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Ian “Whiskey Chaser” Hargest

Name: Ian R. Hargest
Road Name: Whiskey Chaser
FNG Year: 2016
How many All the Way: Central Route, All The Way, 2016, 2018, 2019

What is your favorite Run for the Wall memory?
My dad, who was my inspiration for all I do to support our service-members and Veterans.  I visited with him in 2016 after my FNG run.  The looks on his face as I shared the multitude of experiences, both with the public and fellow Riders, I had while on The Run.  Learning later, after he passed in late 2017, that he’d worn something that I’d gotten for him from The Run nearly every day.

Positions held as a volunteer on the Run? Rider, Tail Gunner
Military Background if any or relationships with Military: Father, Uncles, friends
Gold Star or Blue Star family member? No
What got you to do the RFTW the first time?
I moved from VA to NV and had no way to get back to DC to continue paying my respects
What brought you back?
RFTW is family.  The Mission.  Being able to help our servicemembers, veterans and their families heal in any way that I can.
Have you participated in Rolling Thunder?
Yes, in previous years, both before and after joining RFTW.
Are you planning on Rolling to Remember (AMVETS Replacement for Rolling Thunder)?
No

Brief Synopsis of “WHY YOU RIDE”

  • I ride in RFTW to support our service-members, veterans and their families.  I get much more from the ride than I give, which is not insignificant.  I enjoy the opportunities to help those for whom we ride.  On the ride home, as with the rest of the year, I enjoy being an unofficial RFTW ambassador with those members of the public who express interest in the organization and its mission.
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WHY I RIDE

In case no-one noticed, we have started up a “Why I Ride” page on the rftw.us website. This is a totally voluntary thing to participate in. We would love to hear your story and publish it on our website, Facebook page and groups and our Twitter account. If you are interested please email communications@rftw.us I will send you a brief questionnaire and have you fill it out and send it back. I will then take a look and clean up any formatting or other issues and send you a link to the final product before actually posting. THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR INPUT. Please send a couple of photos as well.

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Midway Route Coordinator – Newsletter – January update #3

Greetings RFTW Midway Family!

I am pleased to announce the completion of our Midway Itinerary book for 2020.  It is now posted on our RFTW.US website under the Midway Hub. I would like to thank our State Coordinators, ARC,  Road Guard Captain and Connie Williams for their assistance with this important planning and project.  I would encourage you all to check it out.  The new website looks fantastic! As a Road Guard and Road Guard Captain, I have always focused on the safety of our pack and defined the success of our mission by our representation of our mission and getting everyone to Washington DC safely. As Route Coordinator, I continue to focus on the safety of our riders and success for our mission. This year, I have put together a safety briefing for Midway and have added it to our itinerary book. Please read and understand it. My goal is to make sure that everyone receives a consistent and thorough understanding of our safety guidelines and procedures no matter where or when they join us!

I have received several complements about the hotel registrations.  Our hotel coordinator, Jerry Wilkins, worked very hard on this and I am glad to hear most people are having good experiences with making their hotel reservations.  If you have not made your reservations, the hotel list is also posted on the Website under Midway Hub.  I encourage you to make your reservations ASAP.

Speaking of hotels, I would like to let you know that our $1000 hotel raffle fund raiser has covered the cost of the prize.  We are now in the profit stage so all money received from this point on will go to pay for our Midway fuel.   Except for Ontario and Arlington, this fundraiser should pay for your hotels across the country!  Wouldn’t it be nice to have your hotel costs covered?  The cost per ticket is $10.00 or you can purchase 10 tickets for $50.00!  If you purchase $100.00 worth, you will get 25 tickets.    If you purchase 10 tickets or more before the end of February, you will receive 2 extra tickets (per 10) for free.  The tickets will be capped at 30 per person.  I ask that you support this if you are able.  The raffle tickets will be given to you in Ontario and the drawing will be in Hopewell, VA.  If you would like to purchase the Hotel raffle tickets, please make check out to RFTW and send to:

Ken Dugas

9849 Loblolly Pines Lane

Denham Springs, La. 70726

You may also electronically send the money through Zelle.  Use my phone 225-405-2735.  Please send me an email at ken.dugas@rftw.us to let me know if you are sending money.

Fundraising is so important for our mission.  I want to thank everyone who is working on fundraising and all of you who support their efforts!  I would like to share another example of what people do for our Mission.  Bob “Captain” Mazzone is Southern route’s RGC.  He has made beautiful stained-glass tributes to RFTW for each route.  These works of art will be raffled off and the proceeds will be going to support the schools that support our mission.  Thank you Captain for sharing your talents and generosity with us!  Tickets for this will be sold out of the merchandise trailer beginning in Ontario.

Our Camping Coordinator position has been filled.  Welcome Darlene “Rachel” Taylor to the leadership team.  Thank you for volunteering to serve in this capacity for our mission.

I have begun the dreadful task of exercising! Lol!  Unfortunately, I am not in my best shape but will be working on that.. May will be here before you know it.  I encourage you all to take care of yourself and make sure you and your bike are in good shape for this mission.    The journey is much easier and enjoyable when you are in good shape.

Pre-registration for Midway is now over 220 bikes.  Please register if you have not done so.  Pre-registration helps us plan and be better prepared.

If you are a team leader, please make sure that you are checking the leadership list on the Midway Hub on RFTW.US.  Make sure your list is accurate and notify me if any changes or additions need to be made. 

Have I told you lately…………….. I love my RFTW Midway Family!  😊

Honor, Hope & Healing

Respectfully,

Ken “Six String” Dugas
Midway RC

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20th Anniversary Southern Route T-Shirts

Southern Route is pleased to announce pre-orders for the 20th ANNIVERSARY SOUTHERN ROUTE T-SHIRT.
✏️📚✂️All proceeds go to the SR Education Fund ✏️📚✂️

It’s easy to order:
Print the Order Form
Fill out name, shirt sizes and where you will pick up your shirt
Write a check made out to Run for the Wall, Inc. REMEMBER to write on the memo line, SR 20th Anniversary shirt
Mail to Bob Nelson
Your shirt will be waiting for you in Ontario or in whichever city you will be joining the run.

Captain America would like all southern route riders in maroon shirts for the group photo at the Lincoln Memorial.
🏍💚🏍💚🏍ORDER YOURS TODAY! 🏍💚🏍💚

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Midway Route Coordinator – Newsletter – January -2020 update

Happy New Year Midway!

I have an important update concerning the Holiday Inn in Albuquerque. The hotel has been bought by Best Western. The phone number is correct and remains the same. However, If you made reservations using your IGH points, your reservation has been cancelled! You should have received an email. However, I want to know that everyone is aware of this change. You need to contact the hotel to give them a credit card and reserve your room again. If you did not use IGH points for your reservation, you are good to go.

I also want to notify everyone who wants to participate in our Midway Hotel raffle that the raffle tickets will be limited at $100.00. If you would like to donate more for fuel that is fine but the raffle tickets will be capped. This is because we have had people donate up to $5,000 and we cannot give raffle tickets for every donation. A limit on the tickets will give everyone a chance at having fair odds of winning.

The route has been finalized, the hotel lists are published and work is continuing behind the scenes. We are on track with our preparations and are looking forward to a great 2020 RFTW.

Wishing you all a Blessed and Happy 2020!

Ken “Six String” Dugas
Midway Route Coordinator

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Midway Route Coordinator – Newsletter – January – 2020

Happy New Year RFTW Midway!

I decided to send out my January Newsletter a few days early to give everyone an update on the hotel list situation. The hotel lists for all routes will be released and published on the RFTW.US website at 0800 pst (California time) on January 1, 2020. We all know that the hotels will be slammed with phone calls for reservations. We have a limited number of rooms available to us on the RFTW block of rooms. Please be patient with the hotels and be polite. Remember, it is “Mission before self”! You are representing RFTW. Please be good ambassadors for our mission. If there are no rooms available in the RFTW block, you may want to try to get one on your own. Our hotel coordinator did a great job trying to increase the number of rooms blocked for us where he could. Except for Flagstaff, all the hotels are close to each other.
Speaking of hotels, I would like to announce my last personal fundraising effort to help pay for fuel for our Midway route. This is something I think everyone will like and I hope will participate and support. Many people want to donate to RFTW. This is a way that you can do that and get something in return. Except for Ontario and Arlington, this fundraiser will pay for your hotels across the country! The estimate for the hotel cost came out to be approximately $1,000.00, so the prize for this raffle will be $1,000.00! Wouldn’t it be nice to have your hotel costs covered? The cost per ticket is $10.00 or you can purchase 10 tickets for $50.00! If you purchase $100.00 worth, you will get 25 tickets. All money made from this raffle will be returned to our riders in fuel! If you purchase 10 tickets or more before the end of February, you will receive 2 extra tickets (per 10) for free. I ask that you support this if you are able. The raffle tickets will be given to you in Ontario and the drawing will be in Hopewell, VA.
Our State Coordinators and our Promotion Team continue to work on donations and fundraising. We also have others on the route working on fundraising and donations. I really appreciate everyone’s efforts! I want to have all the fuel for our route donated or prepaid for our riders. It makes our fuel stops very efficient and is nice for our riders.
So far, our Stafford Air & Space Museum patch has not been very successful. We have only sold 24 patches. If you would like to purchase a patch ($25/ea) or would like to purchase the Hotel raffle tickets, please make check out to RFTW and send to:
Ken Dugas
9849 Loblolly Pines Lane
Denham Springs, La. 70726
You may also electronically send the money through Zelle. Use my phone 225-405-2735. Please send me an email at ken.dugas@rftw.us to let me know if you are sending money.

We have finalized our Midway route. This week, we had video meetings to review maps of all our stops. Our Road Guard Captain, ARGC and Advanced Team leader are doing a fantastic job for us. I cannot adequately express my appreciation to them for all their hard work! Ray “Cornman” is doing a great job as ARC and I appreciate the work he is doing with our State Coordinators. It truly takes a team to make this mission a success. I may be biased but I think I am surrounded by the best team in the history of RFTW! 😊

I am looking for a volunteer to be our camping coordinator. We have the camping sites lined up. This person will make themselves available to assist the campers on our route. Please let me know if you would be interested in this position.

As we approach this new year, many of us make new year’s resolutions. Some good ones would be to get in shape and work on your riding skills. This journey across the country can take a toll on you. Prepare yourself to have a safe, fun and rewarding trip. It is a privilege to be a part of this great RFTW mission. Let’s all do our part to make it a great 2020 Run.

We are better when we work together!

If you are a team leader, please make sure that you are checking the leadership list on the Midway Hub on RFTW.US. Make sure your list is accurate and notify me if any changes or additions need to be made. I am asking for your help in keeping this list accurate and up to date.

I wish you all a blessed and Happy New Year.

Have I told you lately…………….. I love my RFTW Midway Family! 😊

Honor, Hope & Healing
Respectfully,
Ken “Six String” Dugas
Midway RC

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Southern Route Coordinator News – December 2019 2nd Edition

Just a Quick Note

Season’s Greetings from snowy Northern Nevada.  As we approach year’s end, there are a few things that I would like you to know.  First, our Southern Route leadership team has pledged itself to give every task their best effort.  But it takes everyone’s cooperation to make it all work.  Our State Coordinators work hard to cultivate relationships with the hotels and motels at our overnight stays to get us the best deals they can.  But sometimes all it takes is one phone call from a rider being rude to ruin that.   The hotels cannot make you reservation until January 1st.  There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of bad behavior.  FYI, I have been told that the reservation desk for the Ontario hotels will not be manned until January 2nd.     I am asking you to Please be patient and show consideration.  Many of these places have small staffs and can be overwhelmed by the volume of calls.

The 20th Anniversary Commemorative patches are flying off the shelf.  We have only a shade over 100 patches left.   Due to the success of the patches, we are planning a 20th Anniversary T-Shirt.  The special design has just been approved.   They will be sold by pre-order only.  Watch for details coming soon.

Speaking of T-shirts, the RFTW Online Merchandise Store has several NEW & STYLISH 2020 Run For The Wall, T-shirts, pins, patches and more.  Please check it out.

From my Family to Yours, We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Safe and Happy New Year.

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Midway Route Coordinator – News -December- 2019

Season’s greetings RFTW family,

My December update brings exciting news. I am pleased to announce that we will be adding a parade ride through Tucumcari, New Mexico! Mayor Ruth Litchfield and the town are very excited about supporting our mission and welcoming us. I always find it exciting to ride on historic Route 66 and I am happy that we will be able to do this and give this opportunity to those who have not had this experience. Mayor Ruth tells us that we will have excellent LEO support and the citizens will be on the streets showing support for our mission. The Mayor is also working on getting a fuel stop donated for us. I hope she is successful with the donation. It is very gratifying to see the positive affect our mission has had in the area. Mayor Ruth actually approached us asking us to come to her town! This would never happen if we did not ride with respect, show appreciation to our supporters, work professionally with LEOs and represent our mission well. I thank all our riders and leadership teams for this! I am very proud to be a part of the Midway team.
Midway’s hotel list is complete and has been submitted to the BOD. I thank Jerry Wilkins for all his hard work on getting the hotel contracts done for us. The hotel list should be published Jan. 1, 2020.

With that said, I must address a negative issue. It has been brought to my attention that some people have been contacting the hotels trying to make reservations. When the hotels let them know that they cannot make reservations at this time under RFTW, some have been treated very rudely and disrespectful. Please remember that the hotels are doing what they have been instructed. This type of rude and disrespectful behavior is not the culture of RFTW Midway route and will not be tolerated! Remember that all of you associated with RFTW represent RFTW and need to be good ambassadors for our mission. It is a professional and respectful representation of our mission that allows good things, such as Tucumcari, to happen for our mission. Be forewarned, anyone treating people rudely or disrespectfully while representing RFTW will be given their registration money back and not be allowed on the Midway route. Bad behavior causes harm to our mission! We must be “Mission above self”.
The route cards will be given a final review this week as we are getting ready to send our route information out for publishing and printing. Once the route cards are finalized, we will review and update the Itinerary. May will be here before we know it!

I would like to add a leadership position to Midway for 2020. A major part of our mission is to support our veterans and aid in their healing. We all know that RFTW is an emotional “roller coaster ride”. It has its ups and downs and I am so proud to see the support the Midway family gives to those in need. With that said, I want to address a personal issue for some. I know that RFTW can be a very tough time and may create extra challenges for those who struggle with alcohol use. I feel these people need extra support to help them if they struggle. I am looking for a “Friends of Bill” coordinator. This person would make sure that he knows when and where there are AA meetings scheduled along our route for those who use AA. People come to this mission for healing. I don’t want it to take someone into a darker place. We need to be there for these people. If you are familiar with this and would be interested in this position, please contact me. We are family, and family is there for each other.

I would like to thank all of you who support our fundraising activities. The Stafford Air & Space museum patches have come in and are being mailed out this week. This patch will identify you as a rider of the RFTW route that left its permanent mark at the Air & Space museum. I know it is the holidays, but we have only sold 24 patches. The cost is $25.00 per patch. $5 pays for the patch and $20 goes towards our fuel cost. Keep in mind, your support of the patch and most of the cost comes back to you as prepaid fuel. Please consider purchasing this patch as everyone will benefit from the fuel stops.
If interested, mail payment ($25 per patch) made out to RFTW to:
Ken Dugas
9849 Loblolly Pines Lane
Denham Springs, LA 70726
You may also send the money electronically transferred through Zelle. (the account is tied to my number (225-405-2735) If you send money through Zelle, email your mailing address to me at ken.dugas@rftw.us
If you are a team leader, please make sure that you are checking the leadership list on the Midway Hub on RFTW.US. Make sure your list is accurate and notify me if any changes or additions need to be made. I am asking for your help in keeping this list accurate and up to date.

We are better when we work together!
I wish you all a blessed and Merry Christmas season.

Have I told you lately…………….. I love my RFTW Midway Family! 😊
Honor, Hope and Healing

Respectfully,
Ken “Six String” Dugas
Midway RC

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Southern Route Coordinator News – November 2019

We are now less than 200 days before kickstands up in Ontario and our current Southern Route registration has just surpassed 200.

The month of November gives us two very special holidays.    Veterans’ Day on the 11th, which is pretty much every day to the Run For The Wall Family.    This is the day in which the Country recognizes the Contributions and Sacrifice of All Veterans from All Services.     I remember as a child watching the Veterans’ Day parade, seeing the “old guys” marching and carrying flags.     Many in their uniforms, some actually still fit, with medals glistening proudly displayed on their chest.    Most didn’t smile much as they walked by, I wondered why.    Now I think I know, when they put in that uniform, their thoughts were drawn back to the memories of those who no longer march beside them.    I wish I knew then that just a “Thank You for your Service” could have lifted their spirit.    So when you see a veteran, just simple Thank You will go a long way.     I plan to ride with my CVMA Chapter in the Reno, NV  Veterans’ Day Parade.    Not because it’s fun, if any of you have ridden in a parade, you will know what I mean.    It is our way of showing appreciation those who honor and support our Veterans, and remembering those who ride with us in spirit only.

On the 28th, out nation celebrates Thanksgiving Day.    It should be a day for being thankful for All that we have.     We are blessed to live in America and enjoy All the Freedoms that we have.     There are 4 F’s in Thanksgiving, or so I’m told. Food, Football, Friends and Family.    Family is the most important one.  Without family, we are alone.    There is the family we are born into and the Run For The Wall Family we are welcomed into.     Noho ka ʻohana ma kou puʻuwai (Hawaiian)

The Southern Route 20th Anniversary patches took a little longer than expected to be finished.     They are expected to arrive on November 8, 2019, envelopes are prepped, thanks to Confetti, and will be stuffed and mailed on the 9th.    Sorry for the delay.     On the brighter side there are still some available, so don’t wait too long.