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Board of Director Openings

Run for the Wall - We Ride For Those Who Can't

The RFTW Board of Directors is soliciting applications from riders interested in serving on the Board. There will be a number of vacancies on July 1st, 2021 due to term limits.  Because sitting members have the option of moving into vacant seats, the vacancies are not being listed by Position.

Anyone is eligible to apply, but it should be understood that the Board places a high priority on experience and past service to the Run in leadership and service positions when evaluating candidates.

If you would like to apply for a position on the Board of Directors, please submit a resume with an overview of your work history and a detailed recounting of your RFTW experience, including your FNG year, the number of times you’ve ridden with RFTW (both as a Participant and ATW), which route(s) you’ve ridden, and what leadership or service positions you’ve held.  We also ask that you submit a short cover letter explaining why you wish to join the Board.  Please send these to me at dave.klemme@rftw.us

I hope to hear from you. Remember… decisions are made by those who step up.

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President’s Message December 2020

President’s Message:

On behalf of the Board of Directors and our 2021 Route Coordinators I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a joyful holiday season. Moreover, we wish you all a very Happy and better New Year- which should not be hard as 2020 disappears in our rear-view mirrors.  Already the virus vaccine looks like something we can be grateful for, especially concerning the nation’s health. I am also grateful we will get the chance to complete our thirty-second annual Run For The Wall next spring.

The December Board of Directors opened this month with a virtual briefing from our new Washington DC Coordinator, Gail Dipple. Gail has contacted the hotels we are familiar with and is working on another hotel based on the current registration numbers. Additionally, we are all working to make RFTW routes more efficient and safer arrivals into Arlington. We will once again ask folks to avoid driving into the Holiday Inn’s parking lot if you do not have a reservation with them.

On the West Coast, California state coordinator Carol Olmstead has completed her hotel contracts which will be published along with all route hotel lists on Jan. 1, 2021. The combined hotels will have plenty of rooms available to meet our needs all across the country. In California, conference rooms will be available along with a vendor area. Please keep reading your route coordinator’s monthly briefings for any further details of hotels and other RC updates.

With the start of December, I was waiting for stories and documentaries on the attack on Pearl Harbor that occurred Dec. 7, 1941. I was disappointed there was so little on television or the Internet. What was framed as “the day that will live in infamy” by President Roosevelt as he declared war on Japan seemed minimized in contrast to last year.

The History Channel did have a good historical review that outlined the “lead up” to Pearl Harbor, then the attack itself.

There is much in our history that should not be forgotten or minimized, and I believe that keeping dates – such as the day Pearl Harbor was attacked – in focus is the duty of veterans and veteran organizations who know more than most the pain and life-changing events of warfare.

Please join me in marking historical days on your 2021 calendar in remembrance of service members and their families, that they are not forgotten.  “We ride for those who can’t.”

Thank You

As I conclude the last message of 2020, I would like to thank all the riders and supporters of Run For The Wall for your loyalty, energy and the time you donate to Run For The Wall.  Your participation is critical to each year’s success. Each year we reach out to riders and supporters seeking skills that are needed to fill positions on the routes, board committees and Board of Directors. At this time, we are seeking someone willing to serve on the BOD as Risk Management Director. If you are interested, please click on the following link to read the required skills:  https://rftw.us/forums/topic/seeking-applicants-for-director-of-risk-management-registration-2021/   If you are qualified  please send a resume to Diann McKee at diann.mckee@rftw.us.

Once again have a great holiday season, a blessed Christmas, and hold your family close.

Is it May yet?

Respectfully submitted,
Les “Easy” Williams
President Run For The Wall, Inc

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Board of Directors Openings

The RFTW Board of Directors is soliciting applications from riders interested in serving on the Board. There will be three (3) vacancies on July 1st, 2020 due to term limits.  The positions being vacated are Treasurer, Director of Merchandise, and Director of Operations & Training.  Because sitting members have the option of moving into vacant seats, these may not be the same positions being filled.

Anyone is eligible to apply, but it should be understood that the Board places a high priority on experience and past service to the Run in leadership and service positions when evaluating candidates.

If you would like to apply for a position on the Board of Directors, please submit a resume with an overview of your work history and a detailed recounting of your RFTW experience, including your FNG year, the number of times you’ve ridden with RFTW (both as a Participant and ATW), which route(s) you’ve ridden, and what leadership or service positions you’ve held.  We also ask that you submit a short cover letter explaining why you wish to join the Board.  Please send these to dave.klemme@rftw.us by March 31st, 2020.

We hope to hear from you. Remember… decisions are made by those who step up.

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Your Name Here
Open Positions
RFTW is looking for a few good people to fill expiring terms. If interested, please submit your resume to one of the current board members.

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Homes for our Troops Fundraiser

HFOT Logo

As outlined in the President’s Message, with the postponement of RUN XXXII, here is your opportunity to keep the Mission of the RUN going.  Homes For Our Troops (HFOT) is an organization with many of the same goals and missions as we have.  Their mission: TO BUILD AND DONATE SPECIALLY ADAPTED CUSTOM HOMES NATIONWIDE FOR SEVERELY INJURED POST-9/11 VETERANS, TO ENABLE THEM TO REBUILD THEIR LIVES.

Did you read that … they are building homes designed and built specifically with adaptations in mind of the severely injured Veterans.  They are “Promoting healing among all Veterans and their families.”  Isn’t that what we do while on the RUN?

According to our research, the cost to build one of these homes is based on what each severely injured Veteran needs.  Our goal is to raise $100,000.   How can we achieve this goal?  The Board will match your donation … when you donate, we match … when we hit our goal, it will be doubled by another foundation!!   BINGO – We just helped to build a home for a severely injured post-9/11 Veteran!

You can donate to this cause using several different methods:

  1. Donate through this Facebook Campaign.
  2. Mail a check to Ken Ward, Treasurer (address: 675 DEIS Drive, Unit N, Suite 266, Fairfield, OH, 45014   On memo line:  HFOT)
  3. Click the donate button on our website (rftw.us)

Please check out HFOT’s website (www.hfotusa.org)  for more information.  There is also an interactive map to see Veterans approved by the program and in various phases of the build process, as well as, homes that have already been completed.

Let’s help build a home!!!

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Southern Route Coordinator News – March 2021 Part 4

RFTW XXXII 2021 RC Newsletter

March 2021 Part 4

Greetings from the warming up Battle Born State,

The first few days of Spring we were still seeing highs in the low 40’s.  Now they are saying we could see 70 by Sunday, Wohoo!  I just have a couple of reminders/announcements for you.

If you made hotel reservations for RFTW 2021, it is your responsibility to cancel or reschedule them, as necessary.   Some reservations were automatically canceled when the room blocks were also cancelled.  But it is in your best interest to verify.  You surely don’t want to be charged for a room that you didn’t use.

A word about registration for RFTW 2022, the registration data base for RFTW 2020-2021 will not be used for RFTW 2022.  So, you will need to register when Registration opens for RFTW 2022.  Please check out the recent President’s Newsletter for more information

Save The Date: May 15, 2021

The COMBAT HERO BIKE BUILD UNVEILING will be at Roadhouse Bar & Grill:

6900 E Cave Creek Rd: Cave Creek, AZ @ 2:00 PM More details are in the flyer linked below.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WtNcKKtjVIW2kgE-3dzMkJEjOQ40u7qt/view?usp=sharing

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Positive

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President’s Message March 2021

President’s Message:

At the conclusion of my last President’s message, I noted that riders should, “Reach out to someone, continue the mission however you can. We ride for those who can’t.” Our mission statement says we “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) from all wars, and to support our military personnel all over the world.” As you read that statement it clearly gives a direction for us to follow in 2021.

In the past two years of postponements, we have seen registration numbers expand along with accumulated funds. Typically, registration money goes toward paying planning expenses and spending to support the routes. Postponing two years has resulted in excess funds of registration fees without normal expenses.  We may be flagged by the IRS and, although this situation is explainable, it is onerous in time and paperwork necessary to calm them.

The Board of Directors feel deeply that we need to remain missional where every rider and supporter of Run For The Wall can participate. At the Mar. 18 meeting the Board voted unanimously, along with route coordinators’ consent, to begin a Facebook fundraiser that will help build a house for a severely wounded veteran’s family. The Board voted to partner with Homes For Our Troops (www.hfotusa.org) in this endeavor. Homes For Our Troops, a non-profit that has extensive experience in the enormous tasks involved with the building of these homes, will assist us during the fundraiser with marketing. We will spread the news of our efforts to other donors. Once the donation phase is completed HFOT will keep RFTW informed about the building process and will invite us to assist in the landscaping of this veteran’s new house and to the ceremony turning the house over to the veteran – no matter the location.

  • We are asking our riders to donate the $30 registration fee they paid to RFTW in 2020 or 2021. No action on your part is necessary. RFTW will donate the registration fees to HFOT.
  • In addition, we are asking all RFTW riders to support this mission by raising $25,000 on the Facebook fundraiser that the board will match with the $25,000 in donated registration fees, and that will be matched again by another foundation.
  • We hope to raise $100,000-plus through this effort to help build the home.
  • If a rider prefers to not donate but would like a refund of their registration fee, contact risk manager Diann McKee at diann.mckee@rftw.us or https://rftw.us/contact/ no later than April 30, 2021.
  • The Facebook fundraiser should be on our FB page sometime next week. If you prefer to write a check, it can be sent to our treasurer Ken “Catfish” Ward at 675-N Deis Dr, Unit #226, Fairfield, Ohio, 45014.

I hope you all will participate in this honorable mission to “Promote healing among all veterans and their families.” We also hope you will spread the word about this mission to family members and neighbors so they can be part of this mission, too. Please keep reading these messages for any additional details that appear in the coming weeks. Continue the mission.

Respectfully submitted,
Les “Easy” Williams
RFTW BOD President

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Southern Route Coordinator News – March 2021 Part 3

RFTW XXXII 2021
RC Newsletter

March 2021
Part 3

Greetings Everyone,

Well tomorrow is officially the first day of Spring.   I think the weatherman did not get the memo.

Although Run For The Wall XXXII has been postponed for another year, we are still busy planning for the 2022 Mission.  Our Leadership Team, along with our State Coordinators and Supporters are committed to seeing that 2022 will be a rousing success.   I know that many of you will be on the road this year, travelling about this wonderful Country.  If you should come across any of our Supporters, please be sure to Thank them and let them know We will be back.

I would like to thank Mike “Bonehead” Kyzer for sharing this list of Memorials along the Southern Route.  Some of them we are familiar with, others remain waiting to be explored.  You can view the list or download it at the link below.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1591mNiog42wmPSMhBZRsU1k6A6oO5R_HUOpyMYBQSF0/edit?usp=sharing

Also, I would like to mention that the General Patton memorial Museum in Chiriaco Summit, CA on I-10 has expanded and added new exhibits in recent years.  So, if you haven’t been there in a while, drop by if you are in the area.  For more information: http://generalpattonmuseum.com/

 

New RFTW Merchandise will be added to the online store next week:  https://rftw.us/run-for-the-wall-merchandise-shop/

Until next time; Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Positive

 

 

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Midway Route Coordinator News March 2021 (Hotels)

Greetings from the Mexican Caribbean!

Although the 2021 Run has been postponed till 2022, the work for RFTW does not stop.  I would like to thank our ARC and Hotel Coordinator, Jerry Wilkins, for the outstanding job he has done and is doing.  Jerry has contacted all the hotels from Flagstaff to Ashland and put together the information below concerning the status of the hotel block cancellations.  Please note that there are several locations that you must call to cancel your rooms.  You are responsible for making sure your reservations are cancelled.

I hope the list below saves you some phone calls and trouble.  Please remember when contacting these hotels to be courteous and thank them for their support for RFTW.  We are ALL Ambassadors for our mission.   Much time and energy has been put in to develop our relationships with these hotels, and we would like to continue to have their support for next year.   See below:

  • Flagstaff, AZ-
    • La Quinta- Contract and block cancelled, no need to contact hotel
    • Comfort Inn- Each person must call to cancel reservation
  • Albuquerque, NM- Each person must call to cancel reservation.
  • Amarillo, TX- Contract and block cancelled, no need to contact hotel
  • Shawnee, OK- Each person must call to cancel reservation
  • Forrest City, AR- Hotel contacted me, there  are 10 reservations remaining, we knew there would be some who did not receive the change info
  • Memphis, TN- Contract and block canceled, no need to contact hotel
  • Cookeville, TN
    • Country Inn- Each person must call and cancel reservation
    • Candlewood-  Each person must call and cancel reservation
  • Asheville, NC-  Each person must call and cancel reservation
  • Springfield, NC-  Each person must call and cancel reservation
  • Ashland, VA- Contract and block canceled, no need to contact hotel.

 

On another note, Ron “Sky” King is working on another Tennessee reunion for us.  He did a great job last year and I look forward to seeing what he puts together this year.  I will pass on more information as it develops.

I am missing my RFTW family.  Hope to see you again soon.

Sincerely,

Ken “Six String” Dugas
Midway Route Coordinator

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Southern Route Coordinator News – March 2021 Part 2

Greetings from the Battle Born State,

The middle of the US is starting to open up which is good news.  The Reunion organizers are busy putting plans together.  Diane and I are already making plans for our trip to Kerrville, TX for the All Riders, Past Present and Future Reunion.  More details can be found on the RFTW Facebook page.

When the 2020 Run was cancelled, I gave you the R.F.T.W Challenge.  The whole Country was pretty much locked down them, making long interstate trips difficult to say the least.  Many of you took up the challenge, ran with it, and a few of you went over the top.  I never thought we might need another challenge like that. 

Sometimes it seems like we can’t catch a break.  Well maybe we did.  In the words of Jedi Master Yoda “there is another”.   Another what, you ask?   Another Vietnam Memorial Wall, in Perryville, MO.  It is a full-scale replica, even down to the misspelled names.  I urge you to check it out at: https://mnvmfund.org/  located at 1172 veterans Memorial Pkwy, Perryville, MO

Yes, there are many such tributes all around the Country, some are traveling.  I had the honor of assembling one such Wall when it came to our capital here in Carson City.  We started at 0400, we were putting in the last bolts at 0800 just as the first school children arrived.   It had no less meaning to us as the original in Washington, D.C.

Missouri (MO) is the Show Me State, let’s Show Them how Run For The Wall riders support our Mission.  So, I have a challenge for you in 2021.  If you are not able to ride to DC, ride to Perryville or any destination with a tribute Wall, send me a picture of you at the Wall.  Oh, by the way, it is only about 320 miles from the Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial in Marseilles, IL (Hint)

Please, if you travel in a group or alone, check the Pandemic Restrictions where you will be traveling through to make sure not in violation.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Positive

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Southern Route Coordinator News – March 2021

Greetings Again from the Battle Born State,

I think we are all trying to deal with the 2nd postponement of the 20th Anniversary RFTW Southern Route to 2022.  One thing we all should do is cancel any hotel reservations we made in anticipation for RFTW 2021.  Some of the room blocks were cancelled, which would have automatically cancelled your reservation.  You should verify that just to be sure you are not charged for a room where you did not stay.

I think also that it is safe to say that the fire that burns within us says “Restrictions be damned, let’s ride”.  If I thought there was any way we could all ride together, I would be right there with you.  We have dealt with Rain, Cold, Blistering Heat, Tornados and even Hail.  How? We adapt and overcome.  But none of that compares with Restrictions on the size of Group Gatherings, that could stop us right in our tracks at any time.  Of course, you are free to ride when and where you like, but I caution you against any large-scale endeavor which could result in unnecessary problems for everyone.  Run For The Wall Southern Route 2021 was cancelled, that is the reality. But we are not giving up on the Mission or are we giving in to the restrictions.  Adapt and Overcome, Be Smart

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March 2021 Central Route Coordinator News

Run for the Wall - We Ride For Those Who Can't

Hello again, Central Route Riders.

By now you’ve all read the message from the RFTW BOD President, Les Williams, officially postponing RFTW 2021. I know you are all very disappointed by the decision. I can assure you that the entire BOD was saddened by the necessity of their decision, as were all of the rest of us who support and participate in RFTW. Having participated in the meeting on February 20th, Paul and I can tell you the decision of the BOD was extremely difficult. I can also tell you that our state coordinators’ work in providing a timely update of their planning efforts was a crucial piece of the meeting, and of the BOD decision.

One by one, each of the Route Coordinators presented the current status of their route planning. It was difficult to sit through the meeting, hearing all the challenges that still remained for the run. The information received from the routes led to a consensus among meeting attendees that RFTW 2021 could not proceed safely, or without disruption from a variety of COVID restrictions. In addition, a key portion of planning information, which contributed to the BOD decision, came out of Washington, DC and Arlington, VA. Simply put, it was just not going to be possible for RFTW to complete its mission in DC.

To Central Route State Coordinators, I want to say thank you – thank you for your hard work in planning for RFTW 2021, for your perseverance in spite of the COVID threat, and for your continued dedication and commitment to RFTW and its mission. Without your efforts RFTW simply could not happen. I encourage you all to remain optimistic about the prospects for next year, and to stay in close and frequent contact with your planning partners. Paul and I look forward to working with you again in the very near future as we plan for RFTW 2022. Please feel free to call me or Paul if we can be of assistance.

Ride safely and stay well. God Bless the United States of America.

Tom (Boomps) Miller
Run for the Wall Central Route Coordinator

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RFTW SandBox RC Newsletter – FEB 2021 – CONTINUE THE MISSION Edition

RFTW XXXII SB RC Newsletter Header

Howdy from Texas!

Thirty years ago today, on 27 FEB 1991 several hours before zero-dark-thirty, I kissed my wife and sleeping daughter goodbye and headed in to NAS Miramar to fly an aircraft with my squadron out to the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) as we headed across the big pond to support Operation DESERT STORM.  I was standing on the edge of the precipice that many of you have faced as you started a journey that led to events that would shape your life forever.  Looking back now at the young me on that day, I had no idea that this family of RFTW warriors and patriots were on watch and on guard to provide me and my family the support I would count on so many years later.

With that in mind, I express to you all now, my RFTW Family, that I stand once again on that precipice of the unknown as we stand watch over a Mission that we all love, but which must unfortunately wait another year to be serviced by the soul restoring recharge of the Run.  We as a combined force of Veterans and Patriots are strong enough to face this challenge and CONTINUE THE MISSION through the hardship of another delay.  The Run is on the road but the Mission is in your heart – every day!  Through small group support, Reunions, individual missions to support Veterans Homes and Hospitals, contacts made to Gold and Blue Star family members and much more, we will keep this mission alive in our hearts and bring all those experiences back to share when we resume the Run.

If you haven’t already, please read our Board President’s message explaining the reasons for this anguishing decision that was inevitable under the circumstances.  You can open it HERE.  

We already had in place a plan to hold the 3rd SandBox Route Virtual Briefing for all Leadership and Riders next week and I have no intention of cancelling that Briefing.  Please join me next Tuesday night at 8pm Central for this SandBox Route briefing on Zoom.  I’m planning for a large audience with many questions.  Your Route Leadership Team will be there with me to answer questions and I have invited the Board of Directors to join us as well.  Details of the meeting and the Zoom link you’ll need are shown below.

SandBox Route Virtual Briefing

Tuesday, 02 MAR 2021 at 8pm Central

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83409507800?pwd=MGhKb2lGV3JQdEtKeW5mR25CbjY4Zz09

Meeting ID: 834 0950 7800             Passcode: 255737

(The link will be active at least 15 minutes before the meeting starts)

I look forward to seeing you all as we continue to stand together from afar knowing that the bonds that unite us are so much stronger than the distance between us.

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

WALL 2 WALL!

Bugs out!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Bugs-Signature-1.bmp
RFTW XXXII Sand Box Route Coordinator
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Southern Route Coordinator News – February 2021 Part 2

Normally Deja Vu experiences are fun and interesting, this one, not so much.    By now you have heard the RFTW 2021 has suffered the same fate as 2020.  It was not an easy decision to cancel again.   The Safety of our Riders and Supporters is of paramount importance.  Because of the Pandemic Restriction variances from state to state and county to county, there is no way we could execute our Route as planned.  It would be unethical for me to lead the Southern Route into situations that could potentially, cause harm and /or subject us to serious fines and penalties.  The main culprit is the draconian limitation on Group Gatherings.  Many states are as low as 10 people.

Frustrating to put it mildly.  I honestly thought that the Country would be much more open by now, and wide open by May.   The RFTW President shared a more detailed explanation in his newsletter this morning, you can read it at:

https://rftw.us/presidents-message-february-2021-part-2/

The Board of Directors has asked, and I have agreed to stay on as the Southern Route Coordinator for RFTW 2022, or until we finally put RFTW XXXII in the book.   I Hope and Pray that you ALL will be with us when we go Kick Stands Up May 18, 2022.  We have come too far to give up now.

The FNG Town Hall is still ln for Tomorrow February 27th  (see flyer below)

Also. stay tuned for upcoming information on ALL Rider Reunions.  Until then……. Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Positive