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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.

Person placeholder
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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RFTW SandBox RC Newsletter – JAN 2021 – Desert Storm Remembrance Edition

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Howdy from Texas!

Thirty year ago today, on Operation SECRET SQUIRREL (SENIOR SURPRISE), B-52’s from Barksdale AFB, Louisiana struck the first blow to a terroristic regime in what would become Operation DESERT STORM.  For many of our post-Vietnam era military members, this was the first time that they would see large scale mobilization for a combat deployment.  Since the SS Mayaguez incident and the subsequent USMC assault on Koh Tang Island marked the last combat action of the Vietnam War, the US had not engaged in theater level warfare of the scale to come during Desert Storm. 

On this day in 1991, young LTJG Billie “Bugs” Dunlap, USN was underway onboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) with the VF-24 Renegades as one of the Navy’s newest fully qualified F-14 Tomcat Radar Intercept Officers (RIO).  We were on workups, preparing for the pending deployment to the Persian Gulf to relieve the USS Ranger (CV 61), currently on station there – I knew that night where we were heading and what might wait for us there.  With a wife and 2-year-old daughter back home, I experienced the mixed emotions of patriotic enthusiasm to enter the fray with my squadron of warriors while fearing the unknown of the highly volatile nature of modern theater air warfare. 

For me, the world boiled down to two questions…  Would I serve my oath with honor?  Would I come home to see my family?  The first was totally up to me, but for the second question I knew the enemy had a vote.  Obviously, the enemy was outvoted, but for many of our SandBox Era Warriors the vote went the other way.  Now, 30 years later we are in the final stages of preparing for a Mission with those SandBox Era Warriors and their families in mind: Honoring those who returned to show that we as a nation understand the sacrifice of their service and supporting the families of those who did not return – for some that sacrifice may be a wound that still needs healing. 

While our Route is well planned and almost every pitfall and shortfall may be identified, mapped and mitigated, the MISSION is to provide for the people on the Run and on the Roads we travel.  The people we meet, the stories we share, the stories we hear – the lives we touch and the lives that touch us – that is what this Mission is all about.  From the rider in the pack to the Route Coordinator leading the way, we are all part of the mission and will have a part to play in its success – we are much stronger together than we could possibly be taking separate paths to the same end.

So, as of today you have 132 days and a wake up to get ready before KSU in DC on Sunday morning, 30 MAY 2021.  Your fully charged mental, emotional, spiritual, physical and material readiness will be required on this Mission.  With the same patriotic enthusiasm that inspired my journey into the skies over Iraq, I vow to you that I will be ready and will ensure that every possible turn of planning is made to ensure that you are safe and supported as we execute this Inaugural Run of the SandBox Route.

So, what about the first question?  After we share some stories on the Run, you can decide for yourself.  See you in DC!

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

WALL 2 WALL!

Bugs out!

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RFTW XXXII Sand Box Route Coordinator

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Southern Route Coordinator News January 2021 Part 2 **Special**

Greetings to ALL Registered RFTW Riders.

Our Registration Team needs your help.  It seems that over 500 of us who have registered in 2020, now have items such as Driver’s License, Vehicle Registration and/or Insurance that will expire before May 19, 2021.  The good news is that we can easily correct this.  Just simply follow the directions below:

Changes that need to be made on your existing pre-registration form (new bike, updated expiration dates on license, insurance, route change, etc.) should be directed to the newly established Contact Form https://rftw.us/contact/ category.  

  1. Enter your Name and Email Address.
  2. The Message box should contain ONLY CHANGES TO YOUR REGISTRATION FORM
  3. under Where should this contact be directed? Click the circle labeled “RFTW 2021 – Registration Revisions
  4.  Since you are not a robot, check the box appropriately.
  5. Submit 

The registration team will monitor these contact emails, revise your existing form and re-send it to you.    They will do this until the cut-off date of April 30th, 2021.


If you see that you will NOT be participating in the 2021 Run, please complete a “Contact Form” under the same category and advise them.   They will then delete your registration, so that accurate participant numbers can be obtained.   This is critical information to the Route Coordinators, so please contact them if you are unable to go.  Thank you for your help.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy

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Southern Route Coordinator News – January 2021 Part 1

Hi Everybody,

Well, we are only 128 days before Kick Stands Up (KSU).  The Southern Route Hotel List was posted On-Time with only one minor glitch, which was fixed before most riders even saw it.  BUT, for some reason there are a few riders who think we were still stopping in Chandler, AZ on Day 1.  The correct answer is Casa Grande, AZ.

If you have looked at our www.rftw.us website, you will have noticed that the Southern Route pre-registration number is at 455.  I really appreciate the enthusiasm, so we may be looking to expand the number of platoons rather than overcrowd.  With that said we are seeking potential volunteers within Platoon Leadership.  Applicants must have gone All The Way (ATW) at least one time, preferably on the Southern Route.  Also, you will need to have a working mounted CB Radio by KSU.  If interested contact Big Vic our Platoon Coordinator at srplatooncoordinator@gmail.com

Southern Route is looking to fill a new position if the right volunteer can be found.  Leadership Support Driver, basically a chase vehicle for Outreach Missions.  Ideally a pickup with a trailer capable of transporting 1-2 motorcycles.  The reason for a smaller rig is that many of the Outreach locations have extremely limited parking and traverse narrow and winding roads.  Please contact me for more information about this position.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy

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Midway Route Coordinator – Newsletter – Jan 2021

Happy New Year Midway family!

I hope you had a nice New Year’s waving 2020 behind us. I wish you all a happy and blessed 2021!

I can’t help but have a sense of hope and excitement as we look forward to 2021 and see how many people have made their hotel reservations for our Run for the Wall mission. I have heard nothing but positive feedback about everyone’s hotel reservation experiences. I thank you all for your patience and professional representation of RFTW in dealing with the hotel’s staff. We are off to a great start to 2021 and we are working hard to finalize our route plans. This is the time of the year where our State Coordinators and their Assistants really start to finalize all the details for our route. I want to once again, express my appreciation to them and everyone for the work they do to make our mission a success.

Speaking of work, I want to remind everyone that we are having a zoom meeting to kick off our plans for the Feb. 20th fundraiser I have been telling you about. We are looking for people to help us obtain and collect pledges for this. We are having a Zoom video conference meeting tomorrow night (Monday 1/4/21) at 7:00pm central time. I invite anyone who would like to find out more about this or is willing to help to please join us for the meeting. The link for the meeting is listed below:
Run for the Wall is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: RFTW Midway fundraiser Zoom Meeting
Time: Jan 4, 2021 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/91930652782
Meeting ID: 919 3065 2782
One tap mobile
+16465588656,,91930652782# US (New York)
+13017158592,,91930652782# US (Washington D.C)

It is time to get busy and make Midway 2021 happen!

Thank you and Happy New Year,

Ken “Six String” Dugas
Route Coordinator, Midway 2020-2021

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Southern Route Coordinator News – New Year’s Eve 2020

Happy New Year to My RFTW Family,

Tomorrow we will say Hello, Hola, Aloha,  Kamusta,  Bonjour,  Hallo, or in any language, Greetings to 2021. We are so happy to see you.  Just so there is no doubt in anyone’s mind, the Run For The Wall Board of Directors and All Route Coordinators are fully committed to RFTW XXXII 2021. 

A major milestone is the publication of the Route’s Hotel List.  This will happen about Midnight Eastern Time on January 1, 2021 on the www.rftw.us  website under the Southern Route Hub.

****Very Important, Please Read****

The 2021 Hotel List is the culmination of the hard work of our Southern Route State Coordinators.  Every effort was made to garner the best rates available.  We do not have contracts of agreements with every property on this list, but the price ranges listed should reflect actual available rates.  Room block sizes vary from place to place.  Once that hotel’s block is sold out, that’s it for that hotel.

Every year is different, and this year is no exception.  Along the Southern Route, owners have had to deal with Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Fires, Drought, Floods, Civil Unrest and Governmental Restrictions due to the pandemic.   They will do everything they can to complete your reservation.  There is NO Excuse for being rude to these folks.  Keep in mind, that the person you are dealing with can only do what they are allowed to within their system.  It takes years to cultivate relationships with our hotels and can be destroyed with one bad experience.  Thank You for your cooperation.

Final Thoughts for 2020…..

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Midway Route Coordinator- Newsletter- Dec 2020 #3

Hello Midway family!!!!

I hope you all had a blessed and merry Christmas and are looking forward to our 2021 Run for the Wall mission. Planning for our 2021 Midway route has been going on all year long and I am ready for us to get on the bikes and ride. It has been way too long!

I am sending this newsletter out to let everyone know that the Board of Directors will be publishing the hotel lists on our RFTW.US website for all routes on January 1st, 2021. Please be advised that all of the hotels have been instructed to not take any reservations on the Run for the Wall block of rooms until January 1st. I ask that when calling the hotels, you remember that you are representing RFTW. Please be patient and kind to the hotel workers. This should go without saying. However, every year, we seem to have a few issues come up concerning this. Remember that it has taken years of work for our hotel and state coordinators to develop good relationships with these people. One bad apple can destroy all of that work with one bad experience. I greatly appreciate everyone being good ambassadors for Run for the Wall. Remember, it should always be “mission before self”. Should you have any issues with a hotel, please contact me and I will have our Hotel Coordinator do his best to resolve any issues you may have. I want to personally and publicly thank our ARC, Jerry Wilkins, who is also our Hotel Coordinator, for all of the hard work he has done to get the hotels lined up for us. Fantastic job Jerry!

Speaking of hotels, I am excited to announce that we will hold the hotel raffle fundraiser again for 2021. It starts now and is something I think everyone will like and I hope will participate and support.  Many people want to donate to RFTW.  This is a way that you can do that and get something in return.  Except for Ontario and Arlington, this fundraiser will pay for your hotels across the country!  The estimate for the hotel cost came out to be approximately $1,000.00, so the prize for this raffle will be $1,000.00!  Tam Tam Rickerson won our 1st hotel raffle for 2020. Even though the route was cancelled, she won the $1,000 prize! Wouldn’t it be nice to have your hotel costs covered?  The cost per ticket is $10.00 or you can purchase 10 tickets for $50.00!  If you purchase $100.00 worth, you will get 25 tickets.  All money made from this raffle will be used for our Midway route and will help cover some fuel cost for our riders!  If you purchase 10 tickets or more before the end of February, you will receive 2 extra tickets (per 10) for free.  I ask that you support this if you are able.  The raffle tickets will be given to you in Ontario and the drawing will be in Hopewell, VA. 

If you would like to purchase Hotel Raffle tickets, please make check out to RFTW and send to:
Ken Dugas
9849 Loblolly Pines Lane
Denham Springs, La. 70726

You may also electronically send the money through Zelle.  Use my phone 225-405-2735.  Please send me an email at ken.dugas@rftw.us to let me know if you are sending money to me.

Our State Coordinators and our Promotion team continue to work on donations and fundraising.   I really appreciate everyone’s efforts!  I want to have all the fuel for our route donated or prepaid for our riders.  It makes our fuel stops very efficient and is nice for our riders, especially in these difficult times. We cannot do this without good participation and support for our fundraisers. I thank you all in advance.

I am so excited that plans for our route are progressing well. We still have several stops to get finalized, but that is understandable with our State Coordinators having to deal with the Covid restrictions some people are dealing with. I hope to have our route finalized before too long. I will do my best to keep everyone updated. Thanks to all of our State Coordinators and their assistants for all the work they do all year long for us.

Santa brought “High Maintenance” a new back rest for her Freewheeler. I just installed it and she loves it. Remember that it is not too early to start thinking about preparing your bikes for our journey.

Have I told you lately?…………. I love my Midway family!

Is it May yet?

Honor, Hope & Healing

Ken “Six String” Dugas
Route Coordinator, Midway 2020-2021

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Southern Route Coordinator News Christmas Eve 2020

My Christmas (Poem) Rhyme

By Bob Nelson

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the lands

People were busy washing their hands

We all went about with masks on our faces

Finding businesses closed in so many places

We never imagined how bad it would get

As we chanted aloud “Is it May Yet?”

Cancelling the Run, no one could believe

Our bags were packed, we were ready to leave.

No Work, No School so we stayed close to home

In the garage with our bikes, just polishing chrome

Were allowed in public, but six feet apart

Not at a Church but ok at Wal-Mart

The vaccines are here, and the end is in sight

We will never surrender, we’re up for the fight

We’re Stronger Together We will get through this

But Santa, I ask you just one Christmas Wish

Take 2020 with you into the night as you go

And bury it deep into the cold Arctic snow

I heard him exclaim as he rode out of sight Merry Christmas to ALL

Now Let’s Run For The Wall

Written December 24, 2020

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Southern Route Coordinator News – December 2020 Part 2a

Well It did not take long for 50 of you to respond. We have reached our cutoff. I want to give a Huge THANK YOU to all who read the RFTW Route Coordinators’ and President’s Newsletters.

The enthusiasm for RFTW XXXII 2021, on a scale of 1-10, seems to average in the High 20’s. I do not think that there will be any lack of excitement.

For those of you who emailed me, please check what you sent. I cannot mail you something if I do not have your mailing address. Just saying

Best Wishes

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Southern Route Coordinator News – December 2020 Part 2

Season’s Greetings to ALL of our RFTW Family,

I think it is about time that we ALL try to look ahead to a brighter future.  The end of this terrible pandemic has begun.  For those of you on the front line, you have the undying gratitude of a Grateful Nation.  They have had to deal a lot with things that were not in the job description.  No one will get through this without a scratch.  So. it is important that we stick together and help each other as best we can.  Also take care of our own personal health.

It is December and the Holiday Season is here.  I have tried to maintain a PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) throughout the year, It has not been easy.   I learned early in life that no matter how much you worry about a problem, that never made it better.  So, with that said, if you celebrated Hanukkah which ended Friday evening, I hope that you were able to spend it with Family.  Merry Christmas to those who will gather to observe Christmas Day this coming Friday.  Saturday starts the week-long celebration of Kwanzaa.  Whatever you do, Be Safe and Stay Healthy.    

This year I am especially looking forward to New Year’s Day.  2020 will be in the history books and we can start fresh with a brand-new year. I think we should call it 2021, The Year of Hope.

Since you have read all of the newsletter to this point, do not forget to read the fine print below the signature block.

Diane and I wish you all Love, Health and Happiness during the holidays and throughout the New Year.

To reward the loyal newsletter readers please email me your name and mailing address and answer this one question.  On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about RFTW XXXII 2021? To the first 50 that respond, I will send you something unique and special.

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Midway Route Coordinator Newsletter – Dec 2020 #3


Dear Midway Family,

I apologize, but I am needing to send another newsletter to address a change of plans for our fundraiser zoom meeting that was scheduled for Monday Dec. 21st. It was brought to my attention that the 21st is the night that the planets will be aligned to create the Christmas star. This will be a once in a lifetime event for us to see. Many people also have Holiday plans that conflict with the meeting schedule. After discussing with our fundraiser team, it has been decided that it would be better to reschedule the meeting after the 1st of the year. Therefore, we have rescheduled the meeting for Monday, January 4th at 7:00pm central time. We need help for this fundraiser! If you are interested in learning more about the fundraiser and/or will help us with this, please send me your email address and I will send you the zoom meeting invitation. My email is ken.dugas@rftw.us. Even if you sent a reply already, I ask that you please send another email so I have an updated list for the Jan 4th meeting.

To recap the fundraiser event: We will be treating up to 100 bikes with an acrylic coating for free! We will make money by collecting pledges based on how many bikes we apply the coating to. We need volunteers to help us get pledges and collect them. Anyone with RFTW can help with this because no matter where you live, you can collect the pledges for us. People will be able to pledge as little as $.10 (ten cents) per bike or $10.00. A pledge sheet will be provided that will have places for people to pledge in increments of $.10, $.25, $.50, $1.00 or more per bike. It is easy to see that the more people we have obtaining pledges, the more money we will be able to raise for our route and our mission. Our goal is to have a minimum of 25 people getting 25 pledges. A minimum of $0.10 pledged per bike, would raise $6,250.00 for Midway. You can do the math and see how much more we could raise with more people participating and pledging more than $0.10 per bike. This could be a BIG fundraiser for us and would only require a little effort and small donations being given by many people.

As you can imagine, this Covid pandemic situation has created unique challenges for me and our State Coordinators. Having a good fundraiser would help tremendously by allowing us to possibly help the people who have supported and hosted us over the years that may not have the funds to do so in 2021. It will also help us with fuel donations, charitable donations and other route costs. Midway has always been a route that feels like family. We work together to find solutions and overcome our challenges. We make a great team and I know, working together, we will make our 2021 RFTW run a success!

Thank you for your consideration and support.

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Sincerely,

Ken “Six String” Dugas
Route Coordinator, Midway 2020-2021