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Southern Route 2024 SitReps – Day 4 – Run For The Wall

Day 4 – Southern Route; Odessa, TX to Grand Prairie, TX


It’s hot in the deserts out here says this California boy.  Actually, the temps could be higher and will soon be but, when you’re riding through New Mexico and Texas at 65 MPH on a motorcycle, the wind will dry off the sweat but you’re body is always sweating, you just don’t feel it.  That’s the danger to be aware of so you don’t dehydrate, so hydrating constantly, drinking lots of water is a must.  And, we made it across to Grand Prairie, Texas.  The traffic coming in was challenging.  Keeping in mind we are a long line of motorcycles coming into a congested area with lots of people wanting to commute home and get on the highways we happen to be closing entrances to.  Some of these drivers try to get on anyway but luckily we have experienced and talented Road Guards that are always working closely with local law enforcement and they keep us safe.  We started in Odessa TX today and visited the Permian Basin Memorial.  It’s an interesting Vietnam Memorial dedicated to locals that gave all.  Every year there is a Native American man there that blesses our bikes with burning sage and prayers.  It’s an honor from this cool guy and we need all the prayers we can get!  We then went on to the Big Spring Memorial in Big Springs, TX.  We heard from a family that had just received word that their father who was missing for 51 years was finally identified in the remains of a plane crash in Vietnam with small parts of him found along with part of a gas station credit card.  He was recently brought home and buried here.  An amazing story.  They say it a very slow process but the work continues to bring them home.  There was a wreath laying here with our honor guard paying tribute and a nice version of Taps.

We then went on to Colorado City in Texas.  Colorado City is an amazing small town that opens up to our arrival and spends a lot of time preparing for us.  They feed us very well.  Today we had BBQ chicken, Beef, potato salad and green beans.  One of the servers mentioned that “we cover all 3 food groups, there’s chicken, beef and bacon on the green beans and potato salad”.  Yumm.  Thank You Colorado City!  One of the city members told me that RFTW coming into their town was like Christmas for them and really appreciated us visiting.  We then went onto Grand Prairie.  In Grand Prairie, we went to Dubiski Career High School for dinner.  This trip is not all about food but I’m sure it seems like it’s talked about here a lot.  It’s a factor of the friendliness of local folks wanting to honor us and take care of us while in their neighborhood.  We can’t not mention how these folks work hard to come up with the funds to buy this food, and cook it for us while honoring us for our service.  They make it clear they honor us because we represent their own family members that served and too many times did not come home.  It’s a feeling of family all coming together.  I’m sure there are better ways to articulate this but the gestures are all appreciated and means a lot on both sides.  There are many that have a family member on the Vietnam Wall in DC and someone in RFTW will get a tracing of their name and send it back to a relative in a town like Colorado City or Grand Prairie, creating a friendship that lasts forever.  The magic of the run.

Boots, USAF ’72 – ’75

The food.

The front of the Dubiski Career High School as we arrived.

The RFTW Honor Guard performing a wreath laying.

RFTW Honor Guard – wreath laying.

A local Native American who is also a Vietnam Vet performing a blessing.

A local Native American who is also a Vietnam Vet performing a blessing.

Our parked bikes at the Premian Basin Memorial.

The memorial

The American Legion cooking and feeding us breakfast in the AM.

The Chef’s!

1 thought on “Southern Route 2024 SitReps – Day 4 – Run For The Wall

  1. I so feel like I’m there with you all on the Ride….your words are exceptionally discriptive, and so easy to read. your photos are amazing as well.
    Thank you !!!

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