that we will give everyone ample lead time to prepare for this. Once registration, for open riders (non-leadership or otherwise designated riders), starts it will be on a first-come-first served basis. So pay attention to start dates and times as slots will fill fast.
On the subject of walk-up registration and registration payment. Sandbox Route will be a pre-registered/pre-paid only route. No registration payments will be accepted in person. Payment may only be made at the time of online registration. Verification of pre-registration documents and payment will be made at our scheduled overnight stops only. Joining the route during the day will not be permitted.
On the matter of platoon assignments. Sandbox will be using a system that differs from the other three (3) routes for this process. Once you register for Sandbox your information will be sent to the Platoon Coordinator (Chief of Platoons). This person will, soon thereafter, assign you to a platoon based on the information gathered in your registration submission. Things such as years on RFTW, preferred formation riding style, size of the platoons and other parameters will be used in this decision. Once the decision has been made (which platoon to assign you to) there will be a notification sent to you with this and other information. Soon thereafter you will be contacted by the Platoon Leader of the platoon that you are now a part of. Your platoon leader will be your point of contact throughout the year. You can expect your platoon leader to hold regularly scheduled teleconference meetings as we progress to May, 2020.
Lastly, we have filled the previously open State Coordinator positions in West Virginia and Illinois. However we are still seeking candidates in Maryland and Virginia as well as Assistant State Coordinators in all of our traveled states.
Hello All RFTW Family, Friends and Future RFTW Riders,
Sandbox Recon 2019 is officially in the books and the page has been turned to Sandbox Route 2020. Much was learned from the Recon and all will be applied, from those learned experiences, in 2020 and beyond. So where are we now and what is going on with Sandbox at this time?
It is my distinct honor to have been re-confirmed by the RFTW Board of Directors to once again lead the Sandbox Mission. I am proud to serve the leadership team that will lead the Sandbox riders. I consider my service to this team, the riders and the RFTW mission to be one of the most impactful experiences of my life. I approach all aspects of my duty keeping in mind the potential impact that this mission will have on others.. I have been fortunate to have ridden on three of the four routes on RFTW. My previous positions have included Road Guard, Medic and Route Coordinator. Each of these positions have given me specific insights into the mission and how it all comes together. I cherish these experiences and I look forward to making sure that your RFTW experience is just as memorable for you.
The leadership of Sandbox is currently being formed. Those team leaders, that have been selected, to this point, are beginning the process of working through the much talked about Sandbox Volunteer Sign-up Database for potential candidates to fill the numerous leadership positions that I have directed for 2020. If you are interested in applying for leadership (in 2020) and have not already signed up…..I urge you to do so without delay. I have instructed all of our staff to utilize this sign-up database as their first place to pull candidates from. I will tell you that we are actively seeking out candidates that have a background in writing, media relations and journalism. As well as former military drill instructors, Honor Guard members or similar civilian backgrounds. Lastly, we are looking for potential State Coordinators in the states of Illinois, West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia and Assistants for all the States we travel in. If you or someone you know might have these backgrounds or experiences …we would love to hear from you.
Sandbox is unique in that it not only begins after the other routes have completed their missions in D.C., but it is currently made up of leadership persons from all of the cross country routes. As new riders are brought into the RFTW family and they join Sandbox from D.C., the (Sandbox) ranks of leadership will begin to be filled with riders that have never been on the mission from CA to DC. This is something that will have its growing pains as we all get used to this new dynamic. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing the impact the current generation of veterans and patriots has upon Sandbox and the RFTW mission.
One of the major reasons for building and ultimately deploying Sandbox was to further grow the RFTW family with riders that represent the current era of conflicts. In keeping with this, it was decided, from the onset, to direct this mission to the Middle East Conflicts Wall (MECW) in Illinois. From the Vietnam Memorial Wall to the Middle East Conflicts Wall……Wall 2 Wall! It was further decided to shorten the duration of the mission from the ten (10) plus days that we dedicate to our CA to DC missions. The reason for this was so that younger riders could participate in a mission from beginning to end without significant impact to their jobs, military service or other careers.
We hope that these designs will invite riders to join the Sandbox mission. The interest and excitement that we have heard thus far has been tremendous and we expect for 2020 to be an amazing mission. A mission that sees a significant number of FNG’s that start their RFTW experiences in D.C. Just the thought of this is pretty special.
In the coming weeks and months I will be making regular announcements on the progress of the route. You can also expect regular, more frequent, information to be passed down through our PAO on the Sandbox social media platforms as well as occasional pieces on the RFTW Forums. Things such as job postings, route information, auctions, etc. will be communicated through these mediums.
I look forward to seeing many of you on Sandbox and I thank you all in advance for your support of this mission and the future riders of RFTW. The Post-Nam era now has their Wall and because of the Vietnam Veterans they too have a mission that they can be emotionally connected to. This bridging of the two generations will ensure the story of the Vietnam Veterans and their Wall will continue to be honorably told for generations to come.
Well May is finally upon us. So…Is it May yet?! YES IT IS!
This letter will likely find many of you already on the road heading toward the west coast and ultimately into Ontario to begin the 31st annual Run For The Wall mission. I know that you all have prepared for many weeks and in some cases all year long for aspects of this mission. Preparations like motorcycle maintenance, logistical planning, financial planning and even (especially) your personal health maintenance. All a part of our ongoing commitment to to call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action (POW/MIA), to honor the memory of those Killed in Action (KIA) from all wars, and to support our military personnel all over the world.
I would like to give you an update on the status of the Sandbox Recon before we all meet up in Ontario;
– As of this writing we have a complete routing for the recon. This route has been published on the Sandbox Hub and is available for viewing. https://rftw.us/sandbox-route-hub/
– Please Visit our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RFTWSandbox/
– We have been graciously invited to breakfast, lunch and dinner at each of our planned stops along the route. I have been told by these locations to be prepared for some amazing food and huge welcome’s!
– The vast majority of law enforcement jurisdictions that we will cross have promised to either escort us through or aid us in one way or another. Our Road Guard Captain and his staff have been in communication with these agencies and they have begun to establish lines of communication and relationships.
– Our commissioning ceremony, in Ontario, is in the final stages of preparation and it looks like it will be an amazing event that will truly mark the beginning of Sandbox. Please invite your friends and family to this event as it is open to the public. It will be held following the the ALL ROUTES Safety Briefing in the parking lot next to the host hotel on Tuesday at 1700 (5pm local).
– Sandbox has begun multiple fundraising efforts that will help us to support the activities of the route this year and into the future. The other routes have agreed to assist us in this effort by auctioning some of our Limited Edition Sandbox Route patches during their LA to DC missions. Mary “Cupcake” Pittman McElroy (Mary.email@example.com) is also handling the raffle and auction activities during the recon. She has posted information about this on the Sandbox Facebook groups. FYI she is looking for items that anyone might want to donate for these activities. Please contact her so that the logistics can be arranged.
– We have also set and internally published the Sandbox specific schedules for Ontario and Arlington.
As we are all heading out towards Ontario I would like to wish you all safe travels and Godspeed. I am very much looking forward to us all officially meeting for the first time (in person) as one collective unit that will forever be known as the Sandbox Recon.
I would like to take this opportunity to officially introduce you all to the newly formed Sandbox Route!
It is my true honor to be appointed by the Run For the Wall (RFTW) Board of Directors as the 2019 Sandbox Recon Route Coordinator. I am privileged to be given the awesome responsibility of leading an incredible group of RFTW Leadership personnel, with countless years of experience, on this mission.
This recon will cover states, interstates, roads and towns that have not yet been exposed to the RFTW mission. This is an opportunity for us to further the mission and grow our family, and to make more people aware of the POW/MIA issues that we, as an entire RFTW family are so invested in. We will help in the healing of veterans, including those currently serving and those families of our heroes Killed in Action. We will also establish relationships with individuals, organizations and political bodies that will soon learn about how we ride and why we ride. We ride with Heart and We Ride for Those Who Can’t!
Efforts have already begun to introduce the communities we will see and visit to the RFTW mission. We will continue in this effort up to, and until departure from Arlington, VA. Our staff of dedicated volunteers has been hard at work contacting members of all of these communities. Calls are being made to each area that we will touch and press releases will be published for each community we intend to visit or pass through.
It has been the vision of the Sandbox Route’s Route Architect, Mary “Cupcake” Pittman-McElroy, that this particular route make a spirited effort to grow the RFTW family. Further opening the RFTW arms to active military, veterans and civilians of eras that came after Vietnam was always a vital aspect of this route’s design. To bring Vietnam era veterans together with their comrades-in-arms from today’s generation is vital in the success of this mission and it was a focal point in the planning and development of this route. Wall 2 Wall!
Sandbox Route will visit the Flight 93 Memorial in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania and visit towns, and cities in between, on its path to the Middle East Conflicts Wall in Marseilles, Illinois. This wall has almost 8,000 names of heroes that have been lost in our nation’s conflicts in the Middle East since 1967. Unfortunately, names are continuing to be added to this memorial each year.
Our team of riders are incredibly motivated to undertake this mission. We know that we will be the face of the RFTW family in this endeavor and we intend to make you all proud. We have tirelessly planned this mission, and we intend to leave no stone unturned in this recon mission.
I want to thank everyone involved in this process. I also want to thank the countless people that have offered their support and prayers to us as we move forward. These sentiments have given us the fuel to press on. Thank you all!
I anticipate that all of you have many questions and comments. I also anticipate that many of you would like to join us on this mission. Due to the “recon nature” of this mission in 2019 we will not be taking members of the RFTW family beyond our team’s complement this year. I do encourage you to consider joining us in 2020. We have established a volunteer link that you can use to supply your information, if you would like to submit your name for 2020 (Leadership).
Thank you all once again for your support!
Wall 2 Wall!
Sandbox Recon Route