We had a late meeting start so we could sleep in early. Yay! Over at the Rich Ford Dealership, breakfast was served. What a spread! They had everything. The bacon, sausage, eggs, fruit, biscuits and gravy was all great and there was much more.
Mandatory meeting time again, but it didn’t start until 0800. After the usual stuff, several items were raffled off. Again we heard the bio of a serviceman Missing in Action in Vietnam that was from Albuquerque, NM. Then we had our Platoon Leadership briefs and enough time to complete them. I was glad for that. We were out of there at 0900 under LEO escort and headed to the little town of Moriarty to parade through town. We had done this previous years. We rode slowly through this little town waving at some of the residents obviously there to watch us ride by. It was great to see them and to be welcomed by them. Quickly we were back on I-40 with LEO escort.
We stopped in Santa Rosa for another donated fuel stop, then the long trek to the Blue Hole (all of three miles). It’s really a sight to see but a chilly 61 degrees year round. Several riders jumped in together. I was not there to witness the debauchery, but I heard later that it was pretty funny. Sorry I missed it. The Blue Hole is a natural spring of fresh water which is often used for diving. Lunch was great as well as the little time we had to socialize. Several plaques and certificates were handed out again.
The afternoon ride to our next stop was warm and a little breezy. Perhaps a lot breezy. Some of it was tail wind, which made it nice for a while. Russell’s store has a car museum inside. Worth a look if you have time. It’s free. The hydration and snack truck was also there and I quickly grabbed another one of those Naked fruit drinks and a cold neck wrap. It’s really cold when you put it on but it feels pretty good after a while when the weather starts to warm up. It wasn’t long before the 5 minute horn sounded, so we mounted up for our ride into Amarillo.
We crossed over into Texas and soon there were two planes overhead to greet us releasing smoke streams as they flew by. We also saw the 10 half buried Cadillacs that all comers are free to spray paint with graffiti. We saw many overpasses with lots of patriots on them cheering us and waving flags with a few very large flags hanging from the overpass or from fire engine ladders high in the air, an amazing and very patriotic, sight for us to see. We have a special team called Ambassadors whose responsibility is to visit these patriots and thank them with pins and other items they bring for them.
Through downtown Amarillo we were escorted by LEO right to our venue at the Christian Heritage Church again. We where we were greeted by many patriots with flags and a huge flag draped from a fire engine ladder truck. The food line went fast and we were all seated inside. The ribs were so good and they loaded us up with them. All the food was great and there was homemade peach cobbler! The Star Spangled banner was sung by a young lady and we all stood and saluted. A young girl later sung America the Beautiful. What a darling voice.
A special presentation was made of the Fallen Soldier Cross or Battle field Cross. This tradition goes back to the Civil War. Which consists of a rifle, dog tags, helmet, boots and American Flag. The rifle is placed in the ground mussel first signifies remembrance for the one who died in battle and that the battle for this soldier is over. The helmet is placed on top of the rifle signifying that a great sacrifice has been made. It will never be worn again. The dog tags are hung from the rifle, so that the name of the fallen will never be forgotten. The boots are placed at the base of the rifle. The boots carry a service member through the fight for our freedom. They are worn and dirty reminding us of the final march and that this soldier’s marching is over. We remember and we honor those Killed In Action (KIA). You will never be forgotten.
I think we all love coming here to Amarillo and to the Christian Heritage Church, for the great food of course, but most especially for the love they show us all. I can’t wait to be back again next year. We’ll be back again next year and the next.
P.S. Earlier in this mission I received a letter from from a elementary school child. It reads “LOVE” on the outside. On the inside is says,
Your and inspiration to us all we love you we hope you live long because you had the courage to hold your own ground you fought for our country and for that we are proud
“We Ride For Those That Can’t”
Tom “Twotone” Lystrup – Platoon 5 Leader / Midway Route SitRep Writer
I’d appreciate your comments. For those that have emailed me their comments, my thanks and my love to you all.