• December 6, 2018 at 10:40 am #10229
    DutchmanDutchman
    Participant

    All kinds of rumors on the internet about this being the last Rolling Thunder. Can anybody provide details about what is happening and why it’s going away?

    USMC In-Country I Corps 69-70

    RFTW "Participant" 2003, 2004, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018
    ATW 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2017

  • December 6, 2018 at 1:35 pm #10231
    Big Tom
    Participant

    This is the first that I have heard of it…

    Participant 2008
    All the way 2009
    Vietnam Vet 67-68

  • December 6, 2018 at 1:59 pm #10232
    PelicanPelican
    Participant

    Yes, 2019 will be the last year of Rolling Thunder in Washington D.C. on Memorial weekend.

    This information is obtained from the R.T. website, Presidents message located on page 8. The paragraph covering this news is quoted below:

    “PRESIDENT JOE BEAN:
    The conference in DC was excellent. We had classes this year for Media, and Flags/Signs/Chairs. Received many compliments fro
    m the
    Chapters. The back s
    eats were full with general membership, and we had 290 attend the dinner. Announced was that this year, 2019 will be our last
    Memorial Day
    weekend in DC. The decision had to be made due to the exorbitant cost and the difficulty the Pentagon Police have bee
    n giving us. We will now proceed with State Runs
    on the Sunday of Memorial Day all across the country. The representatives are not in DC Memorial Day weekend and home in thei
    r respective districts. We could make
    a bigger impact nationally by demonstrating
    in our respective States. Our sponsors will continue to back us. Harley Davidson is behind us, and the Nam Knights are with
    us. The Bike raffle will continue as well. There is a new owner of the Fort Washington Harley store and he is working to turn
    that s
    tore around. We are working out the
    details for 2020 for State Runs, and NJ, NY, and PA may have a combined Run. The second annual Freedom Farm Festival is comin
    g up in April. An email will be sent
    out with details on motels available, please book your roo
    m now if attending.”

    Pelican

    "I never met a man I didn't like"...will rogers

  • December 6, 2018 at 7:15 pm #10233
    Pretty BoyPretty Boy
    Keymaster

    More importantly…

    RUN FOR  THE WALL is HERE to STAY!!!

    Kirk "Pretty Boy" Olson
    RFTW Board of Directors - Public Affairs & Communications
    Central Route Road Guard - 2010-2019

    Participant 2009, 2015 | All the Way 2010-2014, 2016-2019
    2012 BMW K1600GT

    • December 13, 2018 at 12:29 pm #10262
      River RatRiver Rat
      Participant

      Talking with a couple other bikers at an ABATE meeting in Milwaukee who participate in Rolling Thunder’s Run “to” the Wall sponsored by a biker friendly lawyer group in Milwaukee.  The subject of 2019 Run “to” the Wall being the last came up.  I commented that Run FOR the Wall was still going to continue but most in the conversation tried to correct me to say that 2019 is the last.  When I explained that Run FOR the Wall and Run “to” the Wall were 2 different missions, they all responded that they did not know abut RFTW!!  It might be a good time for RFTW leadership to promote the difference in the next 18 months.  Several in our conversation noted the RFTW website that I gave them and said it would definitely be an acceptable alternative to the Rolling Thunder Run “to” the Wall and the demonstration parade.  RFTW might be able to pick up a couple “fng’s” when Rolling Thunder ends.  Just thinking out loud  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

    • December 15, 2018 at 5:40 pm #10279
      Les WilliamsLes Williams
      Participant

      River Rat:

      Just to let you know we have been working for years to keep the confusion between RFTW and RT.  Three days ago the fake news and rumor mill otherwise known as FB came alive about RFTW demise in 2019. The Washington news media theme on Thursday morning was “Rolling Thunder, the voice of support for the POW/MIA mission is leaving Washington.” We responded to all the news media outlets in Washington with the letter you can read in this thread as well as media outlets along our routes. We also have posted a clear and concise message on our Facebook page which was done on Thursday morning. Your leadership is alive and well and on top of this story. Thanks for posting on the forum and also we are one of the only corporations who posts the pictures of the leadership by name, address, email account, and phone number on the web site under the “About” tab. When in doubt please contact me I will be glad to let you know what I know and hopefully that will slow the doubts and rumors?

      Les “Easy” Williams

      President RFTW Board of Directors

      President RFTW Board of Directors.

      Les "Easy" Williams
      President, Run For The Wall BoD
      Central & Midway Platoon Leader 2012-18
      Col USMC (ret)

  • December 6, 2018 at 7:32 pm #10235
    DutchmanDutchman
    Participant

    Even though RT was never an official part of RFTW I hate to see them cave to pressure as it was always a “supplement” to the FNG experience, like the USMC Evening Parade, Friday Wall vigil and other events. We could park our bikes practically anywhere in large part due to large numbers of riders in town for RT. Maybe I’m paranoid but if the powers that be can get rid of one group, they can get rid of us. I hope he leadership stays ever vigilant………..

    USMC In-Country I Corps 69-70

    RFTW "Participant" 2003, 2004, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018
    ATW 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2017

  • December 7, 2018 at 5:04 am #10238
    KillswitchKillswitch
    Participant

    Truth be told, I have not stuck around for the actual Sunday Rolling Thunder ride for years-I think 2013 was the last time I did.

    Getting to the Wall is really all I care about.

    Todd "Killswitch" Miller
    RFTW 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017.
    Colorado Patriot Guard Riders
    Life Member AMVETS, Life Member VFW Post 10233, Anjung-ri, Korea
    US Army, TB Gamberi Afghanistan, APO, AP 09354

  • December 13, 2018 at 11:28 am #10261
    Viper
    Participant

    It appears that 2019 will be the last year that Rolling Thunder will participate (as a whole) in the Run For The Wall.  The grapevine has it that it has become a logistical nightmare for various police departments and they’re throwing a temper tantrum over it.  It’s unclear if the RFTW organization will try to keep this going.  Time will tell.

  • December 14, 2018 at 9:54 am #10264
    Turkey
    Participant

    Posted with the permission of Les Williams.

    With the announced departure of Rolling Thunder from Washington, DC in 2020, there has been much concern expressed about losing the voices calling out for our nation’s POWs and MIAs.  While Rolling Thunder appears to be moving to the various states across this great nation of ours, the expression of both gratitude and concern for these brave warriors will not be lost.

    Since 1989, Run For The Wall has carried the message of our POWs and MIAs across the United States, starting in California and culminating in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day weekend. While many of our members participate in Rolling Thunder on Memorial Sunday, our 10-day mission starts in Ontario, Calif. with daily stops at some 49 locations across our country. We visit veterans in VA hospitals across the country, pay respects at various memorials to veterans in many states and meet with school children at schools–all while carrying on the mission of promoting healing among our veterans and their families, calling for an accounting of our POWs and MIAs, honoring the memory of those killed in action from ALL wars and supporting military personnel all over the world. One of our most important goals is to educate future generations on the importance of accountability in wartime actions, emphasizing that no one should be left behind.

    We don’t give speeches nor do we stage demonstrations. The three routes depart Ontario, Calif., taking different, divergent routes to carry our message of solidarity with veterans, to give a Welcome Home to those veterans that may never have received one.  Oftentimes, our mission is cathartic, providing an atmosphere of comfort, safety and camaraderie to all who participate. Started by Vietnam veterans, our group now includes veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan; active duty military; supporters; friends and family. Everyone is welcome to participate, veterans and non-veterans alike.

    While the loss of Rolling Thunder in Washington, D.C. may end the hours-long demonstration, it will not silence the voice calling for the accountability of our POWs and MIAs.

    Sincerely,

    Les Williams for the RFTW BOD

     

  • December 14, 2018 at 10:06 am #10265
    Pretty BoyPretty Boy
    Keymaster

    The Run for the Wall® Board of Directors, and the Route Coordinators would like to clear up and clarify for new riders and the public, rumors regarding Run for the Wall® and Rolling Thunder.

    1. Run for the Wall® and Rolling Thunder ARE NOT the same organization, and are not affiliated. They never have been affiliated, nor have they ever been the same thing or organization.

    2. Rolling Thunder is/was the 2-mile demonstration parade in Washington, DC the Sunday of Memorial Weekend in May. (Every year many Run for the Wall Riders have participated in the Rolling Thunder parade because we were there at the same time.)

    3. Run for the Wall® began in 1989, and now 30-years later is the largest and longest organized cross-country motorcycle ride and event of its kind in the world, and operates Three Routes: Central, Midway, and Southern Routes. All routes start in Ontario, California and travel to Washington, DC, consisting of a 10-day journey that crosses America’s heartland from Coast-to-Coast raising awareness for POW/MIAs, supporting our current and former military, and provides a healing environment for veterans, veteran families, and supporters. Everyone is welcome to join one of our three routes, veteran, non-veteran, and/or supporter. Riders are welcome to join any one of our three routes for 1-day, or any combination up to the full 10-day ride. You must, however, join at one of our overnight stops. You can’t join mid-day.

    4. The Rolling Thunder organization has announced that 2019 will be the last year they will have their 2-mile demonstration parade in Washington, DC, the Sunday of Memorial Weekend. This has ZERO impact on Run for the Wall® operations.

    5. Run for the Wall® will operate all of its routes in 2019… AND BEYOND (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and so on). We will always ride to Washington, DC… Every Year. We we will always lay our Mission Complete Plaque at the apex of the Vietnam Memorial Wall. We will still go to Arlington National Cemetery. We will still wash The Wall. We will still gather on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for a group photo. We will always welcome anyone that wants to ride with us and join us on any of our three routes, especially our younger veterans. We will always Ride for Those Who Can’t. Join us. Continue The Mission, and learn more at: http://www.RFTW.us

    Kirk "Pretty Boy" Olson
    RFTW Board of Directors - Public Affairs & Communications
    Central Route Road Guard - 2010-2019

    Participant 2009, 2015 | All the Way 2010-2014, 2016-2019
    2012 BMW K1600GT

    • December 14, 2018 at 10:11 am #10266
      DutchmanDutchman
      Participant

      Well said Les!!

      USMC In-Country I Corps 69-70

      RFTW "Participant" 2003, 2004, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018
      ATW 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2017

    • December 15, 2018 at 5:42 pm #10280
      Les WilliamsLes Williams
      Participant

      Thanks, Dutch I appreciate your comments and Merry Christmas and happy 2019 Run For The Wall.

       

      Easy

      Les "Easy" Williams
      President, Run For The Wall BoD
      Central & Midway Platoon Leader 2012-18
      Col USMC (ret)

  • December 23, 2018 at 7:46 am #10321
    KillswitchKillswitch
    Participant

    AMVETS has made statements on FB suggesting they are going to host Rolling Thunder in 2020.

    My prediction is that Memorial Day Weekend in DC 2020 is going to be a huge mess, AMVETS or not.

    There will be tons bikers who don’t know RT is no more, and many more who don’t care and want to do the ride anyway.

    All that with the added dimension of no organization to it.

    I intend to make it to the Wall Friday evening and be on the road out of town Saturday morning!

     

    Todd "Killswitch" Miller
    RFTW 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017.
    Colorado Patriot Guard Riders
    Life Member AMVETS, Life Member VFW Post 10233, Anjung-ri, Korea
    US Army, TB Gamberi Afghanistan, APO, AP 09354

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