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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.

 

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Southern Route Coordinator Breaking News

Greetings All,

Fall is here, like it or not.  For those of us who live where the climate does not afford year-round bike riding weather, good riding days are scarce.  But it’s a good time to do a thorough 360° look around your ride; tires, brake pads, fluids and other wear items. Look tires all over and measure tread depth.  If you are not sure how, there are dozens of YouTube videos that can explain the process.  Plan your maintenance schedule so that you are not scrambling around in early May trying to get everything done.

Have a plan to take care of yourself too.  Adding pounds for hibernation works for bears, most of us are not bears though.  See your doctor and get that checkup.  Have your prescription medications reviewed.  The Mission can be challenging for the mind and body.  Think about what you can do now, to be ready for later.

Breaking News…This Just In….. 

2020 is the 20th Anniversary of the Southern Route on Run For The Wall. To commemorate this milestone, we have designed a special limited-edition patch.  Only 300 will be produced and sold to raise money for the 2020 Southern Route Fuel Fund.  The cost is only $20, which includes postage, and all profits will be used to offset our fuel cost. The patches are 4″ x 2.5″ and beautifully embroidered with heat sealed backing to be great looking and durable.

To get yours, Simply,

  • Send your Name:
  • Mailing Address:
  • Number of Patches:
  • Write a Check for the amount equal to $20, times the number of patches desired;
  • Make Check payable to: Run For The Wall, Inc.

Please Write: Southern Route Patch in the Comment Section

Mail all that to: Robert Nelson

30 Dogwood Ct

Dayton, NV 89403-6366

 

All patches will be sent via USPS First Class Mail.  Order soon before they are gone.

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Midway Route Coordinator News – June 2019

What a fantastic mission we had last month in May 2019! With the new State Coordinators, they had our best interest in hand. With all the changes made in the route, stops and time allotted everyone adjusted well. The best part of the ride is that we were incident free! This is kudos to all riders and participants paying attention and riding their ride. We paced the packs with safety in mind and it paid off very well. Everyone adjusted accordingly. You did us all proud!

I am truly humbled to have served as your 2019 Route Coordinator. I had the distinct privilege to meet and greet many of you. Your names I cannot recall, but the memories won’t leave me.

Remember next year your new leadership. Ken “Six Strings” Dugas has been nominated to take over the helm as Route Coordinator. Please continue to support the Midway Route and leadership!

There are too many thank you’s for me to say them all, but what a fantastic team of State Coordinators, Support Leadership, Ambassadors, Platoons, Staging, Fuel, Advance, Chaplains, Chase, Hydration, Registration, Merchandise and our amazing and fearless Road Guards.

Until next year, God Bless you all and safe travels.

Glenn “Wombat” Waggoner Jr.,
2019 Midway Route Coordinator
“Our Duty to Remember”

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Southern Route – Day 8 – Chattanooga, TN to Wytheville, VA

The riders’ meeting began as usual. “Santa Ed” was invited to the sound stage. He shared his experience of saluting the pack from the overpass as they rolled in.

Let me preface this by saying Santa Ed is a huge supporter of the run and has been a platoon leader and camping coordinator for years. With his declining health, due to issues from Agent Orange he hung up his platoon leader sleeves and became an Ambassador. Santa Ed is well known and well loved on the southern route.

The video is a little long but well worth watching.

https://www.facebook.com/RunForTheWall/

THIS IS WHY WE RIDE!

Upon completion of the meeting, riders walked behind the Harley dealer to the Silverdale Cemetery. An old Confederate cemetery from the Civil War. There are 155 soldiers buried in the cemetery, 39 remains have been identified due to the donations of RFTW riders. “Wookie” and “1st Nav” have been the driving force behind the efforts.

When asked, 1st Nav explained, “There should be no ill feeling because they were confederate soldiers. They were obeying orders. Whether your government is right or wrong they served their country. We honor them as unknown dead. Let’s find out who they are.”

Wreath laying at the Silverdale Confederate Cemetery, Chattanooga, TN

Wookie & 1st Nav

The first leg out of Chattanooga took us through the beautiful hills of Tennessee. I have a feeling the lush green hillsides are due to high humidity and lead to lots of mosquitos. I am not fond of either.

On the way to Knoxville, I saw first hand why road guard “Stonewall” is named such. A car tried to go around her as she was blocking an on ramp. She put that driver right in his place, she was like a stone wall and there was no way he was getting around here. Way to go Stonewall!

We were stuck on the 81 interchange for about 30 minutes. The gauge on my bike said 110 degrees. I am calling it 200 degrees on the black top. Needless to say, it was sizzling!

Pulled into much pomp and circumstance in Wytheville. Dinner was held at the Wytheville Moose Lodge. Delicious steak and baked potato dinner.

Every year, the southern route-road guards hold a ceremony in the parking lot to present the RGITs (road guards in training) their second sleeve. This has always been touted as a rather, private, secret meeting. Well, since my husband was being awarded his second sleeve, I was invited to the meeting.

Road guard captain, “Captain” did a very nice job, presenting the new road guards with patches and sleeves. Congratulations “Doc”, “Mario”, “Recon”

It was a late night, I fell asleep before hitting the post button. Sorry about that. Each passing day, it gets more difficult to stay awake on the bike, I had to get a little more sleep.

In Closing:

“I am more afraid of an army of 100 sheep led by a lion than an army of 100 lions led by a sheep.” Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand

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Central Route – Day 1 – Ontario, CA to Williams, AZ

It was a great day, sunny, warm weather  and no rain.
All 3 routes meet in the Convention center parking lot. This is truly an organized chaos.  The people holding the numbers are the stagers…this is how it gets organized.

 Check out all the bikes

 

Breakfast was cooked on what looks like Coleman stoves.  They were have a good ole time.

 

Here is Dan aka Papi.  He is the Central route photographer.  He always keeps us laughing
…. and is a great photographer

 

This is Eamon and Terri Tansey.  Eamon served in the Australian army during Vietnam War. He is out route coordinator.

Tom Miller is the Assistant Route Coordinator (ARC) with his with Jan.  Tom has been the road guard captain for at let 3 years.  Maybe more. He always has a great smile!!
 Larry (Leadership Support) and Jean Gault (Sit Rep Reporter)

At the start of every day is morning pray and the Pledge.  Today is no exception, except for they way the colors are presented…..

 Pretty Cool!!!!!
 Singing of the Star Spangle Banner and the 2 girls sign it also.
This women was introduced and a POW mom, The gentleman in the green is the brother of the POW.

 

 Ok Saddle up!!!!!  All routes will leave at the same time, then split down the road.
 
 We are rolling out. The parking lot is getting empty.
 Here are a few examples of the bike with trailer just to give you an idea.

Roger , aka Pops, will be carrying the Mayor of Loveland CO cross country. Funny thing is,  I live in Loveland , OH

The flag is flying as we exit the parking lot.  Safe travels, I will be watching over  you.

First bridge as we leave the parking lot.  What a way to start the day!!!
 Little foggy….. that is an understatement…

 

Yeah finally starting to see blue sky.  FYI for those that have followed my blog before, you will notice I love to take lots of pics of this beautiful country.  I realize many people cannot make a trip like this so I want to show off our country.  Hope you enjoy the pics.

 Amazing. The patriotism.

 

 

First gas stop.  The first day on gas stops are always hectic.  There are lots of FNGs and this makes the task interesting.
Here is how it works.  The pumps are turned on and not shut off until everyone is fueled.  We round  up and no one gets change.  If your bill is $7.50, you owe $8.  If you happened to give a ten, you just donated to the chase vehicles fuel bill… thanks

I am going to try timing one tomorrow but normally we can fuel 400 bikes in 20-25 minute.
Never ceases to amaze me!!!

“Heroic Road Guard Save Pack from Gator”
Kirk is one of our many road guards.  One of the tasks  is to try and clear any large debris before the pack comes thru.  Today, the Gator, (that is  a retread tire)  was in the line of the bikes.  He was able to  get a break in traffic and retrieve it off the road…. however as he was throwing it to the side, he lands and slides head first on the side.  Anyone have a pic of this…. I would love to post it.

Kirk “Pretty Boy” Olson and Ken ” Catfish” Ward are on the board for RFTW and are our road guards.  THANKS guys for all you do.   Hope your arm feels better Kirk.

Did you ever sit at a railroad crossing and count the number of cars of a train?  Well I have. Out here you can see the whole train and  these 2 had about 80.

 

This is “Walrus”.  He is standing at every exit the pack needs to take.  You surely cannot miss him.

Nice surprise by our Outreach and Ambassador teams.

 

Here is the staging team before anyone gets in the lot.  They have to know how many bikes are in each platoon and then get enough space for them to fit in a lot.  Way before all this, someone has to scout out locations to be able to handle 400 bikes in a lot.  Thanks Steve!!  This is all done way in advance.  Every year you need check with EVERY stop made.  Today we had 5, now multiply this by 10 day.  That a LOT of planning

Look where leadership ended up.  You have to improvise.  And share the lot when necessary.

Hydration team Thanks!!  We are heading into the desert…. so everyone hydrate.

This is Barry and Devine.  They assign the new riders to platoons.  This can be a tricky job since you want to balance them out.  Also people come and go on the Run the platoon get bigger and smaller.  Some can only make it a few day and it could be at the beginning, the middle, or the end of the run.  Devine also helps with the Registration duties.

Day is looking good but still a little hazy.  BEAUTIFUL!!  Pics just do not show the full picture.

 

 

This is Wild Bill another one of our road guards and a Vietnam vet.  Before we left Ontario, the Run is always trying to raise money.  Someone donated 2 cows to be auctioned off.  Bill got one of them. Bill did you get T-bone or Sirloin?  This is a little cow mascot he has on the back.

What a great reception heading into Needles, CA for Lunch.

Rick is another one of your veteran road guards.  I will show lots of these pics.  It captures the respect that the Run has.

Wow only our 3 gas stop and you guys look like pros.  Way to go Fuel team

Bud is the CA state coordinator.  Each state has one.  They have a big job.  All the gas, lunch , dinner….stops need to be organized.  The  state coordinators do this to make he Run go smooth.  I will not hold it against  you Bud that you are a Pittsburg fan.  (He was born and raised there, then move to CA).

Here is one  of the table clothes in Needles.  Kids do a great job

Now a few more of the leadership team.  Bernadette is the 50-50 person , Cookie is part of registration, and Dabo…. he is not leadership.. he is a road guard.

Lance is our raffle rouser…. Dadbo, photo bombed us again.

People of Needles are always working hard to give us a great lunch.

And today we got ice cream.   It was 101 in the shade today and this was sooo good.  The gentleman in the center of the pic is a Vietnam vet.  Several thanked him for his service.  Remember, is  only takes a few seconds to thanks them!!!

 

Head out over the Colorado river into Arizona.

 

 

Next fuel stop.  Check this out.  We are only thereabout 45 minutes and look at all the support

 

See the pine trees.  This is how we know we are getting close to Williams AZ.  They smell so good.
Great reception in town.  Love to see the kids engaged. This is our future.

 

The day was long and I was a little disappointed  there was no table to work at.  NO big deal, we make do.  I may need help getting up… LOL

Staying at Williams AZ

Temps:  65,105 (thru the desert), 57
Route: I-15E , I-40E
Miles: 402

Quote for the day:

Freedom is not free