Name: Jim Dalton
Road Name: Journey
FNG Year: 2019
How many times have you been All the Way? Once, but this year its All the Way + Sandbox. And how many times have you been a Participant? 0
On Which Route (Routes) did you ride? Southern Route
What is your favorite Run for the Wall memory? There are so many…. In 2019 I was an FNG and in Ontario I met Pam Cain. I learned about the tradition of carrying a picture and bio of a service member to the wall. I was honored to carry her father all the way, Col. Oscar Mauterer, MIA 15/2/66 Laos. Then there was the chance meeting at a lunch stop in Texas where I met Sgt. James Yettman. We started talking in the parking lot shortly after we pulled in. He told me of his support for the mission and how he and his wife come out to see us every year. He follows us on-line and tracks our progress and knows our traditions. After quite a while of visiting the Sergeant asked me if I would do him a service, He had always wanted to go to the wall and pay his respects. He knows a lot of the names on that stone. But he’s getting on in years and his health aint the best these days. He asked if I would carry his picture to the wall as a way of being with his friends. Well of course I said yes. There’s room for two pictures on my windscreen.
The day of the walk to the wall….wow. I met Pam at panel 5E. I touched her father’s name on line 38…. We place his picture at the base of the wall. We cried, we hugged, we cried some more. Once we had collected ourselves and dried our eyes, we smiled and propped each other up. I had made it, all the way and here I was at the wall. I was no longer an FNG. It was time for Pam to turn my pin upside down….. more tears, more hugs, you know the story. But my mission wasn’t complete. I walked around to the far side of the grass in front of the wall and found a spot with a perfect, unobstructed view that looks out across the entire wall. There on the chain that hangs from post to post and runs along the grass edge, I hung Sgt. Yettman’s picture, facing the wall.
There were many other moments along the way. Like when a member of leadership mopped me up when the two Brownies turned me into a puddle. Going with Gump on an outreach and participating in the Honor Guard at a wreath laying ceremony. And more.
Have you held any positions as a volunteer on the Run? Not yet but this year; Fuel Team – Sandbox!
Are you a Military Veteran, or do you have a military background or a relationship with a member of the Military? Senior Systems Engineer – DoD –
Are you a Gold Star or Blue Star family member? No
What inspired you to participate in the RFTW the first time? When I heard about the run I went to the website. The messaging there was all I needed to know I had to go.
What brought you back? The people. The experience. The mission.
Have you participated in Rolling Thunder? No
Are you planning on participating in Rolling to Remember (the AMVETS event that replaces Rolling Thunder)? No – Sandbox
Give us a few words about “WHY YOU RIDE.” I have so much respect for those who have served in uniform. Every day I go to work to do my part in maintaining our military supremacy. To build the latest technology for the war fighter. That said, I feel like family with the whole RFTW group. Though like many families we may differ on politics or religion and such, we share more important things. A sense of duty, honor and a love for our country.
I believe in the RFTW mission. I ride for those that can’t.