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FNG Story – Joe “Jude” Hodges

Name: Joe “Jude” Hodges
Phone: 505-488-3953
City: Gallup
State: New Mexico
FNG Story:

For many months I had been planning this trip to ride with the Run for the Wall. I had actually planned to ride for a day in 2009 but since after 33 years of riding I had never had a motorcycle endorsement on my driver’s license, I wasn’t able to ride with the group. That was a real let down for me as I had been wanting to make the run for a long time. As a brownwater Navy veteran, I has been something that I have long been compelled to participate in the mission to honor those veterans who are unable to make the run. Also, I had a need to honor my dad, a Korean War veteran, and the other numerous members of my family that have proudly served in the armed forces our country.

After my inability to ride last year I was determined to make the 2010 run. The plan was to ride from Gallup, NM to Trinidad, CO as this was all the time I was able to be away from work. I got up early loaded my bike, leathered up, put the key in the ignition, and was ready for engine to jump to life; however, all I got was silence as the battery was dead so after what felt like an eternity I was able to strip it down, jump the battery and pack back up and set off. I had a great ride into Santa Fe where there was a gas stop and a reassembly across from the Harley Davidson shop where we were to have lunch. It was getting warm and I needed a drink of water and was just taking a drink when they decided it was
time to move out. I hurriedly tried to get my self together and was fumbling with securing my water bottle when it was time for our platoon to go. I started the bike, put it in gear, let the clutch out went about three feet and the front tire caught a round rock. The front wheel skewed to the left sharply as I moving my water bottle back into place and over I went landing on my right elbow and shoulder and hearing a loud pop in my shoulder as my head slammed into the ground.

Thankfully my fellow brothers around me set the bike up off of my stuck foot and leg, shaded my face and called the ambulance, which was pretty quick in coming and I was whisked off to the emergency room where it was determined that I had a broken arm at the very top of the humerus along with a messed up shoulder, socket and scapula. The arm was broken at a point where it could not be set, so I was given a sling for it and dismissed. All in all not a really great day.

The only good thing about the short time that I had was the association with everyone for a brief time and a renewed determination that I will try again next year! Oh and I have decided to change my road name to CRASH!

I can’t close without thanking everyone for all of their help for me and my bike as well as all those that put so much time and effort into the mission. Thanks and God Bless You….