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President’s Message – March 2018

With only 74 days left before Kick Stands Up, Run For The Wall 2018 is closing in on many details vital to the mission. Route Coordinators are working to complete their itineraries that will be available in early April for printing and posting on the website. Their other duties are far too numerous to detail in this message. These Route Coordinators and their staffs have been doing outstanding work since June 2017 planning the 30th Annual RFTW. On behalf of the Board of Directors we want to commend Harlan “Whiteburch” Olson (Central Route), Mike “Bandit” Huber (Midway Route), and Chad “Slacker” O’Dell (Southern Route) for their service to our veterans and our supporters. RFTW is in good hands.

The numbers of registered folks continue to be very high, in fact, we are over 500 more registrations than at this time last year. These numbers are a good sign—especially the numbers of FNG’s which appear to be between 35-45 percent of registrations. We welcome every one of you for this 30th mission of RFTW. Please take the time to care for your motorcycle, so it is in top condition for this awesome mission and that your skills and physical condition are, too. All these tips make for a successful and safe operation.

In February, RFTW joined forces with M-25 and DRUSA, and completed our mission to restore seven veteran and other homes in and around Alvin, TX. (We actually made it to an eighth home to remove and replace the roof, and remove an out-building.) Seventy volunteers showed up at the Emmanuel Worship Center with tools, ready to work. I greeted many friends and made new ones during the week. I cannot thank the 70 volunteers who showed up more – they are folks who contributed to the fund raiser and furthered that with a week of skilled labor. I want to thank the FNG’s who came to Houston to work and become part of the RFTW family. Those FNG’s: Ric Castro, CO, Eva Wilson, KS, Mitch VanDever, OK, Doug Warren, MI, and Don Gagnon, OR (FNG 2017) all contributed to this mission’s success.

The entire project was planned by Bill Terry, DRUSA ops boss and his team, along with Gary “Shepherd” Burd and his M-25 team. Thanks to Terry Ray, CR Platoon Leader, for coming all the way from California in his Prius loaded down with his tools and ready to work! Thanks to Terry for also posting a video on FB of the mission – great job! Many women joined the mission and worked on or for one of the seven teams throughout the week (see attached pictures).

To everyone who participated and contributed through the fundraising, I am happy to report – mission complete for now. Many have asked if further hurricane relief will happen in the future. Bill Terry said they would like to return, and will keep us in the loop – so stand by for information. DRUSA is an outstanding organization, and I would not hesitate to work with them in the future.

Below are pictures and two videos – One long and one short – of the hurricane relief work effort – see FB or Instagram (evafromthefarm account) for more. From top to bottom, left to right – Gary Burd helps crew in replacing roof in Houston house; teams confer in Emmanuel Worship Center before work; Louann and Roger, veteran’s home—they have a catering business that was impacted by the hurricane and, after a few days of help at their house, brought hot lunch to workers at a trailer in Dickinson, TX —paying some back; new fence completed in two days at veteran’s home; and finally some of the women and girls (youngest was 13) volunteering through RFTW, DRUSA and M-25.

Les “Easy” Williams
Run for the Wall Board of Directors