Howdy from Texas!
By now, I’m sure you have all heard that the Run is cancelled for this year. I can’t express how very disappointed I am that we had to come to this decision – but under the circumstances, it is the right decision. So you might ask, how does my admonition for a Positive Mental Attitude still apply here? Well here’s how it works…
I have written before how our annual Run is a recharge for the soul and a wonderful opportunity to see the family every year, giving us the motivation and energy to get through to the next year. But I have also understood that the Run is only a part of the Mission. Let’s read through that Mission statement together…
- To Promote healing among ALL veterans and their families and friends
- To Call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action (POW/MIA)
- To Honor the memory of those Killed in Action (KIA) from all wars
- To Support our military personnel all over the world
When I read that some of our legendary riders were counting on this year’s Run to be their finale (I’m looking at you Old School!), I deeply feel for them and will miss them on the road – does that mean we can’t promote healing for them? We may not be in DC to help raise awareness for the continued call for accounting – does that mean our voices can’t be heard? We may not be at the Apex on Saturday morning to lay a wreath in memory of their Sacrifice – does that mean we can’t honor them? Through all this, our military personnel from all branches are standing the watch at dangerous locations around the world – does this mean we won’t support them?
The answer to all these questions is a resounding NO! Everyone one of us who believe RFTW is family, and who LOVE this Run would not hesitate to make extraordinary sacrifice and selfless efforts to be a part of it. But we all know the underlying purpose is always THE MISSION! Will we Continue The Mission? YES!!!
Here’s where your continued PMA will play a huge role… Every tenant of our Mission is about people. We as a family, are accustomed to having two weeks in May when we totally focus on each other as well as the people for whom our Mission is dedicated. Some folks are contemplating making a run across the country anyway – that’s a decision each person must assess and make for themselves. But also ask yourself – is it about the ride or the Mission? If you need the ride – do what you have to do, may God bless you for a safe journey.
If you don’t ride, you can still serve the Mission. For every one of our loyal enthusiastic riders there may be hundreds of veterans in your area that could use some attention or encouragement. Let’s Continue the Mission by letting them know that they are not forgotten. Deliver a care package or make a visit if allowed. How about your voice – let’s write letters to our congress folks to tell them where we want them to focus attention. Your personal letter along with hundreds from the rest of our family will ensure they know we’re still here, even when they don’t hear our pipes. There are also many war memorials all over the country, likely one in your area or at least nearby. We can honor our fallen at those as well. Finally, our service members around the world take no pause in defending our Freedom and supporting our interests in much less hospitable conditions than ours. The USO and other service organizations are constantly seeking support to provide to our troops.
So here’s my PMA challenge to everyone who considers themselves a part of the family: Find your personal PMA and channel it in your own way to Continue the Mission. The whole of our collective effort is much greater than the sum of each individual action. So let’s hear your ideas, let’s see your actions and let’s celebrate your accomplishments! Your sharing of all three will be contagious in a good way and we’ll see that the Family is strong and that our reach is still significant and effective.
This regrettable delay of RFTW XXXII for a year may be upon initial assessment, a sad time in our history. But with your collective effort and dedication to our Mission it can be turned to a phenomenal positive so that when we get together in May 2021, the gathering will be as much celebration as a reunion.
I know there will be many details to attend as we contact our wonderful supporters to coordinate this development – we will get to that. Your SandBox Route Leadership will be holding its first RFTW 2021 planning meeting next week, so we’ll have that covered as well. My immediate concern is for you, my RFTW Family and to let you know that our focus has not failed and that YOU are the biggest part of our continued success. The Mission depends on you and I know my Family will be even stronger after this challenge.
Remember, all roads lead to all roads so no matter where you go, TOGETHER WE RIDE!
See you all in May 2021! (or Kerrville or Angel Fire or…)
WALL 2 WALL!