Day 7 – Tuesday May 24, 2022 Southern Route
Today we went from Meridian, MS to Chattanooga, TN. We started at the Agriculture Pavilion in Meridian. Of course, we were fed good stuff. Always lots of food but it’s all so good and appreciated. Everyone seems to enjoy taking care of us as we journey across the country. We always have a big Thank You for all these great people and truly appreciate the number of people coming out to support us. The laundry was ready for pickup! An amazing service. The big news of the day was the rain. We were rained on for a couple of hours all together but it was a fairly warm rain. We all had our rain gear on so it wasn’t a big deal. It slowed us a little but we went through and got to where we needed to be. We had some fuel stops, we left Mississippi, went through Alabama and a small part of Georgia to end up in Tennessee. A total of 317 miles. We had LEO escort in Alabama but not in Tennessee. Going through Chattanooga there was quite a bit of traffic but we all made it through without incidence. It’s hard to describe but if you’re a rider, and you’re with a friend or two, you can make it through the traffic areas without too much trouble but when you have a group as large as ours, it becomes a challenge and that’s where our Road Guards do a fabulous job of getting us through these difficult areas without an incident. The reality is you have different skill levels with riders that don’t know each other’s driving habits real well. The size of the group is so large, even broken up into platoons, it’s a challenge because we’re trying to stay together yet some cars are trying to squeeze into our group to make an exit and it can become a challenge. Most of us are experienced enough to know when to let people through and when not to so with the guidance of Road Guards and Tail Gunners, we did well. Thanks Guys and Gals. Dinner was at the White Lightening Harley Davidson Dealer. Great pulled pork sandwiches and goodies. Then onto the hotels. I had some other details I wanted to pass on but my sources haven’t forwarded details yet, hopefully I can update later tonight or tomorrow. Till next time – Boots out.
USAF ’72 – ’75
“Accept the challenges so that you can
feel the exhilaration of victory.”
General George Patton Jr.
Below are some words from a gentleman, Frank L. Vance, that read to us during one of our fuel stops. It was very touching.
People like my Father and all Soldiers make me very proud to be AMERICAN. My wife’s father was in the Navy during WWII. My father graduated Glider Pilot flight school from South Plains Air Field. He served in the European Theater. His name was Frank L. Vance III. They have a Silent Wings Museum in Lubbock , Texas at South Plains Air Field that Honors all Gliders Pilots. There was a picture of his 306th TCS in the museum, the same picture we have at his house.
My father passed on Dec.30th, 2013.He was a WWII Glider Pilot. He was in the Army/Aircorp 9th Corp,442nd TCG,306th TCS. He flew CG-4A Gliders and C-47’s in Holland, France, Belgium and Germany. His main mission was Operation Market Garden. Many British and American men died in that battle. He received the Air Combat Metal for his Service. He was my HERO and my BEST FRIEND. He always said the HERO’S were the ones that gave their lives during the war. He said he was not a HERO. I always thought he and all men like him were HERO’S. I’d like to share a poem I wrote a few weeks after he died. It’s called “Soldiers Pain” Thanks, Frank L. Vance IV, Dedicated to Frank L. Vance III and all soldiers:
He is my eternal flame,
Many have come before and after,
but they are all the same
Young girls and boys protecting the world
and always taking the blame.
They didn’t ask to be in this
situation, but do their job
because they love their nation.
They never have time to cry
or be afraid, something we
take for granted every day.
I owe a great amount of appreciation
because my father was part of
the Greatest Generation.
There’s a place in my heart for all the
families that are mentally and physically
so far apart.
Many lose their life and some
come home to their husband and wife.
The ones that are sane settle
back in society and sustain,
but the ones that gave and
saw pain will never be the same.
If they make it back sane
I think they wonder why we all complain.
So, if you see a soldier
give them a hand shake and
a hug because freedom is
not free and they sacrifice
everything for you and me.
We will never know a
Soldiers Pain because they
risk and give their lives for our gain.
By: Frank L. Vance IV January 2014
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