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Midway Route Coordinator October News Letter

Well, here we are already the middle of October—-It will be 2024 before we know it.  I wanted to focus this newsletter on the importance of CONTRIBUTIONS and PROMOTIONS!

This is how your 2023 money was spent along with fuel purchases.

1.            Rebels with a Cause                                                                 $2,000
2.            Milan School                                                                                $3,000
3.            Veterans Homeless Shelter Albuquerque                       $3,500
4.            M25 Amarillo                                                                                $2,000
5.            Ft Sill Museum Building Fund                                               $1,000
6.            Red Rock Behavioral Health Services                                $1,000
7.            USO K-9 Fund                                                                                $   500
8.            Tommy Franks Leadership                                                      $1,000
9.            Shawnee Veterans Memorial                                                  $1,000
10.          Ridgewood Baptist Church Forrest City                             $2,500
11.          Western  TN Veterans Cemetery                                            $  750
12.         Sunbright Memorial                                                                    $1,000
13.         Romans Warrior Foundation                                                     $1,000
14.          Wilson County Veteran’s Musuem Lebonon                       $1,500
15.          Ridgecrest Church                                                                          $2,500
16.          TN Veteran’s Home Murphreesboro                                       $1,500
17.           Wilson Elementary School                                                         $3,000
18.           Falcon Children’s Home                                                              $3,500
19.           Moose Lodge #1472 Hopewell                                                  $  750
20.           National Musuem of the US Army                                           $1,500
21.           Wheel Chairs for Warriors                                                           $3,000
22.           Operation Family Fund                                                                $8,000
23.           Combat Bike Build                                                                         $5,000
                                                                  TOTAL for 2023:                           $50,500

I want to talk about a few of the contributions so everyone realizes the impact we as a group have on the communities we visit.

First, Operation Family Fund and Red Rock Behavioral Health Services are nonprofits focused on PTSD and helping any and all veterans.  Operation Family Fund managed by Michael Cash partnered with RFTW in the sponsorship of Homes for Troops Program where 10 veterans across the country are receiving a free custom-built home designed around their specific handicap.  One is being presented in San Marcos, Ca on 28 October at 2PM.  If you can or would like to participate, please read Nick’s, Central Route RC, newsletter for exact times and locations.

Next, look at the schools where we shine a light on service and country along with a small amount of financial help.  The schools that we contribute to are in very economically strained communities and do not enjoy the benefits of excess funding.  For example, 65% of the students at Wilson school still do not have running water in their homes.  Some still have dirt floors also.  The school itself helps to cloth, feed, and teach these children.  I am so glad we went there last year to adopt this school as an annual Midway Route stop.  We will return this year hopefully with the ability to provide more support through your generosity!!

Then, there are the VA facilities like the Veterans Resource Center in Lawton, OK that provide a temporary home for up to 12 homeless veterans and their families, while providing them the opportunity to get job training.  They help with searching out jobs for the training veteran as well as housing after the Resource Center stay.  They provide both support and training to help them get a job, a home, and a respectful life back.  Then we have the Va Homes where Veterans are in residence due to physical or mental issues.  Most don’t have family or friends close by able to visit.  They look forward to our visit for a momentary glimpse back toward THE OUTSIDE WORLD.

Last, look at the Elks, VFWs, American Legions, and Communities that open their doors to us with food and community involvement.  They all support their local veterans with programs, Memorials, and Museums.   Additionally, they provide honor guards and other support to their communities which cost money.  They start working the day after our departure on raising money and support for our annual return.

I bring all of this to your attention so each of you understand the importance of your participation in the various fund-raising events and how your leadership is trying to be Good Stewards of your generosity.

Without you the Riders participation in the many fund raising activities and your contributions there would be no RFTW!

 You can send your checks to: Lily Lieux, 6426 Bridgeport DR., Greenwell Springs, LA 70739 or ZELLE to: Midway Route, @ Midway.Route@RFTW.US

I want to thank each of you in advance for stepping up to help make RFTW  Midway 2024 a great success!
Don ’10-A-SEE” King

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RFTW Midway Route June Newsletter

Midway Route Coordinator News

This will be my final Route Coordinator newsletter; little did I know the journey that was in our future when Ken “Six-String” Dugas asked me to be his 2020 Midway Asst. Route Coordinator. It has been my distinct Honor and Privilege to serve as your 2023 Midway Route Coordinator. I want to thank everyone who has supported our Midway route and RFTW Mission.

Jerry Wilkins
2023 Midway Route Coordinator, Jerry Wilkins

Midway Route Leadership did an outstanding job. I cannot thank you sufficiently. Midway Route motto, “adapt and overcome” was a daily routine. It would be near impossible to list everyone that contributed to the Mission’s success but know it was appreciated very much! Job well done!

Midway FNG’s, you are amazing! Welcome to the Midway Family. I know there was much to take in and learn. I am hopeful you will consider becoming a volunteer for many years to come.

I would like to thank those who have submitted an After-Action Report. For those who have not, I urge you to do so. The information is vital to planning for the next year’s Run. Here is the link for the AAR, https://rftw.us/submit-an-after-action-report/.

2024 Midway Route Leadership have already started working on next year’s Run. Volunteers are needed in all positions. If you are not an FNG and are interested in volunteering, please submit a volunteer form. Here is the link for the Volunteer Form, https://rftw.us/volunteer-sign-up/.

I am pleased to report that the Board of Directors have approved Don “Ten-A-See” King to serve as our Midway Route Coordinator for 2024. Don has worked tirelessly as my Assistant Route Coordinator. The success of Run XXXllI was due in no small part to the efforts of Don. I have complete confidence Don will do an outstanding job as 2024 Midway Route Coordinator.

In closing, I cannot thank everyone enough for your prayers and support for Patti. Patti has read each and every card she received and sends her heartfelt thanks for the encouragement and well-wishes.  She has renewed strength and resilience due to your thoughtfulness. You have touched her heart and soul. She is hopeful to give you all “hugs” next year as we continue the RFTW Mission.

Jerry “Corp” Wilkins

“Service Before Self”

RFTW 2023 Midway Route Coordinator                    

Email- jerry.wilkins@rftw.us

Four Routes, One Mission!

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Store is now open

Welcome home everyone! I hope you had a great Run and time to get some rest. I wanted to let you know that the Store is open again after being closed during the Run.

In addition to the Store being open again, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your patience and support during the Run. There were some initial startup issues for our Point Of Sale system in Ontario and unfortunately, we were unable to print receipts for those of you who may have wanted one. These issues are top of mind as we think forward to 2024 and will be addressed.

As you have read from the RCs and others, there is an After Action Report (AAR) that is available for you to provide feedback. I welcome any feedback directed to me about our Merchandise operations, selection and any other top of mind areas you’d like to address. Good or bad, all feedback is welcome! I want to be sure that what we offer you is appealing, something that promotes Run For the Wall to the world and is something you’re proud to own. So please, take a few minutes and fill out the AAR directed at Merchandise. The link to the report is here.

We ride for those who can’t.

Alan “Xbox” Steiner
CR Photographer
Director of Merchandise
merchandise@rftw.us

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Ontario Holiday Inn Parking

There is no parking inside the taped off area in the back parking lot. Please DO NOT PARK there. The spaces are reserved for merchandise, hydration, raffles, Fallen Hero cart, charities, etc. If you are parked there, please move your vehicle or motorcycle.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Alan “Xbox” Steiner
CR Photographer
Director of Merchandise
www.rftw.us

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Southern Route Coordinator – May 2023 Newsletter

These words have been rolling around in my head every morning for about a week….

Leaving on a Long Ride

Our bags are packed, we’re ready to go
We’re standing here outside the door.
We hate to wake up early, but it’s time to go.
The dawn is breaking, it’s early morn
The road guard’s waiting he’s blowing his horn
Already!  We’re so ready we could die.

So kiss us and smile for us, tell us that you’ll pray for us.
Cause we’re leaving on a long ride
Don’t know when we’ll be back again
Oh babe, we’re ready to go.

Many of the Run for the Wall Family members are already KSU and heading to Ontario. I join my prayers with many other RFTW family members in wishing all riders safe travels. Looking forward to gathering in Ontario as we begin the mission.

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.

When you’re tired, cold and wondering why you signed up to join this ride, Remember the Mission – Romeo-Tango-Mike.

See you in a few days.

Kristine “Eyes” Wood
Southern Route Coordinator 2023

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Pre-Run Meals in Ontario

Run for the Wall

The Ontario Elks Lodge #1419 is hosting pre-run RFTW meetings and gatherings this year.  To further support RFTW, they are preparing breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals for up to 300 people at each sitting.  This year, thanks to the intrepid Carol, we will have full meal support at our meeting location.  Tickets will be sold at the Elks Lodge, and they will also have a table at the Holiday Inn (time TBD).  Let’s do all we can to support their efforts in supporting us.  The menu is as follows:

Elks Lodge/RFTW Pre Run Menu and Prices
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Getting Ready! Run For The Wall, Midway Route: 2023

Motorcycle maintenance!

In just two weeks, the Riders of Run For The Wall will be rolling across our great nation, honoring Veterans and Active Duty personnel, and bringing awareness that we still have people that are Missing In Action.  We will be riding for them, and will be on our way to completing our annual Mission.

I know that each and every one of us has been making all sorts of preparations.  From booking hotels or camping places, to selecting our clothes, checking any needed medications, and (for some) getting time off work. We have planned our route out to California.  We have all checked our tires, brakes, oil, and everything else needed to keep that motorcycle running in top form for the duration.  Many have already packed everything on their bike and are ready to roll!  For me, part of getting ready is checking that my cameras are in good working order, making sure that I have enough memory cards and hard drives to hold all of the photos that I will take.  I am even typing this letter on a new laptop while sitting at a coffee shop, to make sure that all of the wireless connections work.  It is the attention to these little personal details that we are ALL working on right now.

But that is only a small part of getting ready for the Run.

Stephen J Geist: He is more than just a name on The Wall.

What have you been doing to get your mind ready for this Mission?  Have you thought about the impact that we make on the American public?  Have you thought of ways to say Thank You to all of our supporters?  Have you read the biography of a POW or MIA?  Have you visited any Veteran Memorials recently, or visited a VA Hospital?  Have you done any of the myriad of things that we do during Run For The Wall, to put yourself into the proper frame of mind?  This, to me, is even more important than packing my “things.”

We can always stop at a store to get something that we have left at home.  But we need time to “get our focus” on our Mission.  That is why I highly urge you to spend a little time this week and next to do something “Patriotic.”  Go to a National Cemetery and meet our nations Heroes.  Go to a VFW or American Legion Post and just say “Howdy!”  Watch the new documentary “All The Way” on YouTube.  Go back and read the SITREPs from previous years for ALL of our Routes.

Start your 2023 Run For The Wall experience now, so that you will be ready to render honor and respect to all of those that so richly deserve it.  Put yourself into the right “frame of mind” to completely absorb all that The Run will offer you.

Hoofer’s Hooligans

As a side note, I want each and every one of you to BE SAFE as you head to Ontario.  PLEASE!  I want to see you there!  For those that haven’t ridden with a group before, or at least since last May, find a few friends to ride to California with.  If you don’t have a group, and will be traveling through the southern half of the country, I invite you to ride with “Hoofer’s Hooligans.”  The Hooligans ride is the oldest continuously running “Run To The Run” having seen close to three decades (in one form or another.)  We stress safe riding, first and above all else.  We then practice group riding skills and ease ourselves into the RFTW riding style.  We get into the needed mental state by stopping at various memorials, museums, and Veteran posts along the way.  Oh yeah, I always find really good places for us to eat, as well!  Send me a note at hoofer@rftw.us and let me know if you will be joining us.  You can get the details/itinerary at http://mccrain.net/hooligans/Hooligans_2023_Itinerary_v4.05.23.pdf.

No matter how or when you get there, I look forward to seeing you all in just a few short weeks!

It’s May!

Jim “Hoofer” McCrain
RFTW Midway Route Photographer and SITREP Author, 2023

Ps: “Hoofer’s Hooligans” is NOT an official part of RFTW.  We are simply a group of like-minded individuals heading towards a common destination and goal.  RFTW takes NO responsibility for what we do.

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Central Route Coordinator Newsletter April 2023

Just a little more than 45 days to kick stands up (KSU) in Ontario, CA.

A total of 1045 riders and supporters are currently registered for RFTW XXXIII. As you can see from the chart developed by the Board of Directors (BOD), 400 are registered for the Central Route (CR). We expect CR numbers to increase before we launch at 0710 hours, Wednesday, 17 May 2023.

CR planning is nearly complete. We’ve filled most leadership positions, including platoon leadership, but we are still accepting (non-FNG) volunteer requests (CLICK HERE TO VOLUNTEER). We’ve sent surveys out to all riders, asking for their riding preference (side-by-side, or staggered), and, if they would prefer to ride in a specific platoon (LINK HERE). The response to this survey has been extraordinary. We are working diligently to accommodate rider preferences, and at the same time, ensuring that platoons are not overloaded and the number of riders in each platoon is balanced to the extent possible. We anticipate that most platoon assignments will be made before participants arrive in Ontario.

Individual Rider Planning and Budgeting:  How is your personal planning going? Have you been preparing yourself physically. Are you walking, running, hitting the gym or spending more and more time in the saddle of your motorcycle? Have you taken, or plan to take your motorcycle in to the shop for performance and safety checks? Have you been educating yourself regarding RFTW in general, and the CR in particular? For example, have you searched the RFTW website for information regarding the RFTW mission, how to pack for the ride, past CR rider experiences, etc. Remember, RFTW is not a ten (10) day friendship or club ride. Understanding the mission of RFTW (READ THE MISSION STATEMENT), and keeping in mind who and what you’re riding for, will help you fulfill your personal mission, and bring honor to yourself, those for whom you ride, and, RFTW.

What about your budget planning? What sort of things should you consider in your budget anyway – meals, lodging, fuel? Fortunately, most meals are donated by our supporters as we make our way across this country. Most hotels, too, help riders by offering reduced rates. CR even has supporters who donate fuel for motorcycles at several stops along the route. There are, however, several fuel stops that are still the responsibility of riders, and budgeting for these remaining fuel stops may be challenging given the fluctuating (often rising) cost of fuel.

CR is also offering a pre-paid fuel option for RFTW XXXIII. All riders are encouraged, but not required, to participate in the pre-paid fuel option. Participating in the pre-paid fuel option, however, will not only help riders with their budgeting, but will significantly speed the process of fueling – at every stop. Simply put, riders can fill their tanks, stage more quickly, and take more time for rest, hydration and snacks. Experienced RFTW riders familiar with fueling procedures know what a pain it can be waiting in the rain or blazing heat for their turn to fuel.

The cost of the CR pre-paid fuel option is only $90 per rider. Riders interested in purchasing the pre-paid fuel option may do so in Ontario (at check-in) – ask a Registration Team member about the option. Upon purchase, riders will be issued a sticker for their motorcycle windscreen. Seeing this sticker, fuel team members will know not to collect money and will send you on your way quickly. And, riders will not have to remove or adjust their riding gear (e.g., gloves, jackets, weather gear, etc.). Remember to bring a little extra cash with you to Ontario for the pre-paid fuel option. You’ll be helping yourself, and the CR Fuel Team as well.

Online FNG Orientation Meeting:  All those in RFTW volunteer leadership positions were at one time FNGs, and we’re pretty sure we understand how you’re feeling at this point. Not to worry. The CR will be holding an online FNG orientation meeting on Saturday, April 15th, at 1300 hours (PST). All FNGs should have received an invitation to this “Zoom” meeting. If you have not already done so, put this date in your calendar. At this meeting we will provide an overview of RFTW XXXIII. You will meet (and physically see) me, the Assistance Route Coordinator (ARC), all platoon leaders, the FNG Liaison, and the Road Guard Captain (among others). There will be an opportunity to ask questions, but we anticipate this FNG meeting will take no longer than two hours.

Central Route Itinerary:  The CR 2023 itinerary has been be posted on the RFTW website (ITINERARY CAN BE FOUND HERE). Please download and review the itinerary before the FNG orientation meeting on 15 April. All FNGs will of course receive a printed copy of the itinerary in Ontario, during check-in. I recommend that all participants also upload a copy of the itinerary to the “Books” application on their smart phone. Because the itinerary specifies arrival and departures times for each stop, having a copy of the itinerary (physically or in “Books”) will help participants manage their time at stops. The last thing anyone wants is to be left behind when it’s time for the pack to depart.

“Courage” movie:  In the March 2023 newsletter, you will recall the announcement of a showing of “Courage”, a one-hour movie about Prisoners of War (POW) in World War II and Vietnam. I believe this movie will help focus our attention on an important part of the RFTW mission – “to call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action (POW/MIA”). And, I believe that watching this movie will help participants to “gear up” for the challenge ahead of them, and help us to remember why we ride – “for those who can’t”. It is a one-time, and exclusive opportunity for RFTW participants to view this film, which is being offered by Mr. Bill Lowe, a patriot, RFTW supporter and family member of the CR RC.

If you haven’t done so already, check out the three-minute trailer about the movie – we think you’ll enjoy, and be moved by it. With only 300-350 seats available in the “Lodge Room”, be sure to come to the Elks Lodge early enough to have dinner before the movie, which begins at 1900 hours. In fact, all riders are encouraged to arrive in Ontario a little early – as early Monday as possible – to complete the check-in process, attend mandatory meetings and enjoy the movie.

With KSU at 0710 hours, Wednesday, 17 May 2023, you should be well into planning for your own ride to Ontario. If you’d like to ride to Ontario in a group, consider joining a few CR riders coming down from Seattle, WA. Our route will take us down the middle of Oregon and California via Hwy 395. We plan to arrive in Ontario on Sunday, 14 May 2023, a day before general check-in begins. For details, and a list of hotels, email Mike Taylor at happy3dad@comcast.net. Make your hotel reservations for this ride now. Note that our ride down to Ontario, is a “personal ride”, and not sanctioned by, or affiliated in anyway with RFTW.

If you’re riding to Ontario on your own, remember, check-in for all riders begins Monday morning, 15 May 2023. So, plan to arrive early on Monday, because the check-in process can take some time. Riders who have completed the rider preference survey (CLICK HERE FOR YOUR LAST CHANCE TO FILL OUT THE SURVEY!!!!!!), will be assigned to a platoon before arriving in Ontario, and can anticipate a shorter wait time for check-in.

In the meantime, pack your bike, unpack it, and do it again a couple more times. Ride safe, ride light, and stay healthy. Is it May yet?

Paul “Brush” Marshall
CR RC RFTW XXXIII