November is a very busy month for most Americans. Veteran’s Day is special because nearly every town provides events and ceremonies for veterans across America. I hope you all participated in celebrating what veterans have done for their country evidenced by their military service and their respect for our Constitution as citizens. For those of us who served, there is no question that military service strengthened our collective respect for the Constitution, especially each time we took the oath of office, “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies both foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me; according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
We all took this oath – without exception – and when we see a patch on veteran vests reading, “My oath of office does not have an expiration date…” it largely amplifies the deep respect and love we share for our Constitution and military.
I have a friend who is a great example of all I mentioned above. His name is Hershel “Woody” Williams. Many of you may have met him a few years ago at an Angel Fire Reunion. Woody’s story is the example of what I think everyone who has served can follow once they hold the vaulted title of “citizen.” Woody is the only surviving Marine out of twenty-three Marines who were awarded the Medal of Honor for actions on Iwo Jima during World War two. He was a Flame Thrower Operator MOS 781.
After the war Woody started a 33-year
career with the VA while working with a
variety of veteran organizations. His latest
venture is the Hershel “Woody” Williams
Medal of Honor Foundation, a non-profit
that provides scholarships to Gold Star
children that facilitates the establishment of
Gold Star Family memorial monuments.
Please click here to watch one of America’s
I have heard from many riders who are keeping up with the individual route coordinator’s monthly messages. Your comments have all been positive and I urge any new participants to check these monthly briefings to discover new information about your selected route. The Board of Directors met this past week to discuss the planning process which appears to be going smoothly. The business closures we have discussed in the past months have mostly been replaced. At this meeting we discovered another Harley Davidson business in Ontario which has closed, however, we are hoping it can be replaced by another HD business that is nearby.
We are saddened to hear about these closures because not only do these dealerships help our riders while we are in Ontario and along our routes, but most of them have been very generous donors to Run For the Wall.
The hotel lists are nearly complete on all routes and we’ll be able to post them right after the first of January. Hotels in Ontario are almost complete and the use of the Gateway is still unknown. Hotels in Arlington are complete and our new DC coordinator, Gail Dippel, has been doing a great job not only with hotels but with coordination of our events with state and local police escorts. All routes are continuing to gain riders in addition to last year’s registrations.
We wish you all a happy Thanksgiving – a time we can be with our families enjoying the blessing of American citizenship.
Is it May yet?
Les “Easy” Williams
President, Run For The Wall, Inc