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Southern Route 2024 SitReps – Day 3 – Run For The Wall

Day 3 – Southern Route; Las Cruces, NM to Odessa, TX


Today we started at the Las Cruces American Legion.  They opened up their hall to us and fed us a nice breakfast. Thank You American Legion Post 10.  From the American Legion Post, we went to the Veterans Memorial Park in Las Cruces.  It’s a beautiful park.  Some pictures are below.  One of the stand out memorials is the Bataan Memorial Death March.  Synopsis: In the Bataan Death March, about 75,000 Filipino and American troops on the Bataan Peninsula on the Philippine Island of Luzon were forced to make an arduous 65-mile march to prison camps. After the U.S. surrender of the Bataan Peninsula in 1942 during World War II, the Japanese took control of the area, and the prisoner of war (POWs) were subjected to brutal treatment by Japanese guards. An estimated 17,000 men perished during and after the Bataan Death March.

The memorial here has footprints in the cement that were created by actual surviving members of the march.  The rest of the park has memorials to other wars and are planning to grow the memorial for Afghanistan and Iraq.  They are all impressive.  We had a wreath laying ceremony with a 3 gun (technically a 3 gun volley) salute and an honor guard.  The Vietnam War Memorial is touching.  Etched in metal are pictures of the local hero’s that died supporting the war along with many other details.  If you’re reading this from afar, there’s a good chance there’s good memorials near you that are worth visiting this memorial day to honor those that gave all for us.


Today, I had the honor to ride Missing Man for a young man from my hometown.  The missing man formation has a volunteer rider riding side by side with an open area representing the place that soldier would be riding if they were alive today.  It’s a way to honor “Those Who Can’t Ride”.  I didn’t know this warrior when he was living near me as he went to a different high school then my kids but it sure hit the news when it was reported he was KIA in Anbar Province, Iraq.  Travis enlisted right after high school.  Marine Lance Corporal Travis Layfield, 19 years old at the time, was KIA in an ambush of insurgents.  Travis was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.   As I heard from his mother, after being shot, the insurgents dragged his body to the end of town trying to hide him in a big pile of trash.  His fellow Marines were looking for him without success until one of them saw, just an antenna sticking up out of the pile, which led them to Travis.  His mom, GSM Diane Layfield told us of this story at one of our regional monthly meetings that she attends to be with the RFTW family.  As mentioned, Travis joined the Marines soon after graduating from high school and was excited, yet a little scared to be going off to war like anyone would be.  We had news today that Travis became a grandfather today, May 17th, 2024.  He never met his son, but he has a strong family to take care of him and now the legacy will continue with his grandson.


We continued on to Texas going through El Paso with a few stops along the way.  One of those stops was at the Van Horn Convention Center where again, a nice lunch with giving people.  All the way through Texas we have LEO (law enforcement officer) escort for our 1.5 to 2.0 mile long footprint on the freeway with so many bikes.  In Odessa TX we ended up in the Crossroads Fellowship Church.  A very large church and we all ate very well.  Magic of the run.  A big Thank You to all the folks that took care of us today.

Boots, USAF ’72 – ’75

Vietnam Vets from the area – zoom in if you can.

The beginnings of the Sand Box memorial.

The Bataan March!

Back of the Bataan March statues. Again, these footsteps were imprinted with actual survivors feet casts.

The front of the Bataan March with two soldiers helping a fellow soldier during the march.

Our bikes lined up along the street near the Las Cruces Memorial Park.

Two of our members had a birthday today, Happy Birthday Tap-Out and Baby Buzz!

Presentations to the folks that take care of us – Thank You Las Cruces!

Our Hero from Fremont, CA.

1 thought on “Southern Route 2024 SitReps – Day 3 – Run For The Wall

  1. Boots ,tears are flowing…thank you, these words are just not enough to tell you how much this means to me, you showing my Travis so much Love and Respect on this ride. Missing Man spot is such a very Special Honor to be acknowledged in. Never Forgotten !
    Thank you for sharing Travis now is a Heavenly Grandpa, and his Son Dylan and wife Ray brought a beautiful ,healthy baby boy into this world. His name is Kallen
    God Bless you all as you continue the Mission
    Love Dianne

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