Well, I haven’t had a very good start this year at keeping riders and potential riders aware of the latest news by way of my President’s messages. I was waiting for this new website to get up and running. As these sorts of things go, we didn’t get it online quite as quickly as we would have liked. It seems like that is the way the world operates these days. But now we have it and I hope that everyone is becoming aware of the change and then is then finding the change to be a positive one. I have been asked several times as to why the change, since to the average user the old site worked just fine, and my answer is that we are just trying to stay current and use more up to date technology. I really does allow us more flexibility on the back end and works very well with our Registration and Merchandise modules.
So, here we are and with a latest edition of the Newsletter also being released about now, it will be hard to make this a message that will have any sort of impact, if any ever do. My message in the Newsletter covers the latest workings of the BOD, as well as some of our committee endeavors, so I will not repeat those., except to say that – One – Work on the SOP and Guidelines continues to be a major focus of the Board and – two – Committee work to provide winter outer apparel for the less fortunate children in Rainelle, WV promises to be a big success when the coats are delivered later this month.
We are informed by our Route Coordinators that the itineraries and hotel lists are well on their way to being completed. The Hotel lists should be ready and posted to the website on the first or second of January, as is always our goal. The more detailed itineraries will be finalized in time for publication somewhat closer to the actual Run date (which is May 17) at the same time that they are sent to the printer. I have, in recent years found it handy to download the itineraries to my cell phone so that I don’t have to keep dragging out my hard copy, which always seems to get lost at some point anyway.
I believe that most of the volunteer spots have been filled for this year’s run, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to hear from you if you are interested in helping out. There is always next year and the Route Coordinators and other leadership are always on the lookout for good people to fill much needed slots. I have heard some FNGs stating that they want to get involved and help out along the way this year. We don’t really encourage that. FNGs will have their hearts and minds filled to capacity from the moment that we gather in Ontario until we place the “Mission Complete” plaque at the Wall – and beyond. We would prefer that you focus on the events and in getting yourself and your passenger, should you have one, across this great nation safely. At times the rigor of riding in the pack can be somewhat overwhelming, not to mention the emotional stress that can catch up with you as we share stories and meet the fantastic people that greet us and take care of us along the way. BRING TISSUES! There may be some isolated needs along the way, but please, focus on the Run. And we do encourage everyone to ride in the pack, you really are safer there. This is not an individual effort; we depend on each other. This is a healing experience for many of our veterans and if you fall into that category, you know that healing does not come easy. Leadership and fellow riders are there to support each other every turn of the wheel. Regardless of your motivation to join us on our pilgrimage to the “Wall”, you are in for the experience of a lifetime. In the quite likely event that you should consider going “All The Way”, or do it again, your FNG year will always remain your most memorable Run. Make the most of it. Pay attention in the morning meetings, and listen to your leaders and Road Guards. They have done this many times, and, although they may not have all the answers , and some of the answers that they do have may not be what you want to hear, they absolutely know what they are doing and will not steer you wrong. You can depend on them to see you to Arlington!
That’s all for now,
Have a Happy Halloween,
And BE SAFE!
Harry “Attitude” Steelman