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May 22, 2024 – Day 8 to DC – Corydon, IN to Nitro, WV

May 22, 2024 – Day 8 to DC – Corydon, IN to Nitro, WV

Wow! What a great and exhausting day! This one may take a few minutes longer to read. We had lots of stops to make today.

I would like to take a sidestep for a few minutes. There are a lot of teams within the Run and one I feel I may have neglected are the road guards. These guys create a bubble around the whole pack. Here are some of the things they do:


  • They have an advance team that will run in front the pack and check the roads ahead, set people at the turn interchanges and lets the road guard captain if any issues ahead
  • They will block on ramps so no cars get in the middle of the pack
  • They stop traffic at all intersections for the pack to go thru without stopping
  • They direct the bikers out of the gas pumps toward the staging teams
  • Work with the LEOs for clearing the highways.
  • And I am sure I have missed several other things
Here are a few pics:
Top Hat and Wild Bill are Vietnam Veterans that still ride hard

Little fun on the exit ramps to get people focused going off the ramps

Direct the bikers thru town

……and at the gas pumps.

For the entrance ramps, once the pack is past them, they must recycle.

One even helped an elderly person cross the parking lot.
I also owe you info on Joseph Ross, the person we are signing the pages for from Kentucky.
Kelly from Platoon 1 knew the brothers from the article below. Thanks Kelly for getting me this info:


Joe’s younger brother Steve is a Vietnam Veteran. He was an aircraft mechanic during the War.

He would be sent out to different bases wherever aircraft needed repairs.

One week before Joe would be listed as MIA, Steve was sent to Da Nang Air Base, where his brother was stationed.

They spent their evenings together hanging out talking about their years growing up in Fort Thomas, Kentucky.

Once Steve Ross’ assignment had been fulfilled, he boarded a plane to go to another Air Base for repairs there.

His plane was not allowed to takeoff, and Air Base officers came to inform him his brother’s flight that had taken off earlier was Missing.

Steve was soon sent home to Kentucky to tell his parents about what happened to his brother.

Steve recently returned to Kentucky from his home in Florida to help dedicate a new Vietnam Memorial Monument recognizing the 36 men from Campbell County, Kentucky whose lives were lost.

Joe is on the left, Steve on the right.

Nick starts with a bio for someone to carry to the wall. This is why we ride, to bring everyone home. We are on day 8 and starting to feel the fatigue. We need to remember them. They would love to feel this way and be here. Remember that you are here for them!
Tom Pogue, Bones, prepares the Missing Man for this leg.
He has a different person for every leg of the Run.

We start the day trying to get thru Louisville. This is always a little tough and this year is a little worse since they have taken 2 of the 3 lanes down for construction. The road guards and local LEO got us thru pretty quickly. The state coordinator was a huge driver to get this resolved.

We roll into Robley Rex VA Hospital as our first stop of the day. They are always ready for us.

Fun Fact:

The Robley Rex  VA Medical Center is an active, affiliated acute care and outpatient facility located on a 47-acre hilltop near downtown Louisville and overlooking the Ohio River. The medical center also operates three community based outpatient clinics in the greater Louisville area. These clinics make VA services more accessible for veterans residing in the Kentucky area.

Rex Robley was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and enlisted in the military in May, 1919, six months after the Armistice date. He served for 3 years.  He was the last Kentucky World War I era veteran, and the last known World War I era veteran of the United States.

In 1986, Rex turned to volunteerism, lending support to fellow veterans at the Louisville Veterans Administration Medical Center. Rex logged more than 14,000 hours of volunteer time while at the Center. He dedicated his life helping his fellow veterans, both through the veterans service organizations and activities at the Medical Center.  He continued to volunteer there three days a week, even at age 105.

There is a gentleman who knows about  “Popcorn” Billy.  He gave me the story about Billy.  The 2 men and Billy’s twin brother served in the same unit from 1968-69.  They were in the 57th Assault Helicopter Company. It was the first attack on a helicopter unit. Billy’s brother died in this attack and Billy was wounded.  Ever since he has been helping all the people.  The name “popcorn” came because he makes popcorn and sells it then donates the proceeds. He buys all the supplies.  Always smiling and he loves hugs!!

 Billy welcomes up and has us all join him for the Pledge of Allegiance. He left us with this:

“Please enjoy your life while you can and be happy and healthy the rest of your days.”

He sees me and Jenny and grabs a hug!!! They he sees Courtney and give her a big hug. He said he feels like he died and went to heaven. I think he says that to all the ladies


He is now 79 and his ailments from Vietnam are really affecting him.

He has stopped doing the popcorn but still goes and visits the vets.

Lee, on the left, is our KY state coordinator.  The next one is one of the current pharmacists.  The next lady worked here 7 years ago and still comes to visit the vets.  She always makes sure she comes on RFTW day.


We have hydration teams that follow us.  People donate drinks and snacks. Here is one of teams that carry this.  Constantly filling the cooler with ice and making sure we stay hydrated.
This gentleman was greeting the rider as they went into the store. He served for 22 year and would do it again.  He has been coming here for 10 years and said he would wait all day to see us  if he had to.
This next stop is probably my favorite memorial.  I still do not quite understand it even though I have heard and read about it for 10 years.
Col. Cecil spent 10-15 minutes explaining the sundial.

Vietnam War Sundial

The Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial was designed with a unique approach to honor the military dead from one of America’s most troubled conflicts. A 14-foot high steel sundial stands at the center of a granite plaza. Its gnomon casts a shadow on the chiseled name of each fallen Vietnam war veteran — 1,103 of them — on the anniversary of when they were killed.  Thus each individual is honored with a personal tribute.

Kentucky’s 23 MIAs are listed behind the sundial, so its shadow never falls on their names.  Some have been found since this was built. Those are the ones with a date.  We never forget and we will not stop until we bring them all home.

The Memorial is one of the largest granite memorials in the nation and contains 327 cut stone panels weighing more than 215 tons. The stone came from the Pyramid Blue quarry in Elberton, GA. The lettering of the names and dates are the same style used for official government grave markers throughout the nation, including Arlington National Cemetery.  

If you ever get a chance to go see it, go.  It is amazing and an engineering marvel.

As we turn the corner to go to the memorial, check out this flag!!!   It is huge.

A prayer and the Pledge of allegiance is said before we get started.  Taps are played off in the distance.
If you remember at the start of the Run, we asked an FNG to carry a book


and get signatures of an MIA/KIA.  Here are the names of those remaining

Let’s rock and roll. Load up and head down the road to our last stop and dinner.




Get to Nitro and yet another great greeting.


to be found and you will see Joseph Ross is still on the list and the shadow

will never fall on his name.

Someone asked what about leap years.  To date there is no one here who was born on February 29.

The colors are posted, and a beautiful singing of our national anthem is sung.

This gentleman is a WWII veteran and the little girl you have met already is Piper. She was very excited to be here bridging the generation gaps.


At dinner I met Carla.  She has been around the Run for 25 years. It started in a Yamaha bike shop in Hurricane.  They would park in a field, eat spaghetti and have ice cream. The ice cream part is still around, yum!!!

Temps: 68-80 

Route: I-64E

Miles: 252

Quote for the day:

            Heroes do not wear capes, they wear dog tags.

1 thought on “May 22, 2024 – Day 8 to DC – Corydon, IN to Nitro, WV

  1. Having been involved with RFTW since the beginning (I’m an 89er), I was a little disheartened with Day 7 & Day 8 SITREPS for the Central Route. Corydon’s overnight stop has been notoriously relished since 1991 when the FIRST Deep Fried Fish dinner was served to 40 participants in a supporters back yard in Freedonia, IN. Traditionally since then, it is the ONLY stop where a fresh deep fried fish dinner is served across the CR with over 600 being served during the 30th anniversary year. Many people work tirelessly to make this a memorable stop for participants and, will continue to do so in the future. I just wish that the SITREP writer would have taken more time to address that.

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