President’s Message – July 2019

Les WilliamsPresident MessagesLeave a Comment

June and July have been very busy months with route coordinator selections, collection of data needed to wrap up the 31st Run For The Wall, and the election of a new member of the Board of Directors. The route coordinators for 2020 as voted on and approved: Central Route RC Tom “Boomps” Miller, Midway Route RC Ken “Six String” Dugas, Southern Route RC Bob “Captain America” Nelson and Sandbox Route RC Marcel “Senior” Miller. The new member of the BOD is Jim “Ancient 6” Marshall who is the LEO road guard on the Midway Route. Welcome to everyone and congratulations to all the new RFTW route coordinators.

The RCs will attend the BOD monthly meetings during the 2019-2020 planning year. Each month the they will write a monthly update on the planning progress along with additional items helpful for rider preparation. Moreover, they will post the names and contact information of the route leadership positions after they are all selected. All of this information can be found under the Run Information tab on rftw.us.

Speaking of meetings, the BOD will hold its summer face-to-face meeting in Denver, Colo. July 19-21. This will be one of the busiest meetings I have attended based on the agenda prepared by Chairman Dave Klemme. I have watched over the past three years the growth of RFTW at all levels and with that growth comes additional planning and careful risk management.

The July meeting will deal with issues from Ontario, Calif., to Washington, DC. as reported by senior leadership and the riders who have given us their input via After Action Reports. The BOD members have read all the AARs submitted from all routes while the RC/ARCs have read all the AARs submitted by riders on their routes. I want to thank those who have submitted AARs and remind everyone else there is no time limit on submissions of these reports. I was pleased to see how many writers commented on the increased emphasis on safety on all the 2019 routes. We will continue to review all aspects of safety along our routes which may include changes of locations and time frames—some due to matters law enforcement cooperation in urban areas. With that said I would like to thank those LEOs from states and cities who support us with great enthusiasm.

The California State Police begin by getting us out of Ontario, the New Mexico State Police take us border-to-border, and the Virginia State Police get us into Arlington each year with great courage and skills. To all other LEOs who help RFTW, you have our complete respect and gratitude.

Many of you have heard about a tragic incident that occurred near Gorham, N.H., when members of the Jarhead MC traveling in a group to a charity event were struck by a truck that veered across the centerline and crashed head on into their formation. See memorial service photos at right and below.

That incident was widely reported across the nation’s news media, however, little has been heard since. I would like to post a few pictures in this message of the first funeral of one of those Marines killed.

There is a Go-Fund-Me account created for “Jarheads MC – Victims and Families support.” If you want to make a direct donation the address can also be found on this site.

Thanks to Alan “Cross Country” Silva, Midway Route ambassador, for the pictures and information. Keep these Marines and their families in your prayers.

That’s about it for now so keep tuned for the August message and how the planning process is going for the 2020 RFTW. By then I hope we will have the scoop on the details of the first operational Sandbox Route and how to become part of that mission.

Before I sign off, I would like to thank Capt. Royce Williams USN (ret) for spending the Ontario weekend with RFTW.

He told me he had a great time visiting with all the riders and meeting “America’s veterans.”

Royce said he was impressed with the great welcome he got and the new friends he met.

Moreover, I want to thank CJ Machado for making this visit possible and her unwavering devotion to America’s veterans. You both are always welcome at RFTW events.

Is it May yet?

Respectfully submitted,
Les “Easy” Williams
RFTW BoD President