May 20, 2020 – Day 8 to DC – Corydon, IN to Hurricane WV
Day 8 is a great day because of the stops we make. But before we leave there is always the pledge and a prayer. Platoons break out for their morning meetings. Because there are always new people joining, we go over all the rules to keep everyone safe on the road.
We cross the Ohio River into Kentucky. We are Almost to DC.
Our first stop is Robley Rex VA Hospital. We are greeted with open arms. They love when the Run comes thru. The patients love it and cannot wait until we get there.
The Robley Rex VA Medical Center is an active, affiliated acute care and outpatient facility located on a 47-acre hilltop near downtown Louisville and overlooking the Ohio River. The medical center also operates three community based outpatient clinics in the greater Louisville area. These clinics make VA services more accessible for veterans residing in the Kentucky area.
Rex Robley was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and enlisted in the military in May, 1919, six months after the Armistice date. He severed for 3 years. He was the last Kentucky World War I era veteran, and the last known World War I era veteran of the United States.
In 1986, Rex turned to volunteerism, lending support to fellow veterans at the Louisville Veteran’s Administration Medical Center. Rex logged more than 14,000 hours of volunteer time while at the Center. He dedicated his life helping his fellow veterans, both through the veterans service organizations and activities at the Medical Center. He continued to volunteer there three days a week, even at age 105.
Hugs all around from the staff. Next year I hope we get all the hugs again.
The Pledge of Allegiance is said. Oh my gosh the number of veteran that go on the Run is amazing. We see this every day.
We are able to visit several of the patients. They are always so excited to see us come in and love to hear the sound of the motorcycles as we pull in.
Here is one example from last year:
This gentleman served in Navy from 1964 to 1967. He was on the USS Yorktown. He put the aircraft on the elevators to get to them up on deck. They put inappropriate notes on the bombs. He just smiled from ear to ear. I can only imagine what they wrote. 😁😁😁
We all love to hear the stories of the lives of these veterans that they gave for our country.
Before you leave, you have to see Popcorn Billy. He is famous in the hospital, and he love the girls, just ask him.
The gentleman to his left served with “Popcorn” Billy. He gave me the story on Billy. The 2 here and Billy’s twin brother served in the same unit from 1968-69. They were in the 57th Assault Helicopter Company. It was the first attach on a helicopter unit. Billy’s brother died in this attach and Billy was wounded. Ever since he has been helping all the people can. The name “popcorn” came because he makes popcorn and sells it then donates the proceed. He buys all the supplies. Always smiling and likes hugs!!
Next stop Frankfort KY at the Vietnam Memorial.
Vietnam War Sundial
The Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial was designed with a unique approach to honor the military dead from one of America’s most troubled conflicts. A 14-foot high steel sundial stands at the center of a granite plaza. Its gnomon casts a shadow on the chiseled name of each fallen Vietnam war veteran — 1,103 of them — on the anniversary of when they were killed. Thus each individual is honored with a personal tribute.
Kentucky’s 23 MIAs are listed behind the sundial so its shadow never falls on their names. Some have been found since this was build. Those are the ones with a date. We never forget and we will not stop until we bring them all home.
The Memorial is one of the largest granite memorials in the nation and contains 327 cut stone panels weighing more than 215 tons. The stone came from the Pyramid Blue quarry in Elberton, GA. The lettering of the names and dates are the same style used for official government grave markers throughout the nation, including Arlington National Cemetery.
If you ever get a chance to go see it, go. It is amazing and an engineering marvel.
Lunch is at Mt. Sterling. We come into Mt. Sterling and what a reception. The schools always have the kids out. I am sure they would all like to be in school to see us instead of dealing with the Pandemic. Hang in there kids, we will be back next year. Here all the kids are out waving flags and screaming. So neat.
Many years this leg is very hot. Coming into the center, the air conditioning feels soooo good.
After lunch, the roads thru KY into WV are always so beautiful. Here are a few pics from last year.
The last leg is to Hurricane WV. What I remember about Hurricane is that for several years we got an escort from a Huey. Pics do not do it justice.
Always a nice reception here. Ladies and Gentlemen thanks for service.
Here is the Huey the flew over us.
Day 9, we visit the kids at Rainelle. Since the begin of the Run we have been collecting money for the schools in that town. It was one of the first school “Gunny” Gregory stopped at on his first run from CA of DC in 1989. I am told that these bikers gave the kids a ride on their bikes. Really, bikers, black leather … and kids. This friendship has been there for many years and thru many generations. This would be year 32.
The price of freedom is written on the wall