Day 6, Junction City to Wentzville Mo. May 21, 2018
Another great and glorious day on the RUN. I started out to ride with the Ambassador team and I got to staging late because I was still finishing up yesterday’s sit rep and wanted to get it completed so of course I was running late and forgot to plug in my tether cord to my CB and left it in the trunk, therefor I could not hear the leader’s commands to go off the road so therefore I did not get to go out and meet and thank people along the way. That is the way it is on the RUN and I suppose in life too. Some days you just start out behind and you find it real hard to catch up. That is what this RUN is like, most of the time. Maybe it is just me but I talk to others and they chime in and agree with me. Unless you are really disciplined and stay the course it is easy to get behind and then it snowballs and then you are really behind. I just needed to share that so you may get the impression that it is all fun and games and to a certain extent it is, but reality in any theater comes back to haunt you unless you prepare for it.
Okay, enough of my struggles. I arrived at staging just in time to leave with the ambassadors. They are a special group that gets out ahead of the main pack and goes to where the people are standing along the road and or on the overpasses and thank them for being there to support RFTW. Many people on the overpasses have been coming for several years and they are so glad to actually put a face to the RUN and to touch an actual person connected to the RUN. They are there to support the RUN and they are always gracious and supportive. The ambassadors give out pins, hugs and thank yous. Sometimes the people want to talk but when it (bikes) comes the bikes get their full attention and that is as it should be. I wanted to get some better shots but due to circumstance, like no CB hookup and etc. I was only able to get a few and I have some stock photos also.
The Ambassadors are led by the very capable Eric and Sonia Amond. Their dedication and attitudes toward the RUN are outstanding. They have been involved with the Ambassadors for 2010 +-. Ambassadors was started because we wanted a way for the pack to say thank you to the bystanders. To just drive by and wave seemed inadequate so the Ambassador team was started. It has been a very successful endeavor.
We headed through Topeka to the fuel stop which was paid for the VFW national headquarters, and we thank you very much. Fuel on the RUN is often paid for by others which allows many to go on the RUN that otherwise would not be able to make it, so thank You.
We headed straight east down I70 to Concordia Mo. And arrived to a wonderful meal and presentations. A high light for many were the two WWII Vets that were present. They are Melvin Rehkop, 99, sitting, and Mel Bockelman, 90. Melvin shared with me that he was a young farm boy when he went to war and that 90% of all the soldiers in his community were farm boys and that their stride when walking was longer than most of the other men and they had to teach the farm boys to take smaller or shorter steps in order to march with the others. An interesting side note “coincidence” develop. Yesterday at JC I met two men from Dutch or Holland, actually I had met Maarten van Lunenburg in 2013 (?) when he was by himself and now his brother, Bas van Lunenburg, (on left) is here with him. They very much wanted to meet the WWII men as the soldiers had liberated Belgim during WWII.
Unfortunately I am out of time and I have much to post. I will get to the many posts when I can and if I don’t get them done before the end of the RUN days I will continue to post in the days after. Thanks much and I will talk with you tomorrow. Whats ahead, Road Guards, platoon leaders, many coincidental conversations that I must share as they are so interesting. Please be patient and I will do my best to get them out this week or maybe next.
Sit Rep for RFTW Central Route