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President’s Message April 2023

As I sit down to write this, we are 47 days from KSU.  The planning and preparations never stop. RFTW is like a perpetual motion machine.  I know our state coordinators and all our route leadership are working hard to complete plans. The work of the thousands of supporting volunteers is nearly complete.  Your BoD is still at it, focusing not only on this year’s Run, but already in the planning stages for Run XXXIV.

I often hear that things were simpler back in the day.  I remember back in my childhood when life was so much easier, and things just weren’t so complicated.  But then I grew up and took on new responsibilities, careers, being held accountable.  It made me wonder if RFTW was simpler, easier, better able to keep focus on the Mission in the days of its origins.  So, I called Gunny Gregory and asked how he viewed the changes over the years.  One thing that came out of our conversation was that in May 1988, he and the other founders had the foresight to incorporate Run For The Wall, and it still is a corporation to this day.  They realized the potential for the Run to get bigger, more complex, perhaps though never thinking we would have four routes with over 1000 riders.  But they did realize the complexity, the personal liability, the need to protect the integrity of the Mission that comes with organizing something like the Run.  As we talked, he shared how complex things were even on the first Run.  If nothing else, it has become more complex.

Even as we find ourselves facing complex issues, we work hard to find a way to meet the demands of today and still retain Mission focus. One of those complex issues is using electronic funds transfers during fund raising activities. One would think that the use of PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, and other similar apps would be straightforward.  Unfortunately, that is not quite so.  Some of these apps do not allow transfers to corporate banking accounts; they are designed for person-to-person transfers. And of course, RFTW accounts are by necessity corporate accounts. Then we throw in the IRS rules for funds accountability along with the fact that, as a corporation, we cannot allow use of personal bank accounts, and now we have an even bigger issue to get our arms around.  Zelle is beginning to allow funds transfers from your personal account to a corporate account (if your bank is a Zelle-affiliated bank), but even then, there are some limitations.  So, our Treasurer and Communications directors worked in concert with our bank, (Bank of America) to set up a means for allowing RFTW fund raisers to take money electronically.  And using the Donate button on our website is still an option!!  Guidance was sent out to all RCs and ARCs, so if you have any questions, please contact your RC/ARC.  Please know that this is not the last time you will be hearing of this.  The use of electronic banking for fund raising activities involving corporations continues to evolve.  Our Treasurer is pursuing other electronic avenues as they too enter the corporate environment.

Our Bylaws require that the BoD protect RFTW intellectual property, our Brand.  The current bylaws require permission from the BoD for use of our trademark(s) by other businesses and organizations.  Many of the earlier permissions are outdated.  So we released further interim guidance to our RC/ARCs with the request they forward it to their team members as necessary.  We have no intention of interfering with anyone wishing to use our Brand when doing so is in the best interests of RFTW.  But at the same time, we intend to protect our Brand, and we need your assistance.  If you know of someone (or an organization) using the RFTW Brand, be it on a t-shirt or other item sold to support the Run, even if it is seemingly innocuous, please ask that they reach out to me via email at  We want to encourage use of the RFTW Brand while still keeping control over how it is used and presented.  Your RC/ARCs have the full details.

In February, we sent out a standardized message for use when contacting news media, civic organizations, etc., announcing our arrival.  Below is that message.  I encourage you to copy and paste it into an email and get it out.  Let’s work together to notify the nation that we are coming to your community and that We Ride For Those Who Can’t.


Run For The Wall (RFTW), a veteran’s support organization, will be coming through ENTER LOCATION HERE on ENTER DATE/TIME HERE on our way to ENTER EITHER WASHINGTON D.C. OR MARSEILLES, IL. This is the 33rd year RFTW has conducted its mission of promoting healing among all veterans and their families and friends, calling 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 around the world. This mission is supported by thousands of citizens from communities like yours who come out to greet us, who provide donated gas and oftentimes food, and, most importantly, to demonstrate their patriotism and support.

As we work our way across America, whether from California to D.C or D.C. to Marseilles, IL., we visit towns and communities, veteran organizations like the VFW and American Legion, VA Centers and hospitals, schools, Gold Star families, and civic organizations to help spread the word. We need your help to promote the healing of those who have answered our nations call; to help remind our legislators that we need the accountability that was promised; and most importantly, we need to NEVER FORGET those who sacrificed all for us.

We cannot continue this mission without your support and assistance in getting the word out! Our motto is “We Ride For Those Who Can’t”. That all-encompassing motto includes Veterans and Patriots from all walks of life – with your help, we can reach more people who may need a personal connection or who wish to show their support.

We’d love to have you come out to meet or join us on ENTER DATE AND TIME HERE. We would love to see you as we work our way across this great country of ours.  If you cannot make it, please visit our website at RFTW.US.

We look forward to seeing you!


Day Rider Registration – The new online Day Rider Registration process is working well with over 20 people so far taking advantage of the reduced fee for short term participation.  Keep in mind that the Day Rider may participate in all RFTW activities at and between up to three consecutive overnight locations (which includes endpoint cities Ontario, DC, and Marseilles) with up to 2 full days on the road with the pack.  If after those 2 days you’d like to continue on with the Run, (be aware – the urge will be strong!) your check-in team on the route will be able to help you extend to a full registration.  Either way, you’ll still be joining the RFTW family and will be welcome to be a part of the Mission.

But how about you? How are your preparations going? Are you exercising, hydrating? Have you checked your meds list to ensure you have a sufficient supply for the duration of the Run?  Is your motorcycle ready? How are your tires looking?  Have you taken a few longer rides to get your mind and body prepped?  Have you made all your overnight reservations?

No one left behind is more than a standard we all live up to.  It is a way of life. It is part of our Mission. If you or someone you know find themselves struggling with their mental health, please know you can contact the VA Veteran’s Crisis Line by dialing 988 then press 1 or text 838255 and speak or chat with a qualified responder.

Let’s remember to keep our focus on the Mission.  It is why we ride!

Is it May yet?

TurkeyJohn “Turkey” Staub
President, RFTW, Inc.
2011- CR FNG
2012 – CR Participant
2013 – CR Staging Team
2014 – 2015 – CR Staging Team Ass’t. Lead
2016-2017 – CR Staging Team Lead
2022 – CR Platoon Coordinator
2020 – Present – RFTW BoD member

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Central Route Coordinator Newsletter April 2023

Just a little more than 45 days to kick stands up (KSU) in Ontario, CA.

A total of 1045 riders and supporters are currently registered for RFTW XXXIII. As you can see from the chart developed by the Board of Directors (BOD), 400 are registered for the Central Route (CR). We expect CR numbers to increase before we launch at 0710 hours, Wednesday, 17 May 2023.

CR planning is nearly complete. We’ve filled most leadership positions, including platoon leadership, but we are still accepting (non-FNG) volunteer requests (CLICK HERE TO VOLUNTEER). We’ve sent surveys out to all riders, asking for their riding preference (side-by-side, or staggered), and, if they would prefer to ride in a specific platoon (LINK HERE). The response to this survey has been extraordinary. We are working diligently to accommodate rider preferences, and at the same time, ensuring that platoons are not overloaded and the number of riders in each platoon is balanced to the extent possible. We anticipate that most platoon assignments will be made before participants arrive in Ontario.

Individual Rider Planning and Budgeting:  How is your personal planning going? Have you been preparing yourself physically. Are you walking, running, hitting the gym or spending more and more time in the saddle of your motorcycle? Have you taken, or plan to take your motorcycle in to the shop for performance and safety checks? Have you been educating yourself regarding RFTW in general, and the CR in particular? For example, have you searched the RFTW website for information regarding the RFTW mission, how to pack for the ride, past CR rider experiences, etc. Remember, RFTW is not a ten (10) day friendship or club ride. Understanding the mission of RFTW (READ THE MISSION STATEMENT), and keeping in mind who and what you’re riding for, will help you fulfill your personal mission, and bring honor to yourself, those for whom you ride, and, RFTW.

What about your budget planning? What sort of things should you consider in your budget anyway – meals, lodging, fuel? Fortunately, most meals are donated by our supporters as we make our way across this country. Most hotels, too, help riders by offering reduced rates. CR even has supporters who donate fuel for motorcycles at several stops along the route. There are, however, several fuel stops that are still the responsibility of riders, and budgeting for these remaining fuel stops may be challenging given the fluctuating (often rising) cost of fuel.

CR is also offering a pre-paid fuel option for RFTW XXXIII. All riders are encouraged, but not required, to participate in the pre-paid fuel option. Participating in the pre-paid fuel option, however, will not only help riders with their budgeting, but will significantly speed the process of fueling – at every stop. Simply put, riders can fill their tanks, stage more quickly, and take more time for rest, hydration and snacks. Experienced RFTW riders familiar with fueling procedures know what a pain it can be waiting in the rain or blazing heat for their turn to fuel.

The cost of the CR pre-paid fuel option is only $90 per rider. Riders interested in purchasing the pre-paid fuel option may do so in Ontario (at check-in) – ask a Registration Team member about the option. Upon purchase, riders will be issued a sticker for their motorcycle windscreen. Seeing this sticker, fuel team members will know not to collect money and will send you on your way quickly. And, riders will not have to remove or adjust their riding gear (e.g., gloves, jackets, weather gear, etc.). Remember to bring a little extra cash with you to Ontario for the pre-paid fuel option. You’ll be helping yourself, and the CR Fuel Team as well.

Online FNG Orientation Meeting:  All those in RFTW volunteer leadership positions were at one time FNGs, and we’re pretty sure we understand how you’re feeling at this point. Not to worry. The CR will be holding an online FNG orientation meeting on Saturday, April 15th, at 1300 hours (PST). All FNGs should have received an invitation to this “Zoom” meeting. If you have not already done so, put this date in your calendar. At this meeting we will provide an overview of RFTW XXXIII. You will meet (and physically see) me, the Assistance Route Coordinator (ARC), all platoon leaders, the FNG Liaison, and the Road Guard Captain (among others). There will be an opportunity to ask questions, but we anticipate this FNG meeting will take no longer than two hours.

Central Route Itinerary:  The CR 2023 itinerary has been be posted on the RFTW website (ITINERARY CAN BE FOUND HERE). Please download and review the itinerary before the FNG orientation meeting on 15 April. All FNGs will of course receive a printed copy of the itinerary in Ontario, during check-in. I recommend that all participants also upload a copy of the itinerary to the “Books” application on their smart phone. Because the itinerary specifies arrival and departures times for each stop, having a copy of the itinerary (physically or in “Books”) will help participants manage their time at stops. The last thing anyone wants is to be left behind when it’s time for the pack to depart.

“Courage” movie:  In the March 2023 newsletter, you will recall the announcement of a showing of “Courage”, a one-hour movie about Prisoners of War (POW) in World War II and Vietnam. I believe this movie will help focus our attention on an important part of the RFTW mission – “to call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action (POW/MIA”). And, I believe that watching this movie will help participants to “gear up” for the challenge ahead of them, and help us to remember why we ride – “for those who can’t”. It is a one-time, and exclusive opportunity for RFTW participants to view this film, which is being offered by Mr. Bill Lowe, a patriot, RFTW supporter and family member of the CR RC.

If you haven’t done so already, check out the three-minute trailer about the movie – we think you’ll enjoy, and be moved by it. With only 300-350 seats available in the “Lodge Room”, be sure to come to the Elks Lodge early enough to have dinner before the movie, which begins at 1900 hours. In fact, all riders are encouraged to arrive in Ontario a little early – as early Monday as possible – to complete the check-in process, attend mandatory meetings and enjoy the movie.

With KSU at 0710 hours, Wednesday, 17 May 2023, you should be well into planning for your own ride to Ontario. If you’d like to ride to Ontario in a group, consider joining a few CR riders coming down from Seattle, WA. Our route will take us down the middle of Oregon and California via Hwy 395. We plan to arrive in Ontario on Sunday, 14 May 2023, a day before general check-in begins. For details, and a list of hotels, email Mike Taylor at Make your hotel reservations for this ride now. Note that our ride down to Ontario, is a “personal ride”, and not sanctioned by, or affiliated in anyway with RFTW.

If you’re riding to Ontario on your own, remember, check-in for all riders begins Monday morning, 15 May 2023. So, plan to arrive early on Monday, because the check-in process can take some time. Riders who have completed the rider preference survey (CLICK HERE FOR YOUR LAST CHANCE TO FILL OUT THE SURVEY!!!!!!), will be assigned to a platoon before arriving in Ontario, and can anticipate a shorter wait time for check-in.

In the meantime, pack your bike, unpack it, and do it again a couple more times. Ride safe, ride light, and stay healthy. Is it May yet?

Paul “Brush” Marshall

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Sandbox Route RC Newsletter – March 2023

Welcome to the SandBox Route RC Newsletter for March 2023.

RFTW Sandbox Route Home Page

Is it May yet?

We are rapidly approaching May and the official start of our Mission. Our Run For The Wall mission is “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.”


March 20, 2003, marked the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) with preemptive airstrikes on Saddam Hussein’s Presidential Palace and military targets followed by approximately 67,700 “boots on the ground” with 15,000 Navy personnel on ships in the region. OIF was authorized when Iraq was found to be in breach of U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 1441 which “prohibits stockpiling and importing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).” Iraqi forces were overwhelmed quickly, and Baghdad fell a mere five weeks after the invasion began. With the invasion complete, an insurgency and influx of al Qaeda inspired fighters poured into the country which sparked guerilla warfare tactics against U.S. troops and civil war between the Sunni and Shia tribes.

On 15 December 2011, The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other top U.S. military leaders observed the official end of U.S. Forces Iraq’s mission after nearly nine years of conflict that claimed the lives of 4,419 U.S. service members (3,481 KIA, 938 non-hostile) and 31,994 wounded in action (WIA).


After U.S. forces withdrew from Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) invaded areas of Syria and Iraq causing widespread causalities, destruction of the country’s infrastructure and barbaric practices against citizens. In response to the terrorist group, Operation Inherent Resolve began 17 October 2014. Operation Inherent Resolve claimed the lives of 86 U.S. service members (17 KIA, 69 non-hostile) and 80 WIA.


U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan ended on December 31, 2014. As part of Operation FREEDOM’S SENTINEL (OFS), U.S. forces remained in the country to participate in a coalition mission to train, advise, and assist Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and to conduct counterterrorism operations against the remnants of al Qaeda. Operation Freedom’s Sentinel claimed the lives of 80 U.S. service members (60 KIA, 20 non-hostile) and 471 WIA.

The US service members lost during Operations Iraqi Freedom, Inherent Resolve, and Freedom’s Sentinel are engraved on the Middle East Conflicts Wall in Marseilles, Illinois.

Don’t let them die a second death, say their names, say them out loud. Never forget; This is why we ride!

I encourage everyone to visit the Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial page HERE,

and become more familiar with the history of this memorial and the names included on this Wall.

Sandbox Route Status

Currently, there are 1022 total registered participants on all 4 Routes! The SandBox Route currently has 276 registered participants with 252 of those on motorcycles!

Many of us are less than 60 days from KSU marking the beginning of our Runs to the Run. Please remember that anytime you wear your Run for the Wall vest, you are representing Run for the Wall and our mission to the public and potential supporters. Please be kind, courteous, and respectful to everyone on your journey to Run for the Wall no matter where you may be joining us.

The Sandbox Route Leadership team continues to meet monthly and has pretty much finalized our 2023 itinerary. We have managed to incorporate a few changes to our schedule and stops. On day 1, our lunch stop has been changed to the American Legion Post #257 in Stoystown, PA.  Our coordination with the Flight 93 National Memorial is ongoing and they are welcoming us as one of the largest groups to visit on a very busy weekend for them at the memorial.

Although we have been able to make some changes to our itinerary, the fact remains that we have a long distance to travel to our destination at the Middle East Conflicts Wall in Marseilles, IL on May 30, 2023. Even with the new changes to our itinerary this year, our first two days will still be fairly long days covering 300+ miles each day. Now is the time to start preparing your mind, body, and bike for the mission, especially if you are participating in one of the 3 cross country routes prior to the SandBox Route!

Our full itinerary is expected to be published soon with a targeted on-line publication date of March 15, 2023. The SandBox Route Itinerary can be found here:

Sandbox Route Itinerary

The SandBox Route hotel list was published in January and can be found here:

Sandbox Route Hotel List


Don’t procrastinate, now is your time to register for the SandBox Route!

RFTW Registration Link


The SandBox Route has multiple fundraising items being offered to riders, participants, and supporters from all Routes. These items include the knife shown below along with 2 quilts, jewelry, wall hangings etc. Additional photos of the items will be posted on the RFTW Facebook page as they become available. Items should be available for viewing at the SandBox Registration in Ontario, CA and Arlington, VA.

All funds go directly to RFTW SandBox Route in support of our mission.


The Sandbox Route still has some openings for Leadership Teams! If you are qualified to volunteer and are looking for a way to continue your commitment to the Mission please complete the volunteer sign-up form using the link below!

RFTW Volunteer Sign-Up

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!

Romeo – Tango – Mike

I encourage everyone to visit the Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial page HERE and become more familiar with the history of this memorial and the names included on this Wall.

 Leave no one behind does not end on the battlefield!

If you or someone you know find themselves struggling with their mental health, please know you can contact the VA Veteran’s Crisis Line by dialing 988 then press 1 or text 838255 and speak or chat with a qualified responder.

Darin “Lurch” Koch

Sandbox Route Coordinator

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Route Itineraries Now Available!

RFTW daily itinerary

Daily Itinerary Booklets Are Now Available For Download For All Routes.

Remember all FNG’s (first timers) will get a printed copy of the route itinerary booklet for their specific route at registration check-in. Also a limited number of printed booklets will be available for purchase at the RFTW merchandise trailers. But you can download a digital copy today using the links below.

Additional Important Documents

For your reference we have also provided links to critical information and safety briefing documents below.

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March Southern Route Coordinator Newsletter

Call to action!

Wow, can you believe it? Just 75 days to KSU!!!

Currently there are 978 total riders registered on all four routes. The Southern Route has 314 registered riders, 77 of which are FNGs. Imagine, 978 riders will travel across the country experiencing American Patriotism on steroids!

The Southern Route leadership continues to meet monthly and things are coming together. The route has been planned down to the minute and coordinated with the Law Enforcement Officers that will escort us across the country. The folks at the meal stops are preparing their menus and shopping lists.

We are still looking for volunteers! Are you qualified to volunteer?

Let me share a few statistics. Currently there are 314  registered riders on the Southern Route, minus the 77 FNGs that are not eligible to volunteer, minus the 163 riders that have already volunteered. That leaves 72 riders currently registered on the Southern Route that are eligible to volunteer but HAVE NOT. Our numbers are going to increase between now and May and we need PLATOON LEADERSHIP AND STAGING VOLUNTEERS. If you are not an FNG, please consider volunteering, we need YOU to help us  get safely across the country.

In addition to the volunteers who facilitate our trip across the country, we also need money to purchase gas for the chase vehicles and for  donations to the VA Hospitals that we support and the schools that we visit.

To help fund the run, we hold raffles; 50/50 raffles, quilt raffles and a stained glass raffle. This year we are raffling Flags of The United States of America!  There are historical flags and flags flown at prominent military or historical locations. One flag will be raffled each morning.

The on-line raffle site allows you to purchase tickets for the specific flag you are interested in. You are also able to purchase 50/50 raffle tickets. When you purchase 50/50 tickets, if not selected on any given day, your name will stay in the pot for a chance to win the following day. Photos of the donated, handmade quilts, will be posted as soon as the photos are available at which time we will begin selling tickets for each quilt.

Purchase raffle tickets here:

Pre-Paid Fuel

Speaking of gas, the prepaid fuel option is gaining traction, every week we see more and more riders prepaying for their fuel. Still not sure how it works? Let me explain…

You have the option of prepaying on-line or when you arrive in Ontario. If you have purchased prepaid fuel, when you arrive in Ontario and check-in, you will be issued a wrist band and a receipt. When you pull into the gas stop, show the fuel team member your wrist band and you will not be charged for fuel. Yes, you read that correctly, fill your tank and ride on through. We will all arrive at the staging area quicker, with a little more time for rest, hydration and snacks.

Now for the questions that are running through your mind:

  1. How can $150.00 be enough money for fuel? Historically, the remaining fuel expenses are donated stops.
  2. How do I know my bike’s fuel usage will be $150? The stops that are not donated fuel stops will all be $10 stops.
  3. What if you’re not going all the way? This would not be a good plan for you, unless you want to donate your unused gas money to the chase vehicles’ fuel expenses, because NO REFUNDS WILL BE GIVEN
  4. What if you lose your wrist band? You will have to show your receipt to be issued a new wrist band.
  5. What if you do not complete the run? There again, you will be making a donation to the chase vehicles’ fuel expense fund. NO REFUNDS WILL BE GIVEN.
  6. Will this impact donated fuel stops? NO, the generous donors on the route will still donate fuel stops.
    We encourage ALL of the all the way riders to prepay for their fuel. All riders will benefit by having faster fueling and longer rest time.

Purchase prepaid fuel here:

Why I Ride

Vietnam War Veterans Day
March 29, 2023

This month marks the sixth year of honoring and recognizing Vietnam Veterans and their families on Vietnam War Veterans Day.

“The Vietnam War Veterans Day Recognition Act of 2017 was signed into law by 45th U.S. President Donald J. Trump, designating every 29 March as National Vietnam Veterans Day.
29 March is a fitting choice for a day honoring Vietnam veterans. It was chosen to be observed in perpetuity as March 29, 1973 (50 years ago this month) was the day United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam was disestablished and also the day the last U.S. combat troops departed Vietnam. In addition, on and around this same day Hanoi released the last of its acknowledged prisoners of war. “

November 1, 1955 was selected to coincide with the official designation of Military Assistance Advisory Group-Vietnam (MAAG-V); May 15, 1975 marks the end of the battle precipitated by the seizure of the SS Mayaguez.

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that today there are more than 7 million U.S. Vietnam veterans living in America and abroad, along with 10 million families of those who served during this timeframe.
Excerpt taken from:

I was a young teenager when my brother-in-law shipped off to Vietnam. He was never the same. Three years ago he died from cancer related to agent orange exposure. I ride for Danny, I ride for the veterans on the run, I ride for the families whose loved ones were never the same or never came home. I ride for the 1,582 still unaccounted for.  I ride, to thank and honor all our veterans and their families, not just on March 29th, but all year.

Why are you riding  this year?

Kristine “Eyes” Wood
Southern Route Coordinator 2023

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President’s Message March 2023

We have several Run family members that are facing life-changing events; I ask that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers.  Let’s not lose sight of the fact that we are FAMILY. That we care. NO ONE LEFT BEHIND.

RFTW teams are working hard to put the final touches on Run XXXIII.  May is just around the corner, and we are already working on next year.  While we are reaching out to several nationwide hotel chains to see if we can negotiate a room rate across the country for next year, our SCs are scrambling to tie up last minute details for this year’s Run.  Many riders are working on prepping themselves for the Run.  Riding this mission takes a lot out of you and requires attention and pre-ride preparation so one can safely complete the mission.  WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO GET READY FOR MAY???

We are reaching out to other veteran-centric organizations to spread the word about the Run.  We are working diligently to attract riders of all wars and conflicts so that our MISSION and goals continue to resonate across our landscape.  As our rider demographics adjust to the ages of our older warriors, we need to ensure our younger warriors know and understand that we look forward to them joining us and carrying on the MISSION.

February was quite the month.  It seemed like we were facing something new each day.  And it wasn’t only us; nearly everyone I spoke with was experiencing a full spectrum of challenges.  Perseverance, determination, communication, teamwork, focus on the goal – yep it works.  It is a bit like what we face each year on the Run.  Day 1 we’re charged up, ready to face the road, ready to face those challenges that may be lying in wait, heat, rain, snow, tornadoes.  By Day 3, we may be getting a bit weary.  But we work through it.  Our family composition changes as we welcome day-riders nearly every day.  The dynamics of the Run changes, often by the hour.  But we work through it as a team, as a family, to complete the MISSIONNO ONE LEFT BEHIND.

As we worked our way through having to shut down the store, one of our major sources of income; as we worked through not having a merchandise lead for Midway, as we received feedback from deservedly frustrated customers, we on the BoD communicated.  We communicated inside and outside the BoD.  We wanted to communicate the truth and stop rumors.  Rumors are hurtful and do nothing to improve a situation.  They only create and cause tension, and we can all do with less tension.  The BoD is working to communicate across all boundaries.  A decision made in merchandise affects our marketing team. That same decision impacts our finances, so we bring in our treasurer.  We were posting updates on social media, so it affected our communications team.  It most certainly affected our customers, so we communicated with each affected customer individually.  But we did not make these decisions or moves in the dark or without input from our other team members.  When I was assigned to headquarters positions, we often spoke about “vertical columns of excellence”.  We would experience the challenges caused by another directorate or division that affected our area, our AOR (area of responsibility) if you will; issues we were never consulted on or brought in so we could have input.  It caused frustration, delays, and our bosses we sometimes caught off-guard.  Vertical columns of excellence.  Yeah, a team may produce good work in a vacuum, but if they don’t consider the impacts across the spectrum, they become a “vertical column of excellence”.  The RFTW team is committed to avoiding vertical columns of excellence.

Fortunately, our RCs and team leaders understand the need to communicate effectively.  Each RC is conducting planning meetings that involve team leads across their AOR.  The RC depends on each team leader to communicate effectively with their team, and across to other teams.  We are getting down to the wire.  As I write this, my calendar says 79 days to KSU.  I know the RCs are feeling the crunch, the reality of May and all it brings.  Yet they are making the critical decisions RCs must make; they are receiving input from their teams; the team leads are listening to input from leadership and team members across their AOR.  To use an Army term, the route teams are “prepping the battlefield”.  They are making plans to conduct their part of this MISSION, respecting our goals, our mission statement, our priorities.  Run XXXIII is shaping up and it is happening!!!

As we go through the year, there are dates that carry significant meaning to our riders and our MISSION.  March 20th, 2023 (some will say March 19th) is the 20th anniversary of the start of Iraqi Freedom, as the US and coalition forces began the move to oust Saddam Hussein and take down the Iraqi government.  20 years.  March 29th, 2023 is the 48th anniversary of the day the last combat troops left Vietnam.  May 12th – 15th, 2023 is the 48th anniversary of Battle of Koh Tang.  48 years.  Anniversary’s that are 28 years apart, yet both eras impacted RFTW and many of our participants.  Different generations, different circumstances forever linked by commonality of purpose; to answer the call of our country.

RFTW recently partnered with the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, a special commission dedicated to recognizing the contributions of our Vietnam vets.  In recognition of this commemoration and anniversaries, we are working on something special for our Vietnam Vets this year, and while this year’s ceremony in D.C. occurs while we are prepping to leave Ontario (May 11-13), we believe it important that we partner with this extraordinary event and commission.  To learn more, click here.

On Vietnam Veterans Day, Wednesday, March 29, 2023, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum will offer free admission for Vietnam Veterans and their immediate families. Museum staff will also welcome each veteran home throughout the day by pinning them with a Department of Defense Vietnam War Veteran lapel pin.  Visit for more information about Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum and its Vietnam Veterans Day events.  Perhaps, if you are close, you might be able to attend.

Before there was “Maverick” there was a real Top Gun.  Capt. Williams came to RFTW Ontario prior to KSU in 2019. Royce helped us with the Naval ceremony honoring the new Sand Box route.  There has been a long-time push to give this man official recognition for his Korean War combat accomplishments. Many thought the Medal of Honor was in the bag for him, but it recently happened that the Navy Cross was ultimately (and officially) awarded.  The MOH needs two witnesses, but by the time the fight began all his wingman were heading back to the ship with mechanical issues. Only one wingman was left to see his heroic efforts.  Read about Capt. Williams heroic actions here:  Former US Pilot Royce Williams receives Navy Cross (


Is it May yet?

TurkeyJohn “Turkey” Staub
President, RFTW, Inc.
2011- CR FNG
2012 – CR Participant
2013 – CR Staging Team
2014 – 2015 – CR Staging Team Ass’t. Lead
2016-2017 – CR Staging Team Lead
2022 – CR Platoon Coordinator
2020 – Present – RFTW BoD member

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Central Route Coordinator Newsletter March 2023

Paul Marshall

RFTW XXXIII Is On! At the annual Run for the Wall (RFTW) face-to-face meeting, held at the end of February, the Board of Directors (BOD) voted unanimously to authorize the launch of RFTW XXXIII. Check your calendars – May 17, 2023 is coming up fast.

Exclusive Film Preview for RFTW XXXIII
Save the Date and Time
Monday, 15 May 2023, 1900 hours

We have a unique opportunity to see the movie “Courage”, a 1-hour movie about POWs in WWII and Vietnam – a movie which directly ties into an important part of the RFTW mission – “to call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action (POW/MIA)”.

I first saw a special showing of “Courage” months ago in San Diego, and found it to be quite moving – I think you will too…

The producer of “Courage”, William Lowe, is a graduate of the University of California Film School, and is retired from the film industry after more than 30 years in the business. Mr. Lowe is truly committed to supporting veterans, and the mission of RFTW. His own father was a WWII veteran who, only months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, had been a crewmember on the USS Arizona – perhaps more on that at the showing.

As a tribute to all veterans, Mr. Lowe is inviting RFTW participants to enjoy the movie free of charge. He will also be present at the showing to answer any questions you may have. For their part, the Elks Lodge is graciously providing their theater (the Teresa Seconne Room) at no cost to RFTW. The Elks are also offering an evening meal at a modest price, which will be served prior to the showing, in the grill area adjacent to the theater. Movie viewers are asked to refrain from bringing food into the theater, but drinks are permissible).

Unfortunately, there will only be 300 seats available in the theater, so you will want to get there early. In fact, all RFTW participants are encouraged to arrive in Ontario, CA early on Monday morning to give yourself plenty of time to check in and find your hotel rooms. That will also give you plenty of time to make your way to the Elks’ theater for dinner (1700-1900 hours), and the viewing of “Courage” at 1900 hours.

Planning update:  I can’t believe it’s March already – about 75 days from kickstands up (KSU). Already, CR has 373 riders and supporters registered for RFTW XXXIII. And, planning keeps rolling along. The Central Route (CR) held planning meetings in mid-February to update route details. In attendance were all state coordinators, and many in CR leadership positions, including the Road Guard Captain and Route Planner. CR changes known at that time were incorporated into the draft itinerary, which were then shared with the Board of Directors (BOD) just before the face-to-face meeting at the end of February.

CR also conducted a survey of riders, asking them to select their riding preference. This information will help us determine the proper number of platoons with either side-by-side or staggered formations. We will also do our best to accommodate those riders who expressed a desire to ride in a specific platoon. By the time you arrive in Ontario for check-in, it is quite likely you will already be assigned to a platoon. Please CLICK HERE to fill out the survey. If you do not fill out the survey, you may be assigned to a platoon based on the needs of the Route.

As mentioned in an earlier newsletter, after you complete the check-in process, a member of the registration team will direct you to a location where you will meet up with the CR “FNG Liaison”, Dave “Papa Smurf” Klemme. A Marine veteran and long-time RFTW participant, Dave has served as a Platoon Leader, Road Guard, Route Coordinator and BOD member. He is eager to assist new riders (FNGs) as they begin to acclimate to the Run. Dave will give you a brief introduction to RFTW, and explain your next steps, including the schedule of mandatory rider meetings, and the time and location of the “Courage” film. After meeting with Dave, FNGs will begin to have a better understanding of what to expect during the Run. 

Volunteers:  While most support teams are close to completing their rosters, there are still openings in teams such as medical, fueling, staging, chase drivers and hydration. Chase vehicle and hydration team volunteers must have a truck capable of towing a trailer. Those interested in volunteering for one of these positions are encouraged to complete the volunteer form Click Here as soon as possible. Volunteer forms will immediately be forwarded to the responsible team leaders. The BOD itself has also recently announced the recruitment of RFTW Merchandise Teams. These teams require a driver with a truck capable of towing the RFTW merchandise trailer. Riders interested in a merchandise volunteer position should contact BOD member Alan Steiner directly at 425-246-0437.

The Raffle-Rouser Team is also in need of a volunteer with a truck or van capable of hauling a large quantity of donated items. The raffle-rouser team, led by Lance Jones, plays a crucial role in supporting communities across the country that support CR. As we ride across the country, the team helps raise funds for the benefit of several schools we (CR) support. One of the main benefactors is the Rainelle Elementary School in West Virginia. When we visit Rainelle, which has supported CR and RFTW since its beginning in 1989, riders will understand why it is such a special stop.

The raffle-rouser team is requesting the assistance of riders and RFTW supporters, in gathering items for auction. Already this year, Lance has succeeded in getting some community artisans to make hundreds of blankets for schools CR supports. Other items being sought include those hand made by talented community artisans, such as knives, pens, plaques, quilts, afghans and others items suitable as RFTW memorabilia. Lance also encourages riders to solicit local businesses for items such as hats, t-shirts, swag or anything else they are willing to donate. And, because raffled items often must be shipped to winners, riders are asked to be mindful of the size and weight of donated items. If you can help the raffle-rouser team, with donations or as a driver, please call Lance Jones directly at 805-284-1750.

RFTW merchandise:  After a brief pause of RFTW merchandise operations, the online store is once again open for business. This is the place where you can purchase RFTW merchandise such as T-shirts, hats, patches and pins. It’s the same place that I and other CR leadership go to order what we want and need for the Run. It is important for everyone to remember that to receive your orders before you leave home for Ontario in May, you’ll want to place your orders soon – I have already done so. CLICK HERE TO SHOP NOW!

Finally, what have you been doing to prepare your motorcycle and yourselves for RFTW XXXIII? We suggest riders take their motorcycles in to check performance and safety items. Riders are encouraged to hit the gym, go walking or anything else you can do to prepare yourself physically. Having done these things, riders can raise their confidence in their preparation, and ability to successfully complete their RFTW mission.

The entire CR leadership team looks forward to meeting you all in Ontario. Keep up the good work, and stay healthy.

Paul “Brush” Marshall

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The Saga of Run For The Wall

FNG 2022

The Saga of Run For The Wall

By Lane “Boss” Post
USMC Vietnam Vet
FNG 2023 Central Route

Listen up patriots I’ve a story to share
About support, accounting, healing, and prayer
We honor the memory of those who did fall
In tribute to them we Run For The Wall.

From Ontario to DC together we ride
To remember and honor those who have died
One mission, four routes, ALL THE WAY is our chant
We ride to the wall for those who can’t.

The bikes roar to life and the journey begins
Ten days on the road in DC it ends
A formation of bikers five hundred strong
Platoon after platoon over two miles long!

One proud tradition since this ride began
Is the honored space open for one missing man
Surrounded by many and remembered by all
He escorts the names that we take to the wall.

Every overpass we ride under, every town we pass through
Are hundreds of supporters waving red, white, and blue
They donate the fuel that allows us to roll
They provide our meals and nourish our soul.

Day ten we arrive and approach that grave wall
Searching for names like Bob, John, or Paul
Thousands and thousands of names there engraved
They gave their lives that ours might be saved.

Freedom isn’t free as the wall will attest
Our freedom was paid for by some of our best
Put your hand on that wall and you might hear them say
For your tomorrow we gave our today.

Emotions run deep, tears they will flow
A healing takes place for a debt that we owe
So veterans and patriots come one come all
Join this great tribute as we Run For The Wall!


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Midway Route Coordinator Newsletter March 2023

Midway Route Coordinator News

Greetings from hot, cold, rainy, sunshiny, Southern California!  Piper has been releasing it fury as it heads across our Nation. Stay Safe!

The Run For The Wall mission is “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.”

This is why we ride – to support this mission!

May is rapidly approaching, 79 days from this morning we will be departing Ontario, CA on our way to Flagstaff, AZ, our first night’s stop, as we continue with our Mission, Never Forget Their Sacrifice.

At this time there are 978 riders registered to participate.  236 of those registered are on the Midway Route. We are the smallest registered of the four routes, however, we are mighty, we are Family. Welcome to the Midway Family.

Congratulations and thank you are in order. Randall “Mullet” Olguin has volunteered as 2023 Midway Route Quartermaster. Dale and Ruth McCullough have taken on the very important task as 2023 Midway Route Merchandise Team Lead. Thank you, Randall, Dale and Ruth, for your support.


We just learned that the host hotel, Sure Stay Plus by Best Western in Albuquerque, NM is CLOSING FOR BUSINESS March 31st, 2023. I have verified alternate hotels listed on RFTW website, i.e., Days Inn by Wyndham and Econo Lodge, and both have vacancies. We have designated the Days Inn by Wyndham as the new Host hotel. If you had reservations at the Best Western, you need to re-book your stay in Albuquerque ASAP!

Below are links to additional hotels on the “East” side of town within a reasonable distance of the staging area.

Congratulations to Super Bowl winners Michael Holas and Steven Cathey, 3rd and 4th quarter winners respectfully. Thank you, Gina Cutrer, for your diligent work in raising fuel donations. I am confident Midway riders greatly appreciate your efforts.

Midway Route Leadership is meeting monthly to ensure our trek across our Nation is tuned to perfection. Every turn is being analyzed, morning staging areas, daily fuel stops, meals, LEO support, etc. Your platoon leaders are working to ensure you will receive the latest information each morning.

Midway Route could still use volunteers in Platoons Leadership, Staging and Promotions. If you are looking to give back to the Run and you are not an FNG, here is a great way: go to the RFTW website, Midway Route Hub, click on “Volunteer Sign-Up”.

It is not too early to make sure your bikes are serviced and in good condition for a cross country trip. It is a good idea to get some saddle time in and get yourself in riding shape as well!  Start exercising each day, make sure your medications are in order prior to departing home. Prepare yourself for the Run. Run For The Wall is not your typical ride, it can be physically and emotionally challenging.

Is it May yet?

Hope that all MIA and POW’s find closure
Honor all KIA
Healing for our Veterans and the 22 per day

Mission First.

Jerry “Corp” Wilkins
“Service Before Self”
RFTW 2023 Midway Route Coordinator
One Mission ~ Four Routes
All gave some, some gave all.