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Southern Route – 2017 – Day 5

Grand Prairie, Texas – Monroe, Louisiana 324 Miles

The day began in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Grand Prairie. Yes, once a year we attend church in a (typically wet) parking lot. There was quite a bit of thunder and lightening emphasizing each point the Chaplain made.

A few of us headed out for an “Out Reach”, that’s when a few platoons or riders go on a special mission, to visit an MIA family a veteran’s home or to lay a wreath at a memorial. Our out reach was to the Texas State Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial. The Memorial contains the names of 3,417 Vietnam, Killed in Action from the State of Texas. When the names are written out there is a visual impact which is much more powerful than just hearing the number, 3,417.

One of the riders on the mission with us is a serious, “bad ass” dude. He was very moved while at the monument because one of his buddy’s name is on the memorial. A poignant reminder,


The beautiful Texas State Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial

Our first stop was in Terrell, Texas, what a great, patriot town. The American Legion Auxiliary is out in force every year with home made sandwiches, cookies brownies and other gifts. They alway have a Remembrance Poppy for every rider. I promised to bring them a Remembrance Poppy from the California American Legion. The friendships we make along the way are part of what makes Run for the Wall so special.

The Mayor of Terrell awarded Run for the Wall a beautiful Proclamation, which in part reads: “Whereas Since 2004, Terrell, TX has been one of the destinations for Run for the Wall, May 21, 2017 marks the day that riders will arrive in Terrill, TX

Now Therefore, I D.J.Try, by virtue of the authority voted in me as Mayor and on behalf of the Terrell City Council do hereby proclaim May 21, 2017 as:

in the city of Terrell and urge all citizens to recognize and participate in this important event being held in our community and communities across the nation realizing it is the responsibility of each of us to support programs and events aimed at honoring those who have volunteered to serve our country and protect our freedoms.”

ISN’T THAT GREAT??? We need to get the White House to name a National Run for the Wall Day!

From Terrell we headed out for Monroe, LA. It finally stopped raining at the Louisiana State Line but it wasn’t to last. We rode through some nasty storm cells. It all cleared up though and we were fairly dried out when we pulled into the Shriner’s Hall for dinner.

Let’s back up though and talk about the escorts we had today. Texas State Troopers escorted us out of Texas. When we hit the Louisiana state line the Louisiana Police Motors (I asked them their official name, that’s it) jumped in and escorted us into dinner. They did an outstanding job! They took us through the backroads of Louisiana to get onto the highway. It was a beautiful winding road, green on both sides and lined with people waving and cheering us on. We got on the Interstate 20 for a short distance but were taken off because of a Tractor Trailer accident further up the road. Once again we were riding through the backroads of Louisiana. It was a beautiful detour. Imagine if we did not have these professional escorts. We’d probably still be sitting out on the interstate.

All the riders appreciate the job they do and many were shaking their hands and thanking them at the the Shriner’s Hall. Ghost Rider, the Route Coordinator at dinner said, “he loves to see their blue lights coming up behind him in his mirror”. They seemed to be everywhere at once. As for me, I enjoyed seeing them as I rode by as they were blocking the on ramp to the interstate. They are very easy on the ????. Tomorrow they are giving us a riding exhibition. They are amazing riders. I will try to post a video in tomorrow’s sit-rep.

Louisiana Police State Motors – Easy on the ????

The Shriner’s out did themselves with the fish fry, gumbo dinner. They gave an excellent program on the Fallen Comrade Table. Our quote tonight comes from the symbolism of the lit candle: “Reminiscent of the light of home which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from their captors to the open arms of a grateful nation.”

Run for the Wall riders, keep that candle burning bright to light the way home!

Forecast is for rain, rain and more rain tomorrow. Be safe out there! God Speed and God Bless.

Kristine “Eyes” Wood

p.s. A big thank you to those that have mentioned reading the sit-reps. It’s nice to know I don’t stay up late writing for nothing ????.

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