Operation Urgent Fury
The situation in the Caribbean nation Grenada had been of concern to American officials since 1979, when the leftist Maurice Bishop seized power and began to develop close relations with Cuba. In 1983, another Marxist, Bernard Coard, had Bishop assassinated and took control of the government. Protesters clashed with the new government and violence escalated. There were approximately 1,000 Americans in Grenada at the time, many of them students at the island’s medical school.
Citing the danger to the U.S. citizens in Grenada, Operation Urgent Fury was hastily thrown together; U.S. President Ronald Reagan ordered U.S. troops to the island, where they soon found themselves facing opposition from Grenadan armed forces and groups of Cuban military engineers, who were there to repair and expand the island’s airport. The new airport under construction in Grenada was deemed a transfer point for weapons destined for Latin American revolutionaries. Marines and paratroopers, supported by air strikes, led the invasion on October 25, 1983. Fighting was fierce, especially around the airport defended by the Cubans—and, unexpectedly for the U.S., the Grenadan militia put up a stout fight. U.S. helicopter gunships, naval gunfire, and reinforcements were deployed until, after three days, resistance ended. U.S. losses totaled 19 dead and 150 wounded out of approximately 7,000 who participated in the invasion. November 21, 1983, marked the official end of the Grenada campaign.
These 19 servicemembers lost during Operation Urgent Fury are engraved on the Middle East Conflicts Wall in Marseilles, Illinois.
This is why we ride!
Remember the Run for the Wall Mission – “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, and to support our military personnel all over the world.”
Registration for all 2023 RFTW Routes opened on September 11, 2022. Based on current registration numbers, the Sandbox Route is already up to 147 registered riders and participants including 18 FNG’s! Remember, the Early Bird Registration time frame began September 11, 2022, and runs through January 31, 2023. Beginning February 1, 2023, through April 30, 2023, we will enter the Regular Registration time frame and the registration fee increases for all routes; so be sure to register early and save some money!!!
After registering, even returning riders are encouraged to go to the Rider Guidelines and familiarize themselves with the RFTW rider responsibilities. These Guidelines also include a standard of conduct expected of RFTW participants as well as RFTW Fueling guidelines and a RFTW Safety Briefing.
If you have questions after reviewing the Rider Guidelines, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page to find the answers to many of your questions about registration and general questions about preparing for the Run for the Wall.
And finally, please take the opportunity prior to departing home in May to download and complete the Emergency Information Form (in duplicate if possible). A completed Emergency Information Form is a requirement while participating in RFTW; but is also a great way to assist emergency responders in case of any emergency while traveling to and from RFTW.
CURRENT SANDBOX ROUTE STATUS
The Sandbox Route Leadership team is meeting monthly and continues to work on updating and improving the Sandbox Route. We are still working out the logistics of changing some stops, in an effort to improve the overall Route. Our State Coordinators continue to do excellent work on getting our stops confirmed.
Let’s meet some of our new Team Leaders! Our Staging Team Leader is Steve “Depends” Berniklau and our Fuel Team Leader is Steven “Poppop” Rishel. Both “Steve’s” are doing a great job planning out each of our stops, but they need your help! We need volunteers to join both the Staging and Fueling Teams, no experience needed! Those of you interested in assisting on the Sandbox Route by volunteering to be a member of the Staging or Fueling Teams please go to the volunteer link below and submit your volunteer form!
VOLUNTEER’s – Raise your Hands!
The Sandbox Route is continuously looking for volunteers for all positions. If you have questions about any specific team, please reach out to those Team Leaders to get some insight on what each team does and how you can help! Remember, the same volunteer form is used for all the Routes, just select the Route or Routes you are volunteering for and the position(s) you are interested in! If you volunteer on one of the 3 cross country routes, please consider bringing your experience to the Sandbox Route!
And remember, “Nothing Great is ever accomplished alone!” Let’s work together to make the Sandbox Route great! Together we will Continue the Mission safely and successfully!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Sandbox Route Coordinator