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December 2020 Central Route Coordinator News

Merry Christmas and a belated happy Thanksgiving!  Please accept my apologies, for not communicating last month, and thanks to Rich Boy for pointing out that I slept through the month of November! I don’t know about you, but this has been a very long year.

The biggest news I have since October is that, due to personal reasons, Bruce Bartolomeo had to step down from his position as ARC for our 2021 RFTW. Fortunately, Paul “Brush” Marshall stepped up and hit the ground running. He has been in contact with all of our state coordinators and team leaders to introduce himself, and to offer any assistance that they might need from him. Many of you know Paul from his position as Platoon Leader. His FNG year was 2002, and he has been all the way 11 times. He is also a retired police captain, thus bringing with him a lot of valuable leadership experience.

The state coordinators are almost all finished with their respective hotel lists, which should be published at the end of the year. One of the questions I get frequently from RFTW riders is, “Are we really going this year?” All I can answer is that we have 416 riders registered for Central Route, and we are 150 days from “Kickstands Up,” and the state coordinators are working their tails off to pave our way through their states. No one can predict what 2021 will bring, but with the promise of widespread vaccines in the upcoming months, I’m optimistic that we will be heading east in May.

It is my hope that you all stay safe and healthy, and enjoy your holidays as much as possible under the circumstances where you live.

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

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

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Midway Route Coordinator Newsletter – Dec 2020 – #2

Greetings RFTW Midway family!

Our 2021 planning is coming along well. We have completed the hotel and camping lists and the BOD will have the lists posted on January 1st.

All the pieces are coming together for what we hope to be our big fundraiser for 2021. We need help for this. No matter where you live, you can help! Our biggest need is getting volunteers to obtain and collect pledges for our 100 bike “White Glass” acrylic coat application fundraiser. A Zoom video conference meeting will be held Monday December 21st at 7:00 pm central time. We will give an overview of our plans and answer questions. If you are interested in finding out more information or are willing to help, please send me an email (ken.dugas@rftw.us) with your name, phone number and email address and I will email the meeting invite to you. a little help from a lot of people will go a long way in making this successful. We are hoping to raise money that can be used for our route’s needs, donations and fuel as we travel through all the states on our route.

If I do not see you on the meeting, I want to take the opportunity now to wish you and your families a blessed and very Merry Christmas season.

Is it May yet?

Honor, Hope & Healing

Sincerely,

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

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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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Southern Route Coordinator News December, 2020 Part 1

Seasons Greetings from the Battle Born State,

You will be pleased to know that your Southern Route leadership team is hard at work making every possible preparation for RFTW 2021.  With swift vaccine approval and rollout now underway, in a few months maybe we can look at the pandemic as a terrible memory. I make no joke about it; the events of 2020 have been tough on all of us and a tragedy to many. 

State and local restriction are as varied as there are jurisdictions.  Current restraints have no definite end, and our planning is based on projection of better circumstances that we all anticipate by May.  RFTW Southern Route 2021 could be much different than years past.  How different, only time will tell.  Hey, who’s not ready for a little adventure!?

We plan to have the 2021 Hotel list out around the end of the month.   Many of the hotel systems and workers may be overwhelmed by the volume of calls, so I am asking you to be patient and tolerant.  Semper Gumby!

As I think of all of the RFTW riders I have met, some of you I have gotten to know well, others I only recognize by your Road Name.  One thing I have learned is that so many of you have “hidden” talents, hobbies, work experience, knowledge, and skills.   Your willingness to share could be a great resource to the Mission.  For example, the Board of Directors in soliciting for a volunteer to fill an upcoming board vacancy.  Our Director of Risk Management, Diann “Mojo” McKee’s term is up in 2021.   The link below will take you to the announcement.  Check it out, it might be what you have been looking for.

https://rftw.us/forums/topic/seeking-applicants-for-director-of-risk-management-registration-2021/

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy.   And Stay Tuned for December 2020 Part 2, there just may be a surprise in it for you.

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Midway Route Coordinator Newsletter – Dec. 2020

Video section

Greetings RFTW from a cold south Louisiana!

As always, I hope you are all doing well and are healthy. I know some of our RFTW family are going through rough times. With their permission, I have some bad news to share with all of you concerning a couple of our Midway family members. Papa Mike Cash has had a BIG setback in his recovery from his accident. He was making progress and even beginning to ride his bike again. Well, his hand has rejected the repairs and he is having to start from scratch again. Several more complicated surgeries will be needed to repair his hand, if it is even possible. Tamara “Tam Tam” and Steve “Hot tub” Rickerson will not be joining us on 2021 due to Steve’s poor health. I want to thank all of them for their years of support and service to our RFTW mission. They will be missed. This is a very difficult time for our friends. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. I know you all join me in wishing them a full recovery and the strength to get through this difficult time.

I would like to thank Lane “Hopper” Flynn for accepting the Promotions Team Leader position to fill Tam Tam’s vacancy. No one can replace Tam Tam but I know Lane will do a great job for us and I hope you all join me in congratulating her and welcoming her to our Midway leadership team.

Missing Man Honor Mat

In my last newsletter, I wrote that I would be sharing some information concerning our Missing Man formation. Here it is. I am excited to announce that Midway will be adding a “Missing Man Honor Mat” to our missing man formation. This is an example of how all the routes working together can make our mission better. Central route brought this concept to the Sandbox recon route. When I saw this, I knew I had to bring this to Midway. I want to thank Mona “Louise” and my wife, Denise “High Maintenance” for designing and putting this together. Also, thanks to Stich-N-Bitch for doing the embordering for us. Once again, I am so grateful and appreciative of the team we have on Midway. We get so much done working as a team! I will present this “Honor Mat” to Sue “Odds” Chapin, our missing man coordinator, to place in the missing man position at every stop we make. Our missing man riders will be able to put pictures and/or bios of the person they are riding for in the clear pouch on the mat. Everyone who walks by the missing man formation will be able to see and read about the person being ridden for and make the missing man formation more identifiable. WE WILL NEVER FORGET!

I would like to encourage all of our riders to read all of the RC’s newsletters. There is good information about what is going on with RFTW even if you are not on those particular routes. The other routes have excellent Route Coordinators and we can all learn more from each other. We are better when we work together.

Details are being finalized for our “Hawgwash” fundraiser. More information to kickoff this fundraiser coming soon. I hope that you will all consider participating and helping us with this effort to raise money for our route.

The Dugas Family

I want to once again, thank everyone on our teams helping to put our 2021 route together. I am looking forward to RFTW 2021 and seeing all of you soon.

Wishing all my RFTW family a Blessed and Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Have I told you lately?……………I love my RFTW family!

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

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Midway Route Coordinator -Newsletter – Nov 2020

Greetings RFTW family!

I would like to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.  I know 2020 has been a year filled with problems, challenges and difficulties.   However, I still have so much to be thankful for and my Run for the Wall family is one of those things.   I miss seeing you all and am looking forward to getting back together with everyone again in May.  It has been way too long!   Our Midway team members are working hard on our 2021 route plans.  I thank all of them for their hard work and dedication to our RFTW Midway route.

I apologize for being late getting this newsletter out.  I was waiting on some information to share. Unfortunately, I still have not been able to confirm everything.  It is concerning a fundraiser sponsored by Hawgwash.  We will move forward with this, but all the details are not confirmed as of this time.   The Covid shutdowns are really hurting a lot of people.  I was just notified that we have lost more financial support.  This time from a VFW post.  They support our mission but just do not have the extra funds to provide for us for 2021.  I also know that a few of our long-time riders may not have the financial resources to make the Run.   This fundraiser will allow people from all over the country to support our route by pledging as little as ten cents ($0.10)  per bike  (Max 100 bikes) treated by Hawgwash’s acrylic coating. I am trying to get a list of people who would be willing to get pledges for us. If you are interested in helping with this, please let me know.  Hawgwash will supply the materials and treat the bikes for free!  This “pledging” fundraiser would only ask people to donate as little as $10.00 but the number of pledges could raise significant money for our route. This fundraiser would allow more people to donate a little, rather than a few having to donate larger amounts.   I am focusing on this fundraiser to allow us to put our route in a position to help our supports who want to host us but do not have the funds.  We may be able to help them help us by contributing to the cost of hosting us.  The more we can raise, the more people we can help.  I also want to be able to have the route pay as many fuel stops as possible to help the riders who are on tight budgets.  More details on this fundraiser will be coming soon. I would appreciate any support we can get for this.

I am also focusing on bringing more attention and something new to our missing man formation.  I am excited to share more information about this in my next month’s newsletter.  We will never forget what this mission is about!  This addition to our missing man formation will make sure of that.

Remember, it is never too early to start preparing for your Run across our great country.  Throttle control is key to riding in a pack of 100s of bikes.  Steady speed with slow, smooth adjustments is an essential skill for this route.  Also, do not forget to practice using your gears to slow your bike down instead of your brakes!  Maintaining consistent distances in the pack and avoiding the “yo-yo” nightmares are key to the safety of our route.  Our goal is to always complete our mission with zero incidents.  Everyone needs to do their part to make this happen.  Practice, practice, practice!  The better your skills, the safer our route can be.  I am very proud of our safety record on Midway.  Let’s make sure we keep it that way.

Another thing that I am Thankful for:  Thank you to all our men and women who are serving or have served, and to their families for their support and sacrifices.  Also…… we will never forget those who have paid the ultimate price for our country.  THANK YOU!

Have I told you all lately?…………… I love my RFTW family!

Honor, Hope & Healing

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

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RFTW SandBox RC Newsletter – Next All-Riders Quarterly Briefing Edition

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Howdy from Texas!

The next SandBox Route All-Riders Quarterly Briefing is one week from tonight! It will be on Tuesday, 01 DEC 2020 at 8PM Central – an hour later this time to allow our west coast folks a better start time. This is the usual night for the monthly Route Leadership Planning Meeting, but for December we are inviting all interested riders, from any route to join in for an update on current status and get a peek behind the curtain for the year long planning that goes into making our Run look easy in May. The details for how to sign into the Zoom meeting are below – please go in early to load the app to your phone, pad or computer and you’ll be set to go just by clicking on the link. Keep in mind, you will very likely be on video so plan accordingly.

In the meantime…

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Following are the Zoom Details…

Billie “Bugs” Dunlap, SandBox Route RC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting on Tuesday evening, 01 DEC 2020.  The meeting starts at 8PM Central but you can dial in as early as 7:45PM.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/95754245764?pwd=Qyt2bnVyZG42a3NsU2xzTE1QaGxMZz09

Meeting ID: 957 5424 5764
Passcode: 447390
One tap mobile
+13462487799,,95754245764#,,,,,,0#,,447390# US (Houston)
+12532158782,,95754245764#,,,,,,0#,,447390# US (Tacoma)

Dial by your location
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
        +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
        +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C)
        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Meeting ID: 957 5424 5764
Passcode: 447390

Find your local number:
https://zoom.us/u/adwSjtnJrW

I’m looking forward to seeing you all next week!

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!

WALL 2 WALL!

Bugs out!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Bugs-Signature-1.bmp
RFTW XXXII Sand Box Route Coordinator
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Southern Route Coordinator News – November, 2020 Part 2

Hi Everyone,

I hope everyone read the RFTW President’s Newsletter, it is very inspiring.  If you have not yet, just do not forget. 

I am not sure how everyone else feels, but as for me I am beyond ready to say good riddance to 2020 (and its friend the pandemic) and Welcome to Run For The Wall 2021. 

Any day now the FDA should approve and release at least the first of two 95+% effective vaccines.  I urge ALL of you to consult with your Primary Care Provider about getting it.  You owe it to yourself, your Family, your Friends and your RFTW Brothers and Sisters to consider being vaccinated.  The sooner the “numbers” come down the sooner we can ALL get back on track. 

The Run For The Wall Board of Directors, Route Coordinators and State Coordinators are steadfastly committed to our 2021 Mission.   I know that I have said this before, but it bears repeating.   I am asking everyone to “Be Patient”, situations change almost daily.  Please do all that you can do to help the cause.   Together we WILL get through this.

Diane and I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

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President’s Message, November 2020

 

President’s Message:

November is a very busy month for most Americans.  Veteran’s Day is special because nearly every town provides events and ceremonies for veterans across America. I hope you all participated in celebrating what veterans have done for their country evidenced by their military service and their respect for our Constitution as citizens. For those of us who served, there is no question that military service strengthened our collective respect for the Constitution, especially each time we took the oath of office, “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies both foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me; according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

We all took this oath – without exception – and when we see a patch on veteran vests reading, “My oath of office does not have an expiration date…” it largely amplifies the deep respect and love we share for our Constitution and military.

I have a friend who is a great example of all I mentioned above. His name is Hershel “Woody” Williams. Many of you may have met him a few years ago at an Angel Fire Reunion. Woody’s story is the example of what I think everyone who has served can follow once they hold the vaulted title of “citizen.” Woody is the only surviving Marine out of twenty-three Marines who were awarded the Medal of Honor for actions on Iwo Jima during World War two. He was a Flame Thrower Operator MOS 781.

 

After the war Woody started a 33-year
career with the VA while working with a
variety of veteran organizations. His latest
venture is the Hershel “Woody” Williams
Medal of Honor Foundation, a non-profit
that provides scholarships to Gold Star
children that facilitates the establishment of
Gold Star Family memorial monuments.
Please click here to watch one of America’s
greatest treasures.

I have heard from many riders who are keeping up with the individual route coordinator’s monthly messages. Your comments have all been positive and I urge any new participants to check these monthly briefings to discover new information about your selected route. The Board of Directors met this past week to discuss the planning process which appears to be going smoothly. The business closures we have discussed in the past months have mostly been replaced. At this meeting we discovered another Harley Davidson business in Ontario which has closed, however, we are hoping it can be replaced by another HD business that is nearby.

We are saddened to hear about these closures because not only do these dealerships help our riders while we are in Ontario and along our routes, but most of them have been very generous donors to Run For the Wall.

The hotel lists are nearly complete on all routes and we’ll be able to post them right after the first of January. Hotels in Ontario are almost complete and the use of the Gateway is still unknown. Hotels in Arlington are complete and our new DC coordinator, Gail Dippel, has been doing a great job not only with hotels but with coordination of our events with state and local police escorts. All routes are continuing to gain riders in addition to last year’s registrations.

We wish you all a happy Thanksgiving – a time we can be with our families enjoying the blessing of American citizenship.

Is it May yet?

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

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Seeking applicants for Director of Risk Management/Registration 2021

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

The Board of Directors is soliciting applicants for the position of Director of Risk Management/Registration.  The term will begin in July, 2021.   However, because of the training involved, we are taking applicants now.  Upon approval from the Board, training (under both Diann & John McKee) would begin immediately for the 2021 Run.

 

These are the main areas of responsibility:

  1. Securing/Renewing annual insurance policies for the Run.
  2. Oversee the pre-registration process and development of the Registration Database. This includes a thorough knowledge and programming experience with both MS Excel and MS Access programs; required knowledge GOES BEYOND SIMPLE DATA ENTRY. During the registration process, beginning immediately after The Run, constant attention to the growing website database is critical to the accuracy of the riders’ data.  At the end of pre-registration, preparation of the registration documents through the use of MS Access reports is required and will be printed for use by the registration teams.
  3. Secure from each Route Coordinator, the itinerary for final publication.
  4. Ensure accident reporting processes are conducted in accordance with RFTW’s insurance provider’s requirements.

 

This is a rewarding, yet critical position.  How smoothly the Run’s registration operates—not only during the waiting period (“Is it May, yet?”), but also—and especially– in Ontario.  As with the other Board of Director positions, the closer we get to May, the more intense and time-crunching the duties become.    Though not necessary, a second set of hands (i.e. a spouse) during the weeks before the Run has proven to be invaluable, as well.

 

If interested in this position, please contact Diann McKee at diann.mckee@rftw.us    She will be glad to answer questions or give more details.