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May 21, 2024 – Day 7 to DC – Wentzville, MO to Corydon, IN

ay 21, 2024 – Day 7 to DC – Wentzville, MO to Corydon, IN

Sorry all. I forgot to post some pics of Junction City from last year since we did not get to see it 2 days ago. Hopefully you will all be back next year to see it. ☺☺☺

Today I went on a breakout to Perryville, MO. This is where they have an exact replica of the Vietnam Wall that is in Washington DC. The big difference is the one in DC is engraved and the one in Perryville is etched. It even has the name that a misspelled in DC, also misspelled here.
We headed out early and the sun was trying to peek out from around the clouds. After the other night, the sun is a very welcomed thing.
We get off the highway and travel back country road. It is kind of nice since we have been on the highways pretty much since we left Ontario.
We stopped for fuel before we arrived at the memorial. I helped a little….new job for me? No thanks, I will let the fuel team keep it. They do such a great job.
We arrive in parade formation with our 3 flags.
This is the wall from off the road. Pretty imperative.

We were greeted by the staff, where we presented them with a check to help them.


On the wall there are multiple panels. Rosie gave me a lot of information.

  • The panels start at the apex from 1959
  • Each panel has the name listed alphabetically with in the day of their loss
    • So if you see : Jones, Murphy, Smith, Brown,…. Brown starts a new day
  • The first panel has 700 names, and it took 5 years to get them
  • Panel 2 took 5 months
  • Panel 3 took 5 weeks
This place on the wall has the same exact name. It is 2 different people,
killed on same day and both from Missouri
A cross denotes MIA

 

  • 15 was the youngest and 62 was the oldest
  • 22 was the average age but most were 18
  • 3 sets father/son
  • 40 sets of brothers
  • 16 clergy
  • May 1968 was the worst month
  • Coins left:
  • Penny – signifies that someone (veteran or civilian) has visited the grave
    Nickel – signifies that the coin-leaver attended boot camp with the veteran
    Dime – signifies that the coin-leaver served with the veteran in some capacity
    Quarter – signifies that the coin-leaver was present when the veteran died

    As load, Kirk shows me the odometer on his bike.  77,777.  Sounds like he needs to get a lottery ticket.

I love the ride back to regroup with the pack.

Wheat on one side, corn on the other. You can even smell the wheat.

Wheat on one side, corn on the other. You can even smell the wheat.
 

You can also smell the fertilizer they spray here.

Did you ever wonder how much one of these weighs? We often see a lot on a truck
An average bail will weigh 700-900 pounds. Now times that by the number on a semi.
They are hauling a lot of weight.

We now head of the great Mississippi River. This is always a cool sit

Not sure what this is but I think it is a sprayer.

We comment instead of going around it, we could just go under it.

Caught the pack at the gas station.  Yeah, fuel team is there, I do not have to work.

Lance is ready to go!!
Kids give us a great reception as we leave and head to lunch at Mt. Vernon Airport.
Even the nursing home residents come out to see us.
Heading into the airport

Airport has a great staging area.  Lots of room!!
Leaving here on I-64, the terrain has again changed.  Lots of green!!!! And lots of heat.
At this gas station there is hot dog vendor that everyone talks about.  Again, all donated to the Run.  We just ate chicken, and we are on our way to have a fish dinner, but you have to have a hot dog.

 

Fun Fact:

Dewig Meats, located in Haubstadt, Indiana began in 1916 by three Dewig brothers. Today, Dewig Brothers Meat Packing is still family owned and operated by third generation Dewig meat processors. Our retail store boasts a fully stocked 12,000 ft. retail meat market, custom-cut orders & butchering & processing services. Our completely updated retail meat market features 18 self-serve cooler doors and 21 self-serve freezer doors LOADED with award winning meat products. Customer service is key, “The customer is always right,” is our motto.

The hot dogs were really good.

I asked this stagger if he gets paid double for this.

He laughed and said “Nope, same as for just the one”.

I am loving this. We are getting so close to home (Cincinnati, OH).

Ok Now I am riding with Jenny.  I should be riding with her now until DC.

We had to head out in front of the pack because

Jenny was a little concerned with her Spyder overheating.

Great opportunity. for me to SEE the pack coming in, instead of being in it.  It was pretty cool.

In 2015, my FNG year, I met Sue at the Wentzville Vietnam Memorial. Sue was in the Navy in 1955.
Served 2 years coordinator of the women’s barrack.

She was the quarter bouncer.  The next 2 years she served as a stewardess

for the commanders. 

This year since we did the breakout, I missed it. My brother and his daughter

saw her and she asked where I was. She was so disappointed since she had made me something.

This is Ron, Sue (age 87), Sherri (her daughter), Courtney.

Here is what she made me.  WOW. This is soooo cool.  I LOVE IT.
She is just another part of this family.
Pic from the day (Thanks Courtney).  This is at the memorial.

Wentzville Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Wentzville takes extreme pride in being home to the first Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the United States. Wentzville was the first city in the nation to realize that the troops who served in Vietnam deserved to be honored.

As it stands today, the Wentzville Vietnam Veterans Memorial consists of a single-column of red Missouri granite, topped by the carved figure of an eagle. Inscribed in the column’s base is:

Vietnam Veterans Memorial December 1967

“Whither thou goest, I will go.”

We are on the road for 10 days on this journey.

Many spend another week plus traveling before and after the Run. 

So a lot of us are away for about 3 weeks.  This is nothing compared

to how long our service men and women are deployed.  Keep all our

active duty in your thoughts and prayers.   

We are now back on Eastern time. Funny thing I overheard today,

I do not care what time zone we are in, just will someone tell me

the current time so I am not late tomorrow.

Temp: 60-hot (about 83)

Route: I-64E

Total Miles: 290

Quote for the day:

Please tell him he is more than just a name on a wall

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From the Chairman: What Does “The Mission” Mean to You?

The Mission of Run For The Wall

We’ve had some great RC Motto’s over the years… “Mission > Self”, “Mission First”, “Remember the Mission” and “CHARLIE MIKE – CONTINUE the MISSION” among others.  But what does “The Mission” mean to you?  We should all be familiar with the Mission Statement of Run For The Wall:

  • 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; and
  • To support our military personnel all over the world.

Since the first Run in 1989, our Mission Statement has expanded to ensure that everyone understands that we promote, honor and support all associated with our Armed Forces.  But the fact remains that our Mission originated and still has a primary focus “To call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action (POW/MIA).”

Learning about The Mission

Very early in my participation with Run For The Wall, my RFTW big brother, James “Stoney” Stone introduced me to our Founder, James “Gunny” Gregory, USMC(Ret).  Over those first couple years, I was honored to have the privilege of speaking with Gunny privately on several occasions to get a first-hand telling of the story of Run For The Wall and the issues, events and people that brought it together.  If you haven’t recently, I strongly encourage you to (re)read the short History of RUN FOR THE WALL that you will find in the opening pages of your Itinerary Book or here.

How it Started

The primary motivator at that time was the MIA families looking for answers and doing their best to press our government to act based on intelligence that there were still living POWs in Vietnam.  In 1988, Marion Shelton, the wife of Col. Charles Shelton, USAF was one of the early advocates.  Col. Shelton was shot down on 29 APR 1965 flying a RF-101C Voodoo over Laos.  Mrs. Shelton’s situation and her call for action to the veteran and biker community was an early instigator to set Gunny in motion.  Read the history in your Itinerary for the rest of the story.

What’s being done now?

Per the DPAA, in 1973 when accounting started, there were 2641 Missing in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.  As of today, there have been 1064 accounted for leaving 1577 still missing.  The DPAA is still actively engaged in search and recovery operations and reported in an online article that “…in fiscal Year 2023, the agency recovered the remains of 127 service members:  88 from World War II, 35 from Korea, and four from Vietnam.” The defense.gov article by C. Lopez is worth a read and is linked here:  DOD Won’t Stop Looking Until All POW/MIAs Are Home.

So, what does “The Mission” mean to me?

At the heart of every tenet of the RFTW Mission Statement you’ll find People.  Promote healing among People.  Honor the memory of People.  Support our People.  And most importantly, Call for accounting of our PEOPLE!  In other words, LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND!

We promote healing by ensuring those veterans, families and friends know that there is a strong community of Patriotic Americans who love and support them and will NOT give up on accounting for the ones they love.  We honor those killed in action by keeping the memories of their service and sacrifice at the forefront of our words and deeds.  We support our military personnel with our positive, peaceful and focused Patriotic activism that highlights our CAUSE and not our emotion. Finally, all three of those statements come together as we commit ourselves and our Run to The Mission of ensuring the Accounting continues UNTIL THEY ARE ALL HOME!

What does “The Mission” mean to you?

We all experienced a great homecoming through one of our own a few months ago with the return of Capt. Ronald Forrester, USMC who was accounted for on 04DEC2023 after almost 51 years MIA.  Those of us who were able to attend his Celebration of Life experienced an extraordinary event – Capt. Forrester’s presence in and around Karoni Forrester and the rest of the family was intense.  There are many others in our RFTW family who deserve that homecoming and there are hundreds in our extended family who deserve the same.  Our Mission – The Mission is to ensure our government “Won’t Stop Looking” until 1577 becomes 0.

Unfortunately, Marion Shelton passed away in October 1990, a few years after meeting with Gunny and the beginning of Run For The Wall.  Col. Charles Shelton, USAF is still MIA, officially “Unaccounted For” with Active Pursuit. As is LCDR Dennis Pike, USN.  As is Col. Oscar Mauterer, USAF. As is SSgt Gregory Benton, USMC.  Others just need better answers, like the family of Sgt Joseph Matejov, USAF. And there are hundreds more.  These PEOPLE are our family.  We don’t give up on family.

So, I ask again…

What does “The Mission” mean to you?

 

Billie "Bugs" DunlapBillie “Bugs” Dunlap
Run For The Wall
Vice-President & Chairman of the Board
RFTW XXXII SandBox Route Coordinator
RFTW XXXI Southern Route Coordinator
vice.president@rftw.us
billie.dunlap@rftw.us
TOGETHER WE RIDE!

 

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Online Store Closes 5/1 – 6/15

In my recent newsletter I neglected to mention that the online store will be closed beginning 5/1 and reopening again 6/15. During this time, you’ll be able to shop directly from the merchandise trailers in Ontario, CA and all the way to Marseilles, IL via Washington, DC. There will be a merchandise trailer on each route. Here is the current schedule for Ontario and DC:

Date

Location Hours

5/11

Holiday Inn (CA) 10:00 – 17:00

5/12

Holiday Inn (CA)
Elks (CA)
10:00 – 17:00
12:00 – 17:00

5/13

Holiday Inn, Elks (CA) 09:00 – 17:00

5/14

Holiday Inn, Elks (CA) 09:00 – 17:00

5/24

Holiday Inn (DC) 09:00 – 16:00

5/25

Holiday Inn (DC) 09:00 – 14:00

Please travel safely to Ontario or wherever you will be picking up the Run. Look me up in Ontario or, on either the Central Route (I’m the photographer) or Sandbox.

Is it May yet?

Alan Steiner
Director of Merchandise
Run For The Wall
https://rftw.us

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Midway Route Coordinator April News Letter Addendum #1

Hi Riders:
I forgot to mention that there would be a shuttle in Ontario this year running continuous loops between the Host Hotel and the Elks  Lodge.
The Hours  of operation are:
May 12th…………….1200 to 2000Hrs.
May 13th…………….0700 to 2100Hrs.
May 14th…………….0700 to 2100Hrs.

Addresses from and to are:
Holiday Inn Ontario, 2155 E Convention Center Way, Ontario, CA 91764
Ontario Elks Lodge, 1150 W 4th Street, Ontario, CA 91762
Thanks,

I will have to say——IS IT MAY YET!!!!

Don “10-A-SEE” King
Midway Route Coordinator
10th Anniversary Run
RFTW 2024

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March Store Specials

Certain merchandise will be on special starting this Wednesday, 3/20 (start of Iraqi Freedom) thru 3/29 (Vietnam Veterans Day). Buy one of the shirts listed below and get 50% off another. These will qualify for free shipping with no order minimum!

  1. RFTW Black POW*MIA Men’s Shirt
  2. RFTW Gray Performance Men’s Shirt
  3. RFTW Logo Royal Blue Ladies V-Neck
  4. RFTW RED Support Our Troops Men’s Shirt w/Eagle

Also, save 50% off any of the bundles and certain collectables as shown in the list below:

  1. FNG Hat Bundle
  2. New Registration Bundle
  3. Run For The Wall(R) Belt Buckle
  4. 2024 RFTW Wristband
  5. RFTW POW*MIA Stainless Steel Dog Tag
  6. Car & Bike Flags (excludes USA and POW*MIA)

May is just around the corner so take advantage of these savings while you can!

Alan “Xbox” Steiner
Director of Merchandise, RFTW
ATW Central 2012, 2022-2024
Sandbox 2024
https://rftw.us

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Midway Route Coordinator December News Letter

 “MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!“

Ruby and I would like to wish everyone a Happy Holiday and safe travels for the season.  We hope each and every one of you will enjoy your time with family and friends!  Imagine, it is less than a month till 2024 and only 150 days to KSU for the Midway Route.
Time flies when you’re having fun….

The Midway team is hard at work to meet the schedule for the publication of the HOTEL List on 1 January.  For all the old timers you know what that means; for the FNGs be on the alert and act quickly with your reservation at the host hotels, especially in California and DC!  The itinerary is in the final stages and will be published as scheduled.

I am concerned about registration as well as the amount of donations to date.  If you are not registered, please do so as soon as possible.  We need our rider numbers for the State Coordinators to accomplish support planning for our meals along the way!!  Not to mention the fact that the early bird registration pricing is over on January 31, 2024.

The Army/Navy game and the hotel raffle has not generated significant funds as in the past.
Trying to figure out the problem??
Please, let me know any issue, if you have participated in the past but not this year, for what reason??  All these funds go to support rider fuel cost.  We have not generated enough so far to even pay for one fuel stop.  We have the Super Bowl Board coming up.  I’m asking all of you to participate.  It pays $100.00 per quarter and one square could get you the $100.00!
Last year we filled two boards!!!!

Leadership is busy accumulating the equipment requirements for each team, so our order can be placed.  The planning for our activities in both Ontario and DC are in the early planning stages.  As soon as, the schedule of events is solidified, we will publish the schedule, so you can make your plans accordingly. Midway is the only 11 Day route and we will depart Ontario on Tuesday, May 14th, 2024.

We still have leadership and support team member openings on Staging, Chase, and the Platoons.   Please fill out a volunteer form if you would like to participate on one of these teams.

I know this letter is short and sweet but be prepared for the New Year!  We need to start the New Year Running toward May!!  After 1 January things will begin to get hectic.  I ask that each of you please make time to participate in the Zoom calls that apply to your area of responsibility. Leadership needs your input!!
Without your participation something could be missed!! 

Is It May Yet!!!!!!

Don “10-A-SEE” King
Midway Route Coordinator

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Midway FNG Zoom Call

Roger Ford is inviting you to a scheduled Midway FNG Zoom meeting. 

All route FNG’s are welcome to participate!

Topic: Midway FNG Meeting
Time: Dec 5, 2023 05:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81132076544?pwd=vqtVXbQWhAjYP30vg5N1uv3X3wCqHN.1Meeting ID: 811 3207 6544
Passcode: 817623

One tap mobile
+16694449171,,81132076544#,,,,*817623# US
+16699006833,,81132076544#,,,,*817623# US (San Jose)

Dial by your location
• +1 669 444 9171 US
• +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
• +1 253 205 0468 US
• +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
• +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
• +1 719 359 4580 US
• +1 689 278 1000 US
• +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
• +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
• +1 305 224 1968 US
• +1 309 205 3325 US
• +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
• +1 360 209 5623 US
• +1 386 347 5053 US
• +1 507 473 4847 US
• +1 564 217 2000 US
• +1 646 931 3860 US
• +1 780 666 0144 Canada
• +1 204 272 7920 Canada
• +1 438 809 7799 Canada
• +1 587 328 1099 Canada
• +1 647 374 4685 Canada
• +1 647 558 0588 Canada
• +1 778 907 2071 Canada

Meeting ID: 811 3207 6544
Passcode: 817623

Find your local number: https://us06web.zoom.us/u/kefRnNLSGq

Look forward to meeting and talking with everyone!

It will be May very shortly!!!!!!!!!

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CORRECTION to November Midway Route Coordinator News Letter

The in-correct email address was provided for Ms. Fisher.  The correct information for the Pen-Pal effort is below:

Cherry girl has been in contact with the Wilson Elementary Principal, Ashley Fisher, in Crawford, Tn for a Midway Pen Pal opportunity.  Principal Fisher suggested the best way to start the pen pal process would be for any riders wishing to participate to email her directly at:  afisher@oc-sd.com with the following information:
Name
Mailing Address
Rider request IE:  Any certain grade level from 3 thru 8.

She (the Principal) would then select and assign a student who would correspond with the rider to initiate the ongoing communication.

I ENCOURAGE ANYONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE TO DO SO AND FOLLOW THE ABOVE PROCESS, PLEASE.

 

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Store Sale Coming Thanksgiving Day!

Beginning Thanksgiving Day thru Cyber Monday, everything in the store will be 15% off. Yes, everything! In addition, free shipping will be reduced to a $50 minimum order from the current $100. All orders will ship with a free Eagle Oval patch, RFTW square logo patch and RFTW Logo Vinyl Sticker. Finally, any order over $100 will get a free Wall to Wall hat (while supplies last.)

I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving. Using the words from Lester Holt of NBC News, “Please take care of yourself, and each other” this holiday season.

Ride safe everyone.

Alan “Xbox” Steiner
Director of Merchandise, RFTW
2023-2024 CR Photographer
2022 CR Plt 2 Tailgunner
2012 CR FNG
https://rftw.us

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Veterans Day Shirt Promotion

Coming Saturday, Veterans Day there is free shipping on any regular priced shirt order. This promotion does not apply to shirts that are on sale. In addition, there will be two new ladies’ shirts available. First is a yellow performance shirt identical to the men’s but in a ladies cut and V-neck. The second shirt is a new short sleeve V-neck in lilac with new graphics on the front.


The promotion will begin midnight (Pacific Time) this coming Saturday and last for one day only. Be sure to take advantage of this savings opportunity!

Alan “Xbox” Steiner
Director of Merchandise, RFTW
2023-2024 CR Photographer
2022 CR Plt 2 Tailgunner
2012 CR FNG
https://rftw.us