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Southern Route – 2017, Day 6

Monroe, LA to Meridian, MS, 227 Miles

There so much to share about the day. I hope there isn’t a word or picture limit. The day began in the Monroe, LA, Sam’s Parking lot under a light rain. After the morning meeting we headed over to the Monroe Civic Center for a Wreath Laying Ceremony. The ceremony concluded with the playing of Amazing Grace by James Stuart on the Bag pipes. Great video, the sound echoed in the community center.

After the wreath laying we went out to the parking lot to watch Louisiana State Police Motor Trooper, Michael “Playboy” Satcher show the riders what a Harley is capable of. It was very impressive! Another good video, someday I’ll be able to ride like that, hahahaha!

The Louisiana State Police Motor Troopers escorted us to the Mississippi state line where the Mississippi Motor Police took over and escorted us through Mississippi. I never saw one of the officers. Saw their bikes but I only ever saw them when I was zooming by at 65 MPH.

We stopped for lunch at the Jackson, Mississippi Harley Davidson Dealer. Riders had the honor of meeting some real American heroes. Ron Rosser, Medal of Honor recipient, not once, but twice. He was awarded the MOH by Harry Truman, WOW! He shared some of his life experiences. He is the oldest of 17 children. He holds the record for hand to hand combat (no clue what that means). He worked as a Chief of Police in Florida and he went nine whole days without shooting anyone.

He shared the story of taking part in a battle in Korea. Everyone in the battle was a casualty, wounded or missing. He was pulling the wounded out when a “Chinaman” pointed a gun at him. The “Chinaman” looked at Ron, looked at what he was doing and did not shoot him. Later Ron went to throw a grenade into a bunker when the same “Chinaman” stuck his head out. It was the same man that did not shoot him. Ron returned the favor and let him live.

Some quotes from Ron: “I am not a hero, I am a soldier, this is my country and this is what they sent me to do.”

Ron was taught in basic training, “Don’t be afraid cause it don’t help”

We were introduced to Bill Robinson the longest held enlisted POW from the Vietnam War. I asked how long he was held captive and his response was, “only 7.5”. I said incredulously years? He said yes, but that’s only 2703 days. I couldn’t hold back the tears. Southern Route’s “Gump” was also presented. AKA Joseph Hudson was held 22 days in Iraq.  Gump and I sat down at a table and he shared some funny insights into his views on being a POW and meeting other POWs. Below are pictured Bill Robinson and Joseph Hudson.

I really need to go to bed!

One more story, I met the owner of the Harley shop that provides this amazing experience for so many people! Wow!  So, this is Earl, owner of the Harley shop in Jackson, MS. He was talking to Gump and I. I asked him his name and he laughed and said, “Sum Beach”. I told him I couldn’t write that in the sit-rep and he told me that sure I could and spelled it out for me. Then he called over his son, “Stupid” and then he called his other son over “Dumb”. I was doubled over with laughter. I don’t think Sum Beach could be serious if he had to be. You’d never guess he was the owner of this very large, very successful Harley shop. A woman that was staffing one of the community tables at the event, thanked him for coming. He looked at me and smiled and said, “yeah, I spend a lot of time here”.

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Meet Earl. He prefers to be called "Sum Beach". No lie!

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Okay, one more story! Ghost Rider, the Route Coordinator asked for this one. Probably should have been first but I am tired.

This photo is of Mike “TOP” Poiriero. He works with Warrior Pointe which is a new organization for our young veterans. There are chapters or branches in most states. It is similar to the American Legion or VFW but only for the young guys. Their “motto” is IGY6, ” I got your six”. With the alarming rate of our young soldiers committing suicide, they are working tirelessly to let these young soldiers know they are not alone.

This was the first time I have heard of the organization. I will definitely look into it further and see what they need and what we can do to help.

Last Year Mike rode with Run for the Wall and this year he presented Ghost Rider with these two plaques.

Random Thoughts from the road:

  • I learned today that Mississippi is known as the hospitality state.
  • The beautiful green countryside comes with a price, lots of rain
  • We crossed the Mississippi River today late in the morning
  • Laurie “Airborne” Clay, MC or Stupid says “Hi” and he misses you

Tonight’s quote comes from our route coordinator, Ray “Ghost Rider” Wyatt

“There will be at least once between California and DC when each of us will question why we are doing this. The answer is in our Mission Statement: Mission > Self

In for another wet ride tomorrow, ride safe, ride smart! Good Night, God Speed

Kristine “Eyes” Wood

p.s. I am too tired to proofread, deal with it????



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