Hello All RFTW Family, Friends and Future RFTW Riders,
Sandbox Recon 2019 is officially in the books and the page has been turned to Sandbox Route 2020. Much was learned from the Recon and all will be applied, from those learned experiences, in 2020 and beyond. So where are we now and what is going on with Sandbox at this time?
It is my distinct honor to have been re-confirmed by the RFTW Board of Directors to once again lead the Sandbox Mission. I am proud to serve the leadership team that will lead the Sandbox riders. I consider my service to this team, the riders and the RFTW mission to be one of the most impactful experiences of my life. I approach all aspects of my duty keeping in mind the potential impact that this mission will have on others.. I have been fortunate to have ridden on three of the four routes on RFTW. My previous positions have included Road Guard, Medic and Route Coordinator. Each of these positions have given me specific insights into the mission and how it all comes together. I cherish these experiences and I look forward to making sure that your RFTW experience is just as memorable for you.
The leadership of Sandbox is currently being formed. Those team leaders, that have been selected, to this point, are beginning the process of working through the much talked about Sandbox Volunteer Sign-up Database for potential candidates to fill the numerous leadership positions that I have directed for 2020. If you are interested in applying for leadership (in 2020) and have not already signed up…..I urge you to do so without delay. I have instructed all of our staff to utilize this sign-up database as their first place to pull candidates from. I will tell you that we are actively seeking out candidates that have a background in writing, media relations and journalism. As well as former military drill instructors, Honor Guard members or similar civilian backgrounds. Lastly, we are looking for potential State Coordinators in the states of Illinois, West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia and Assistants for all the States we travel in. If you or someone you know might have these backgrounds or experiences …we would love to hear from you.
Sandbox is unique in that it not only begins after the other routes have completed their missions in D.C., but it is currently made up of leadership persons from all of the cross country routes. As new riders are brought into the RFTW family and they join Sandbox from D.C., the (Sandbox) ranks of leadership will begin to be filled with riders that have never been on the mission from CA to DC. This is something that will have its growing pains as we all get used to this new dynamic. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing the impact the current generation of veterans and patriots has upon Sandbox and the RFTW mission.
One of the major reasons for building and ultimately deploying Sandbox was to further grow the RFTW family with riders that represent the current era of conflicts. In keeping with this, it was decided, from the onset, to direct this mission to the Middle East Conflicts Wall (MECW) in Illinois. From the Vietnam Memorial Wall to the Middle East Conflicts Wall……Wall 2 Wall! It was further decided to shorten the duration of the mission from the ten (10) plus days that we dedicate to our CA to DC missions. The reason for this was so that younger riders could participate in a mission from beginning to end without significant impact to their jobs, military service or other careers.
We hope that these designs will invite riders to join the Sandbox mission. The interest and excitement that we have heard thus far has been tremendous and we expect for 2020 to be an amazing mission. A mission that sees a significant number of FNG’s that start their RFTW experiences in D.C. Just the thought of this is pretty special.
In the coming weeks and months I will be making regular announcements on the progress of the route. You can also expect regular, more frequent, information to be passed down through our PAO on the Sandbox social media platforms as well as occasional pieces on the RFTW Forums. Things such as job postings, route information, auctions, etc. will be communicated through these mediums.
I look forward to seeing many of you on Sandbox and I thank you all in advance for your support of this mission and the future riders of RFTW. The Post-Nam era now has their Wall and because of the Vietnam Veterans they too have a mission that they can be emotionally connected to. This bridging of the two generations will ensure the story of the Vietnam Veterans and their Wall will continue to be honorably told for generations to come.
RC, RFTW Sandbox Route