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President’s Message – April 2019

Since my last message where I talked to about Captain Royce Williams’ video documentary, “Forgotten Hero of the Forgotten War,” I have learned he will be visiting our host hotel in Ontario, CA. For those who missed this naval aviator’s heroic story from the Korean War, please check our website homepage where you can find a trailer to this documentary at the bottom of the page. The entire video can be selected from Amazon Prime videos. Capt. Williams will be accompanied by the producer and director of this film along with a bunch of cameras that will be filming his visit. Please stop and visit with Royce—he is a great guy and it’s enjoyable talking to him.

In addition to Royce’s visit we are honored to have Team Rubicon who will be located in the vendor area. This organization is an amazing group dedicated to using our current conflict warrior skills to provide disaster relief wherever needed. Their motto is “Disasters Are Our Business. Veterans Are Our Passion.” Please stop by their vendor booth and see if they could use your skills. They will be helping out during our stay in Ontario and are easy to identify by their team shirts so stop by and say hello. Currently, Team Rubicon is providing flood relief to those affected by Winter Storm Ulmer. Like other great non-profits they depend on donations to keep crews in the field helping American citizens.

2019 Recon Route

This winter the Board of Directors was approached by a group of RFTW riders who briefed us regarding a proposal of how a new route could be created that would benefit our active duty, reservists, National Guard
soldiers and veterans of the desert conflicts. The plan we heard was well organized and provides all the options these warriors need to find the healing and comradery that our riders annually find during our ten-day mission. After listening to the briefing, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to create a fourth RFTW route. This route will be known as the Sandbox Route using the guiding principal of riding “Wall 2 Wall.”

A 2019 reconnaissance route has been created and staffed by leadership from all three current routes. The recon route will depart Washington, DC on Sunday, May 26, 2019, with a mission to establish the fundamental infrastructure necessary to conduct operations with a full route in 2020. The mission is planned for two and a half days, starting in Washington, DC ending at the Middle East Conflicts Wall in Marseilles, Illinois.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like thank the many riders who have worked very hard to make this recon route a reality in 2019. I would especially like to thank the new route coordinator, Marcel “Senior” Miller, Senior Chief USN (Ret.), and Mary “Cupcake” Pittman-Elroy, route architect, for their work and vision.

Rather than continue with more details, I would like to direct you all to the homepage and the new Sandbox Route Hub, which will GO LIVE at 4:00PM Eastern Time TODAY, where you can find Senior’s April RC message and learn more about the Sandbox Route. The Sandbox Route Hub . We wish the Sandbox great success on the recon mission and the ensuing operational missions that will help take RFTW into the next generation.

Getting ready for Ontario

Before I close April’s message, I want to mention a couple of things on behalf of Carol Olmstead, California State Coordinator. Carol is one of the many RFTW volunteers with an unbelievable work ethic. Without our volunteers we would be in big trouble. Carol is the face of RFTW for all the businesses that support us in Ontario.

She has asked that we obey all the parking regulations at each hotel which means park tight and no parking at the front entrance. A hotel’s front entrance is a fire zone and must be kept clear at all hotels.

Please do not ask desk clerks for permission—they do not have the authority to grant anyone the permission to illegally park. When this happens in Ontario, Carol is the first one to hear about these problems from hotel management. Please do not put her in that position, or route coordinators while on the mission.

Is it May yet?

Respectfully submitted,
Les “Easy” Williams, President
Run for the Wall® Board of Directors