President’s Message – June 2018

Les WilliamsPresident MessagesLeave a Comment

I purposely am submitting this message late, knowing many folks take their time returning home—whether it’s visiting family, friends, or Civil War battlefields along the way. I hope your trip back was safe and enjoyable.

Thanks once again to all the RFTW volunteers for their hard work throughout 2017-2018 – as well as all the American citizens who supported our three routes across the nation with your cheers, flags, and welcome home gestures. We could not do this without your support.

A special thank you goes out to our three Route Coordinators who did a superb job leading their routes this year. Harlan Olson (CR), Mike Huber (MR) and Chad O’Dell (SR) logged long hours from July 2017 through June 2018. You may wonder why their leadership spills over into June 2018? These leaders will attend the BOD meeting in late
June submitting their selection of 2019 Route Coordinators, as well as give the BoD their after-action briefing on this year’s RFTW. Once this meeting is complete these folks then will continue to give time and energy to their routes as mentors for 2019. They have been the essence of One Mission – Three Routes.

After-action reports are important to the long-term success of Run For The Wall. I encourage all of our riders to submit an after-action report. This file can be found on the website under the Scuttlebutt tab – https://rftw.us/submit-an-after-action-report/ These reports are all read and then passed on to the relevant route coordinators. Improvement is something everyone can participate in.

Just a reminder of the first All Routes Reunion in Springfield, MO, July 19-22 at the DoubleTree Hotel. For further information, contact [email protected] or checkout the rftw.us website. This is a great time to visit with new and old friends. If you have never seen Branson, MO this is a great opportunity to see this fun town. Moreover, if you are a history enthusiast you can visit the site of the second battle of the Civil War at Wilson’s Creek. This is one of best preserved Civil War sights in the nation and is only 20 minutes southwest of Springfield.

During the 2018 RFTW many new folks discovered the honorable mission we have supported for 30 years. We saw an increase in the number of current conflict warriors and were pleased to have 11 active duty Marines, lead by the Sergeant Major of Marine Corps Logistics Base, Barstow, Calif., on the first leg of the Midway Route. These Marines rode to Ontario early May 16 to join RFTW and were asked by Midway RC Mike “Bandit” Huber to ride in the front, leading Midway onto the base at Barstow. They were greeted by the largest crowd of supporters Midway has seen during their several parades through this Marine base. We received a letter from the Sergeant Major thanking RFTW for the warm greeting they got indicating they will be back next year! Sergeant Major Martinez, you and your Marines are always welcome to ride with RFTW.

We all support our mission: “To promote healing among ALL veterans and their families and friends, to call for an accounting of all the 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.”

For the second year we also honored those who have served RFTW with Carol Olmstead’s picture board where riders posted family connections and friends who have passed away, but always will be remembered.

One person entered into that historical archive this year was long-time MR and SR rider Earl “Dirt” Carr from Purcell, OK. His memory also was honored at the Wall. (photo left.)

RIP, Dirt, know you are loved.

Les “Easy” Williams
President, Board of Directors
Run For The Wall, Inc.