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Southern Route 2024 SitReps – Day 11 – Run For The Wall

Day 11 – Southern Route; Washington, DC

Day 11 is in DC.  Before going into the Day 11 events, I want to try and say a big Thank You to the so many people that are volunteering to be part of this organization and help this Run to be what it is which is the most organized and, “one of the largest and longest runs in the world”.  There are so many volunteer positions that don’t get as much recognition, but we couldn’t do this without them.  There are the stagers that make sure we are properly staged in our platoons after any stop but mostly a fuel stop.  There is the fuel team that fills 300 bikes in less than 20 minutes.  There are the Road Guards that keep us safe, the Ambassadors that are riding in front of the pack thanking people that are up on the bridges and other locations to cheer us on and the Ambassadors are up there handing out the pins and making it clear we appreciate the support of these locals.  There’s the Platoon Leader, the assistant Platoon Leaders, the Tail gunners, the nurses fixing us up, The Chaplin’s that are helping anyone deal with emotions or problems they have on this journey, I mentioned earlier the Chase Team that is always ready to pick us up if we have a mechanical problem and not stuck in the middle of nowhere waiting for a tow truck, The Hydration Team, we wouldn’t make it without the waters and Gatorades this team is always making sure we’re drinking up.  Of course, there’s the Route Coordinator and Asst RC that work for many months prior to make sure every position is filled and competent people are trained to do what they do.  There are Leadership support people (Bonehead, Double D and others) that are keeping the communications going and materials ready for the run, Fund Raisers to keep finances in the black, Thank You Lisa and Tina, Honor Guard coordinators that make sure memorial stops are respectfully honoring the memorial as it stands for the heros it was created for and becoming teachers to show riders how to march if they didn’t have that practice in the military, Registration people that not only work at it all year and in Ontario, but every morning as we move across the country when people join when we are close to their home.  There’s the Missing Man group so the purpose of our run is closer to our hearts, making it real that we are riding for those that can’t.  The advance team, the Photographer (yea Jerry!), the outreach team that arranges all the outreach opportunities and coordinates who goes on them as they separate from the pack.  Also, the merchandise team to open up the trailer and raise funds for the run, the state coordinators that spend a lot of the year prior setting up the hotels, the events at places we have meals to eat along the way which are always free to the riders.  I’m probably missing some folks here and not describing the roles as well as it should be but it’s a long list of volunteers that are important to this run and doing all of this work for 4 routes.  THANK YOU ALL!!  It was a great run this year and we couldn’t do it without you.

Onto Day 11

We arrived yesterday afternoon and finally had a full nights sleep.  My schedule is different than regular riders as I try to get the posts up at the end of the day.  Today was pretty cool.  It started early as we had a ticket to be part of the group that was going to the Arlington National Cemetery.  Normally, motorcycles are not allowed into Arlington.  RFTW was allowed to bring 75 motorcycles into Arlington so efforts were made to have as many FNG’s as possible to be part of this opportunity.  We were up early, 4:15 AM to get packed, fueled up and in line at the host hotel.  We rode to Arlington without LEO escort but we did have our road guards.  We went to a section where we learned about a group that was shot down and KIA together.  One of our members realized the Bio of the hero he was carrying all the way across the country was one of the guys on this memorial wall.  With as many hero’s that are buried in Arlington, that’s seems more than a coincidence.  After this moving experience, we went to the Lincoln Memorial for the group picture.  This includes all 3 routes and many that will continue on to the 4th route, to Versailles Illinois, the Middle East Conflicts Memorial Wall.  The Sandbox Route leaves Sunday morning.  After the picture was taken, we all went to the Vietnam Veterans Wall to pay our respects to those we know and love.  It’s also a place where the FNG buttons are turned upside down to signify the mission was completed and these folks are no longer an FNG but can refer to 2024 as their FNG year.  I was honored to turn over the button of a good friend that shared hotel rooms with me as we traveled across the country on this run.  It’s been a moving experience with so many wonderful people.  Many we’ve known from previous years and many new friends we’ve made as we traveled together.  It’s an experience like no other.  Again, Thanks for reading.


USAF, ’72 –‘75

Staging for Arlington Cemetery.

Starting to turn over the FNG button..

Turning over the button.

The crowd gathering for the group photo

A larger crowd.

The reflection pool and the Washington Monument in the background.

Inside the Lincoln Memorial.

Inside the Lincoln Memorial.

The statue of Abraham Lincoln.

The wreath Laying at Arlington Cemetery.

Arlington Cemetery.

Arlington Cemetery.

1 thought on “Southern Route 2024 SitReps – Day 11 – Run For The Wall

  1. so they got to do Arlington the year nice

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