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RFTW SandBox RC Newsletter – JUN 2021 – SB Supporter Run/Safe on Deck Edition

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Howdy from Texas!

Back in the day when I was flying as a Tomcat RIO, I was quite aware of the risks and rewards or my profession – and I had great appreciation and respect for both.  I knew family back home was aware of them too so whenever flying from home base or around the country, one of my first priorities was to contact home with a “Safe on Deck” call.  Over the course of the past two weeks, while I traveled on what I called the SB Supporter Run, I made and received many of those calls – made them back home and to many of my RFTW Family members who knew I was traveling and received just as many from those who knew I was following their own journey.

CDR Joe “Rug” Burns & LT Billie “Bugs” Dunlap after the last ever
Navy Reserve F-14 Tomcat Trap, completed aboard USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), 26JUL1998

The purpose of my SB Supporter Run was a personal mission to visit as many of our SandBox Route supporters as possible to ensure they also know that we as an organization and as a group of individual motivated patriots are Safe on Deck.  That our dedication to the RFTW Mission is intact and strong and that we appreciate their continued patience and support.  Along the Run, I met with Service Station Managers, Motorcycle Dealership Owners, Police Chiefs and Officers, County Sheriffs, Restaurant Managers, VFW Post Directors and many others to present them with a framed Certificate of Appreciation or Plaque and to ensure that they knew we were not slowing down or pulling back.  Every single one of the folks with whom I met shared that same dedication to supporting the Run and its Mission  next year.  In meeting with city leaders, I discovered that they too are ready to break out of the shell in which we’ve been held for well over a year now and they see our Mission as a way to reaffirm to themselves and their communities that the Patriotic American Spirit remains strong and is worth demonstrating in full force.

My post-mission report to you, our loyal and dedicated SandBox Rider is that our Run is Strong, our Mission is Steadfast, and our Route will be EPIC!

I’d like to thank my exceptional brother and long-time friend, Sam “Polar Bear” Warner who rode with me and helped escort the SandBox Route Plaque across almost 4000 miles including our SandBox Route through all weather before laying it at the Middle East Conflicts Wall on Memorial Day.  He was able to post real time updates on our trip while giving me top-cover to quietly travel on this Mission to support our Route.  I’d also like to thank Tom “Kid” Schultz and Brandon “Five-O” McCray for riding with me and setting up some very important meetings along the way, not to mention some awesome back roads during a side-trip in Ohio.

Bugs, Five-O and Polar Bear on US 22 in Ohio – Remembering the 22

Now for the good stuff…  On Tuesday, 06 JUL 2021 at 7pm Central, we’ll have our next SandBox Route Virtual Quarterly Briefing.  At this briefing, I plan to discuss my travels along the route, review some of the details resulting from my meetings and reveal some of the plans now in work to make this Mission an event that will touch the hearts and minds of everyone along the way.  Yes, there will be photos.

So, the annual countdown to May has begun as I have received my first “Is it May yet?” from another close brother, Richard “Rags” Getchell shortly after we said our farewells at the MECW on Memorial Day.  On day at a time, one month at a time and before you know it, we’ll be standing tall for KSU from DC on 29MAY22.  For now, I’ll look forward to seeing you all online on 06JUL – ZOOM Link details will follow later.  Until then, “Safe on Deck” calls are appropriate and always welcome!

Remember, all roads lead to all roads so no matter where you go, TOGETHER WE RIDE!


Bugs out!

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RFTW XXXII Sand Box Route Coordinator