After we arrive in Washington, D.C. and visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall), we offer a fourth Route, the "Sandbox Route", that goes "Wall to Wall" from DC to the Middle East Conflicts wall in Marseilles, IL
May 19-29, 2021 - CA to DC
May 30 - June 1, 2021 - Sandbox
Run for The Wall® is an annual motorcycle ride from California to Washington DC.
Register for 2021
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 email@example.com by March 31st, 2020.
We hope to hear from you. Remember… decisions are made by those who step up.
We are planning to change the way we assign riders to our Memorial Outreaches. In past years we have assigned platoon(s) to each memorial. We may still send a platoon to some but would rather send volunteers on a signup basis. Riders will be able to sign up as soon as the outreach schedule is published
With that in mind we are looking for an Outreach Coordinator for Memorials and an Assistant. The ideal candidates would have to meet some basic requirements and possess a “certain set of skills”.
The Requirements are:
Ride a 2 or 3-wheel motorcycle without a trailer, equipped with a working mounted CB radio
Have ridden All The Way on Southern Route at least 2 times
Have Platoon Leadership or equivalent experience. The Coordinator will be the lead of the outreach group
Leadership, have knowledge of the outreach routes, work with the assigned Road Guards, be on time.
Organizational, you must keep track of the volunteers for each outreach and make sure they are aware of when and where they need to be.
Communication, know the significance of the memorial, brief the riders and be available to brief the entire Route at the morning Riders’ Meeting.
If you feel up to the challenge, please send me a bio ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) showcasing your Skills, RFTW history and other pertinent information you would like to have considered.
Here it is October and the leaves are turning to fall colors here in Colorado while the mountains are showing evidence of high-altitude snow.
Our October Board of Directors meeting was held in mid-month with plenty of work for everyone. I want to thank the RCs/SCs for their work in finding new hotels, service providers and other folks instrumental in making RFTW successful. While there are a few holes left to plug in some routes you can be sure they will be filled soon. Our California coordinator, Carol Olmstead, is busy getting Ontario hotels contracted. There is some question at this time if the Gateway Hotel will have their construction complete in time for our arrival. Seems they have used the California lockdown to work on their remodeling project, but the last I heard from Carol the Gateway was not sure they will be completed in time for our arrival. We have a new Washington Coordinator, Gail Dipple, working to complete the contracts for our arrival in D.C.
As I mentioned in my last message there are still folks wondering if Covid-19 will prevent us from completing the 2021 RFTW. After talking to several folks who asked this question, I can only say that the Board of Directors and the RCs are working hard planning for next spring’s mission. Folks, we are tackling the damage done after postponing the 2020 Run For The Wall last spring while progressing into the final stages of planning for 2021. I am asking you all to join us in our vision and support for the XXXII Run For The Wall May 2021. Our registrations continue to grow and those who have signed up are eager to start the mission. If you have signed up for a specific route, please be sure to read your Route Coordinator’s monthly messages on the website rftw.us for any updates or changes.
As October slowly fades keep in mind that Veteran’s Day will soon be upon us – Wednesday, Nov. 11.
If you are lucky enough that your area has veteran’s events scheduled, take some time to attend – especially those in the schools. The kids are very excited and respectful to see you in their classrooms and auditoriums. Even if you have to “socially distance and wear a mask.” We Ride For Those Who Can’t.
Is it May yet?
Les “Easy” Williams President Run For The Wall, Inc
Greetings from Mt. San Jacinto State Park in Idyllwild!
I hope this finds you all well and healthy. Last week at the Board of Directors Meeting, the decision was made to go full speed ahead with the 2021 Run. All state coordinators have been notified, and are working to put together hotel lists, and arrange venues for meals and gas stops.
I noticed that the Volunteer Sign-Up is offline. If you still hope to secure a position with one of the teams, reach out to me or my ARC, Bruce Bartolomeo, through the Central Route Contact list available online.
Just as a reminder, if you were registered for 2020, you are automatically registered for 2021. If you were registered last year and are not going to make the run in 2021, you need to cancel on our RFTW website. Changes or cancellations are made on RFTW 2021-Registration Revisions. The reason this is important is that we need to let the folks downstream know how many of us to expect in 2021.
I’d like to give a shout out to our Colorado and Alaska RFTW family. They are doing amazing fundraising in their respective states. Good work, guys!
Ride safely and stay well. God Bless the United States of America.
Tom (Boomps) Miller
Run for the Wall
Central Route Coordinator
Well we made it to October, in a couple of months we can say a fond farewell to 2020. I don’t know of anyone who will be sad to see it go. Our State Coordinators are working hard to recoup from the adverse effects we suffered through this year Currently some of our folks are dealing with yet a second major hurricane in 6 weeks. Our thoughts and prayers are with all that are in its path.
Kerrville TX Riders Reunion, sorry if you missed it. Great weather, Great Rides, Record attendance, Dinner, Raffle and Auction were “off the hook”. A Million Thanks to Cowboy, Sam, and her Minions for putting this together. I would be remiss if I didn’t Thank Gunny for doing such an awesome job as auctioneer. We are already looking forward to the 2021 Reunions. F-Stop took over 1000 pictures and several more have posted pics on Facebook. Please check them out.
Looking forward, Southern Route 2021 is taking shape. We have plenty of questions but only few answers at this point. I am asking everyone to be patient. Results may take longer to develop than usual. Please follow the Route Coordinators Newsletters and check the www.rftw.us website for the latest information.
I write this newsletter today as we prepare for Hurricane Delta to hit us here in Louisiana later today. I hope this letter finds you all well and safe and I pray that all in harms way of this hurricane stay safe and free from any damages.
I would like to begin by thanking Cowboy, Sam, Bob and all those involved in putting together the Kerrville, TX reunion. It was a fantastic reunion and it was great to be back with RFTW family.
The Covid-19 shutdowns have taken its toll on another one of our hosts. The Quality Inn in Flagstaff is permanently closed. We are working on finding a new host hotel for Flagstaff. Duke City Harley Davidson in Albuquerque has also closed its doors. However, The ownership will still host us at Thunderbird Harley Davidson and we have obtained LEO support for this change. Our fantastic State Coordinators and their Assist. SCs are working hard for us. It is challenging times for them and I am so appreciative for all of their efforts. We currently have confirmed 25 of our stops and 4 of our 8 night stops (Not counting Ontario and Arlington) have confirmed, signed agreements with our host hotels. Our amazing , “does it all ARC”, Jerry Wilkins is doing a great job coordinating the hotels and working with our State Coordinators.
Congratulations to Richard “Bam Bam” House, our SC State Coordinator, and his wife Christina on the birth of their new baby boy, Coulson! What a beautiful family.
I hope that you all are able to enjoy some nice riding these days. I cannot wait for us all to get back together again.
Is it May yet?
Honor, Hope & Healing
Ken “Six String” Dugas Route Coordinator – Midway 2020-2021
The Board of Directors met last week for our regular meeting. This meeting focused on planning issues underway for Run For The Wall four routes. Each Route Coordinator briefed the Board on their individual routes. All four RCs reported the planning process is going smoothly and each is working on hotel blocks for the 2021 RFTW.
As mentioned in my last message we have anticipated business closures as a result of some Covid-19 pandemic draconian regulations. Some of those businesses along our routes have closed and scheduled lunch stops have been cancelled.
Our State Coordinators are working hard to fill in those closures as they are discovered. State Coordinators are amazing and a blessing to RFTW. They have a tough job and are usually found juggling many balls at the same time. With this issue they have been on top of their game. Next year if you get to meet these leaders don’t hesitate to thank them for their faithful attention to our journey.
Getting over this wall with… a little help from our friends.
During August I heard from several RFTW riders with concerns about whether there would be a RFTW 2021. I know the pandemic and all the other disruptions that have occurred this summer have weighed heavily on many riders. I reminded each caller that the Board of Directors and the Route Coordinators are planning and working hard for RFTW 2021.
With that said I think most of our riders weathered the storms of Vietnam, Panama, Somalia, Desert Storm, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria and I think we need to think about how we successfully weathered those tumultuous times to put this year’s issues in perspective.
Nothing was easy on this beach…
RFTW Director of Risk Management Diann McKee sent me the current registration numbers which reveal additional interest in our mission with approximately 40 new registrations in August.
The stats breakdown for 2021 (as of Sept. 13):
Central Route – 417
Midway Route – 288
Southern Route – 413
Sandbox Route – 331
(Fewer than 10 riders have cancelled for 2021)
I am very pleased with the ongoing planning process and the hurdles that your BOD, Route Coordinators, leadership crews, and State Coordinators have accomplished this this year to keep RFTW afloat in these troubled times – like all veterans, surrender is not in their vocabulary. I am equally proud of riders from all routes who have responded to our calls to purchase dated merchandise from the RFTW store. You have our utmost respect and gratitude for shopping in the RFTW store. We know you have many other choices where to shop but you chose to shop at RFTW.us and that act of loyalty and kindness did not go unnoticed. Our finances are in very good shape and have improved this past summer as donations have been received from private donors and through our account with smil.amazon.com. If you are not signed up with smile.amazon.com please consider signing up, choose Run For The Wall as your organization and watch Amazon donations increase. Signing up costs you nothing as Amazon donates a percentage from the total purchases made by RFTW Amazon Smile customers each quarter.
Before I sign off, I would like to inform you that a former RFTW rider participant who rode for many years with the Central Route has passed away. Monte “Bull Rider” Apodoca was a passionate rider who worked hard for veteran issues and rode with RFTW to further assist veterans from all wars. Monte made many friends along the Central Route and many of you may have known him. Monte’s brother and sister-in-law, Tim and Linda Hulette of Lakewood, Colo., notified us of his death a few days ago. They have set up a Go-fund-me account for his wife Linda Apodoca, titled “A New Life for the Bull Rider’s Wife” Monte Apodaca Memorial Fund. If you are interested in donating the link is: https://gf.me/u/yyb4gi . Rest in peace, Monte.
Is It May Yet?
Respectfully submitted, Les “Easy” Williams RFTW BOD President
Reminder 1. We are only a little more than a week away from the Kerrville, TX; ALL Riders Reunion, September 25-27, 2020. There is still time to make plan. Looks like Cowboy and Sam have put together a couple of great day rides. There will ne a riders meeting Saturday afternoon, with a Q&A session.
Reminder 2. Now more than ever many of us are shopping a lot from home. If you shop from Amazon, remember to sign up and log in through Amazon SMILE and select Run For the Wall as your designated charity. Amazon donated a percentage of your eligible purchase to RFTW. It costs you Zero, Zip, Nada.
Reminder 3. Stay Positive. No doubt these are trying times for ALL of us. We will get through 2020 together and look forward to RFTW XXXII in 2021. We will never surrender……….
The Kerrville reunion is right around the corner. I am looking forward to being with our RFTW family again! The reunion is September 25-27. It is always a great reunion and I hope to see many of you there.
Midway has a new Assistant State Coordinator for North Carolina. Gary “Chief” Whaley has agreed to accept this position and I am so grateful to have him on our team. I thank him for volunteering for this important position. North Carolina has always been a challenging state for us because our route spends three days in this state. Bam Bam, Hawk and Goodwrench have always done a great job in North Carolina and I know Gary will be a great addition. Our State Coordinators are so critical to our mission and I thank all of them for everything they do for us. 2021 will be challenging for them. The Covid-19 restrictions and shutdowns have caused many businesses to go out of business. Our State Coordinators will have their hands full contacting everyone to see if they will be able to support our mission for 2021 and find alternative supporters and hosts when needed. Thank you, State Coordinators!!!!
All our Team Leaders will be working on filing their teams. Some Leadership positions will be setting up hotels, camp sites, planning our routes, coordinating with Law Enforcement, setting up fuel stops, preparing for registration, chase trucks, hydration, fund raising, etc…. It takes work by many people all year long to make our RFTW mission successful. I thank all our leadership and support people for everything they do. Working as a team is what makes our route successful. Thank you!
I am still working on wrapping up a few things from our 2020 plans. I look forward to continuing making progress for our 2021 route and will keep you updated as we move forward to completing RFTW XXXII.
Registration for 2021 is open. Remember, if you were registered for 2020, your registration has been forwarded to 2021. If you cannot make 2021 please make sure you cancel your registration. If you are not registered and plan to join us for 2021, please do so ASAP. Knowing how many to expect on the route really does help our planning.
Have I told you lately?……….. I love my RFTW family!
Welcome to September! Labor Day may mark the unofficial end of Summer for most folks, but for me it marks the official beginning of focused planning for the Run next May. Your SandBox Route Leadership team has made preliminary contacts over the course of the summer for the places we had planned to visit last May and the responses have been very positive – in some cases already with early commitments to support. Now that Summer is drawing to a close, and the cooler Fall riding season takes over, more plans for local rides are filling my mind and you know where that road leads… IS IT MAY YET?
This update will cover the same topics as last month plus more with new info, so please read carefully. The topics are 1) Registration, 2) StandBy List, 3) Patches, 4) Quarterly Virtual Status Briefing and 5) Kerrville Reunion.
Very important considerations for Registration that you need to know… A). If you were registered for the SandBox Route for 2020, you are and will remain registered for the SandBox Route for 2021. If you find you must withdraw from the route, please notify me at email@example.com so that we may bring in someone from the StandBy List. B). If your registration info changes (Insurance date, Driver License info, etc.) DO NOT try to update this info with electronic OnLine Registration. You may write in the updated info when you show up in person for sign-in next May.
2) SANDBOX STANDBY LIST
The SandBox Route StandBy Registration List is still in effect and accepting applications for those not already registered on the SandBox Route. The Standby Registration procedure is the same as it was last November – before you sign up, please review this link for instructions: SandBox Route StandBy Registration – 08 NOV 2019. NOTE: If you plan to ride only on the SandBox Route, first register online for any one of Central, Southern or Midway Routes with your start and endpoint as Washington DC – when picked up on SandBox Route, the Registrar will change your endpoint to Marseilles, Illinois.
3) SANDBOX ROUTE 2020 COMMEMORATIVE PATCH
The limited first edition patch is still available! It was designed and stitched back in February to be used as a fundraiser on the Route. The patch is available for a donation $20 to the SandBox Route. The patch is no longer limited to 1 per person. The patches will be provided per the order in which requests are received.
Here’s how to get yours… Send an e-mail with your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org. In the e-mail, please include your Name and Mailing Address and how many patches you’d like to reserve. You will receive a reply with instructions on where and how to send your donation. When your donation is received, the patch will be mailed to the address you provided in the e-mail.
Now for the hard part… I have received a large number of e-mails reserving patches for which the donation was never received. The number of patches available is dwindling so I must release your reservation if the donation is not received soon – 26 reservations from back in June are close to being cancelled.
Don’t delay – donate today! That’s all there is to it! I’ll be watching for your e-mail!
4) QUARTERLY VIRTUAL STATUS MEETING
It’s finally here! SandBox Route Virtual Quarterly Route Briefing #1 is scheduled for Tuesday, 22 SEP 2020 at 7:00 PM Central. It will be on ZOOM and the meeting link may be found below. At this briefing, you’ll get an update on our route, the stops, some of the places we’ll be visiting and behind the scenes information on how the planning is conducted throughout the year. You’ll also get briefings on some of the special participation events you can sign up for along the route. Don’t miss this great opportunity to meet and greet many of the Route Leadership and get firsthand info on what to expect come next May. Below is the date, time and link info you will need.
Topic: RFTW SandBox Route Quarterly Update #1 Time: Sep 22, 2020 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada) Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/91293655282
5) TEXAS RIDERS REUNION
The Kerrville Reunion is on and will be happening in just a few weeks. Cowboy is publishing regular updates which may be found on the RFTW website forum at https://rftw.us/forums/topic/kerrville-tx-reunion. Lady Bug and I will be there, and we hope to see you all there too!
That’s all for now. Y’all take care, stay well and stay strong! Remember, all roads lead to all roads so no matter where you go, TOGETHER WE RIDE!
Greetings ALL from a HOT and Smoky Northern Nevada,
For those who have not heard, Barnett’s Harley-Davidson dealership in Las Cruces, NM will close its doors effective at the end of this month. We always get such a warm welcome from them and the Las Cruces community. I have heard countless stories of how they kept many of our Southern Route (SR) riders on the road. Rest assured that your SR Leadership is working hard to find an alternate venue.
Between the pandemic and government restrictions causing economic hardships, tough business decisions have to be made. Large and small businesses are forced to scale down just to remain viable. We may face even more challenges as we prepare for RFTW XXXII.
I have urged all of our State Coordinators to keep vigilant for business closures or local restrictions which may impact the Southern Route.
Without our dedicated State Coordinators (SC), we would not get one mile down the road. Every Fuel Stop, Donated Meal, Hotel List contract, collaboration with State and Local agencies are all organized by them. Most of their work starts well in advance of the Run, and sometimes making final adjustments until we arrive. Our SCs mostly stay behind the scenes so you may not even know their names. Some have been with SR since its beginning. Our SCs wear brown hats, maybe they should be gold. When you see them, please Thank them. I have listed their names and contact information below, it is also located on our contacts page. As you can see some have assistants, if you feel compelled to step up for one of the assistant positions near where you live on the SR., please send me your information for email@example.com
I hope to see as many of you, as can make it, in Kerrville for the
TX RIDERS REUNION FOR PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE RIDERS