Greetings from Pearland, Texas and welcome to the Sandbox Route RC Newsletter for October 2022.
With most riders now safely home following the All Riders Reunion in Kerrville, Texas, I want to send out a big thank you to Sam and Cowboy and everyone who worked to make the reunion a success. A special thanks to Robin “Wildcat” Conques Perry and her annual presentation of the Quilts of Valor to RFTW Combat Veterans for their service. Overall, I think a great time was had by all and we even managed to honor at least one rider with a new road name! Congratulations Lederhosen!
Why do we Ride? Let’s remember that even after our official military withdrawal we continue to lose 22 a day! Not everyone who returns home, returns home 100%. Many of our brothers and sisters who have served, suffer from depression after leaving the service. In 2021, research found that 30,177 active-duty personnel and veterans who served in the military after 9/11 have died by suicide – compared to the 7,057 service members killed in combat in those same 20 years. That is, military suicide rates are four times higher than deaths that occurred during military operations. An even newer study in September 2022, suggests that number is nearly twice that due to uncounted drug overdose suicides. This is unacceptable and we all need to do a better job looking out for our fellow veterans after they come home. What’s the first part of our mission statement? To “promote the healing among ALL veterans and their friends and family!” This is also one of the reasons why RFTW has developed the Sandbox Route. We need to look after our military brothers and sisters, and we need to do everything we can to stop the 22!
This is why we ride!
SAVE THE DATES!
Registration for RFTW Sandbox Route 2023 along with the 3 cross country routes officially opened on September 11, 2022. To date, the Sandbox Route has approximately 97 participants registered which puts us ahead of any other route! Let’s keep that momentum going and get registered!
CURRENT SANDBOX ROUTE STATUS
The Sandbox Route Leadership team continues to work on updating and improving the Sandbox Route. We are working to update our itinerary and look forward to making changes that will improve and create a safer environment for all riders and participants. These changes take time, and we will announce those changes in upcoming newsletters once we have them completed.
We will still be departing DC on May 28, 2023, and arriving in Marseilles, IL on May 30, 2023, completing our Wall to Wall mission.
VOLUNTEER’s – We need you!
Interested in volunteering for a position on the Sandbox Route? Please go the RFTW.us site and fill out a Volunteer Sign-up form now and help make this Route successful.
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!
Darin “Lurch” Koch
Sandbox Route Coordinator