Jim “Hoofer” McCrain
DAY 05 – Sunday, May 17, 2020
Shawnee OK – Forrest City AR
Yep, you read that right! We are traveling 392 miles today. For many people, that is a LONG day of travel. For some, it is the LONGEST day of riding they have ever made. It will take strength, stamina, and strong will to finish.
So we will start our day with a church service. Our Senior Chaplin (“Good Wrench”) always has words of encouragement for us. But on a Sunday morning, well just watch out! He will get you fired up! He will get you energized! He will get you in the right frame of mind for our Mission! And he will give you the opportunity to speak one-on-one with himself or any of our other Chaplains if you need to. Church is not mandatory on the Run, but I will tell you from experience that I see almost every Rider come out a little early to participate each year. We have been growing very fond of each other over the past five days, and we see first hand how a comforting word or gesture can make an otherwise bad day into something special. We have started to form bonds of Brotherhood that will help us along the rest of our journey together, and our Chaplains are there ever mile of the way to help guide us spiritually and emotionally. I have personally come to rely on our Chaplains for support more and more each year. They are amazing people, that really do care about you, and want nothing more than to help you in times of need.
Oh yeah, they also bring the Chase Vehicles and snacks!
Although there aren’t a lot of activities today, there WILL be a lot to see and experience. This is another one of those days were we see the incredible outpouring of support and respect from the American People. Each town that we pass through presents us a “mini-parade route” lined with happy people. About the time you would think we are getting tired of seeing someone wave an American Flag at us, we see another one that makes us cry even more. There is just something about the people of the lower mid-west that makes us all proud to be Americans. We see these people standing in the rain to wave at us. They are in large groups on the side of the road. They are small groups on an over-pass. They are a Mother and young child in a parking lot, holding a sign that says “Welcome Home!” And they are an old, grizzled Veteran holding on to his cane in one hand and saluting the Riders with his other.
THIS is America, and this is how they show their love for our Country and our Military Heroes!
After such a long day, we end up on Forrest City Arkansas. We will be fed so much that we feel ready to burst. We will have a musical presentation that stirs our hearts with pride. And just as we did this morning, we will gather together and give Thanks for a safe day of riding. Riding that allows US to pay honor and Respect to our fellow-countrymen, and to our own Heroes.
Jim “Hoofer” McCrain
If you would like to follow along with our ride from last year, just follow this link: