Name: Nancy Schwartz
Road Name: Miss America (given to me by Jarrod Gerbitz)
FNG Year: 2018
How many times have you been All the Way? Once
And how many times have you been a Participant? Once, from Corydon, IN
On which Route do you ride? Central
What is your favorite Run for the Wall memory? Like others that have been writing their stories, there are so many. First, in our FNG year, we were honored to ride the Missing Man Formation in remembrance of our friend’s son Pfc Nils Thompson. Second is participating in the Circle Dance with our brothers and sisters of the Black Creek Gourd Society. It is the “Gathering of Veterans” ceremony in Gallup, New Mexico. Third, would be visiting the Angel Fire Vietnam Veterans memorial a very spiritual and moving place.
Have you held any positions as a volunteer on the Run? No
Are you a Military Veteran, or do you have a military background or a relationship with a member of the Military? I am not a veteran. My Father served in WWII, his brother in the Korean War, and members of my Father’s family that have been in the military back to the Revolutionary War.
Are you a Gold Star or Blue Star family member? No. My best friend is a Gold Star Mother
What inspired you to participate in the RFTW the first time? The Mission Statement says it all, “To promote healing among ALL veterans and their families and friends, to call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action (POW/MIA), to honor the memory of those Killed in Action (KIA) from all wars, and to support our military personnel all over the world.”
What brought you back? The feeling that we ARE making a difference by promoting healing, calling for the accounting of all POW/MIA, honoring the memory of those we have lost, and supporting our military. Visiting VA hospitals, memorials, and talking to those in the towns we stop in that support us has moved me to tears. Also, seeing the Patriots on the highway overpasses saluting us, waving flags, and standing in bad weather at times yet they are always there. Getting back in with Platoon 9, shout out to Squid and Pops.
Have you participated in Rolling Thunder? Yes, many times, when I rode my own motorcycle. I rode with my husband in 2019.
Are you planning on participating in Rolling to Remember (the AMVETS event that replaces Rolling Thunder)? It is still undecided.
Give us a few words about “WHY YOU RIDE”. I ride for Nils my friend’s son that was killed in 2005 in Mosul, Iraq. We always visit his grave in Arlington for Memorial Day. I ride for those in our RFTW family that have a family member that is still a POW/MIA/KIA. I ride for the 22 a day that we lose to suicide. Witnessing the healing of our Vietnam Veteran brothers and give them the Welcome Home that is long overdue. Lastly, to see the joy of the children when we arrive at Rainelle, W VA Elementary School, getting the hugs is so very heartwarming.