Name: Kristine Wood
Road Name: Eyes
FNG Year: 2014
How many times have you been All the Way? 7 years
And how many times have you been a Participant? All the way baby!
On Which Route (Routes) did you ride? Southern Route
What is your favorite Run for the Wall memory? Do I have to choose just one? It would have to be my FNG year when Gump stood up to share his story. He told this group in front of him, hundreds of Vietnam veterans, “the reason we did not leave any behind in Iraq, was because of the lessons learned in Vietnam”. You should have seen the look on these seasoned veterans faces. This young repatriated POW telling these veterans, that they changed the course of future conflicts. It was powerful!
Have you held any positions as a volunteer on the Run? If you have, which Positions have you held? 50/50 rouser, tail gunner, assistant platoon leader, platoon leader, sit-rep writer and assistant route coordinator
Are you a Military Veteran, or do you have a military background or a relationship with a member of the Military? I have not personally served. My father was a World War II and Korea veteran, my brother-in-law is a Vietnam Veteran, brother was in the Air Force. I have had a relative fight in every conflict this country has ever been involved in, beginning with the revolution up to today.
Are you a Gold Star or Blue Star family member? Yes, blue star.
What inspired you to participate in the RFTW the first time? The opportunity to honor and serve America’s veterans.
What brought you back? The opportunity to honor and serve America’s veterans.
Have you participated in Rolling Thunder? Yes
Are you planning on participating in Rolling to Remember (the AMVETS event that replaces Rolling Thunder)? Not sure
Give us a few words about “WHY YOU RIDE.”
I ride because my father a World War II veteran drank himself to death. He did not face the demons of PTSD and deal with his grief and loss. My brother-in-law a Vietnam Veteran is currently battling cancer from agent orange. My son-in-law served in Afghanistan as a corpsman and saw his best friend’s legs blown off from an IED. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to these veterans and thousands of others. If by being on the run, I can help ease a Veteran’s pain and help them to heal, then I will be on the run as long as I am able.
Any favorite photos you’d like to share? Anything else to Add? I published the book Run for the Wall – A Journey to the Vietnam Memorial www.rftwthebook.com . The book contains 300 of my favorite photos, capturing the essence of the run and why riders return year after year.