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Central Route Coordinator News – September 2019

Greetings from sunny Southern California! My name is Tom Miller, and it is my honor and privilege to have been selected as the 2020 RFTW Central Route Coordinator. For those of you who don’t know me, my first run in 2008 was “A Once in a Lifetime Experience” that I have repeated every year since. I spent two years on the Staging Crew, followed by eight years as a Road Guard, the last three as Road Guard Captain. I served under Eamon Tansey in 2019 as Assistant Route Coordinator.

As an 18-year-old, I enlisted in the United States Army in 1967. From March 1968 to March 1969, I served with the First Cav Division as an Infantry Squad Leader. After returning from Vietnam, I spent the last 14 months of my enlistment as a Drill Sergeant in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. I have always been proud of my service, and proud of all my brothers and sisters who have served our country, and all those family and friends who have supported our military. This is why Run for the Wall has been so important in my life for the last 13 years.

Joining me as part of your Leadership Team are Bruce Bartolomeo, as Assistant Route Coordinator, Kirk Olson as Road Guard Captain, and Jenny Ward, as Leadership Support Lead. All three of these talented individuals bring a lot of experience, enthusiasm, and dedication to the job, and I feel fortunate to have them with us.

The finalized itinerary for all RFTW Routes, including Central Route, will  be complete and published in the early spring.  Take a look at the posted 2019 itinerary.  2020 will most likely be the same with some possible adjustments.  Just date adjust for 2020.  We leave Ontario, CA on Wednesday morning, May 13, 2020 and arrive Washington, DC the Friday afternoon of May 22, 2020.  If you are new to RFTW and want to get a feel for what riding with us and RFTW is like, please also check out, the New Participant tab and the 10-Days in May section of the RFTW website.  There you will also find an FAQ section.

As of this writing, our teams and crews are being put together, so if you are thinking of volunteering to serve the Run, now is the time. The 2020 RFTW Central Route Volunteer Form is on the Central Route Hub of the RFTW website. The form explains minimum requirements for each job. If you meet the requirements, I encourage you to complete the form and hit the submit button.

On the subject of volunteering, we had a great reunion at Angel Fire and Eagle Nest, New Mexico over Labor Day Weekend. The Central Route has a long-standing tradition of coming together during that weekend to volunteer our service at the New Mexico Vietnam Veterans Memorial. During our time there, we lined the sidewalks with over 500 personalized bricks dedicated to former and current military personnel. This brings the total number of bricks respectfully placed by RFTW participants to over 5,000.

I know we’re 236 days out, but it is never too early to start getting in shape for the Run. Those of you, who are coming back from past runs, know well how grueling those ten days on the road can be, especially in adverse weather conditions. I encourage you to start an exercise program and stick with it for the long haul! I know two long time RFTW vets who have a good-natured bet going to see which one of them can lose the most weight before May! Whatever it takes to stay healthy enough to ride!

Tom “Boomps” Miller
Run for the Wall®
2020 Central Route Coordinator