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Southern Route 2024 SitReps – Day 5 – Run For The Wall

Day 5 – Southern Route; Grand Prairie, TX to Monroe, LA


A good day today, lots of things going on.  We started in Grand Prairie and ended up in Monroe LA.  Going all through Texas, we had LEO escort and as soon as we hit the LA border, we were joined by 10 or more Louisiana State Motor Cops on their bikes and a couple of cars.  They were stopping traffic onto the entrances of the highway and letting our Road Guards take over while they would shoot out probably going 100 MPH to get up to the next entrance and leap frogging like that.  It’s fun to watch and sure makes it safer for us to not worry about cars or trucks trying to scoot between us to get into a different lane to get off or on.  With as long of a footprint as we have on the highway, this is very helpful.


Today, I had the honor to meet “Tigger” (road name) who’s nephew was Marc Alan Lee, the first Navy Seal to be KIA in Iraq on 8/2/2006.  Tigger rode Missing Man for Marc Lee on Day 1, leg 3.  I had a chance to learn some about Marc and his Mom from Tigger.  Marc wrote a letter to his Mom which became his last letter home.  Marc was awarded the Silver Star posthumously from the President of the United States for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidly in action against the enemy as an assaulter in automatic weapons gunner in Sea, Land, Air Team, Naval Special Warfare Task Group, In support of Iraqi Freedom, on August 2, 2006.  Marc is a Hero!  Tigger went on to explain that of course, the loss of her son was devastating as it would be to any parent, but Debbie Lee received a letter from him, Marc’s last letter.  Below is a link to a web site that has the full letter from Marc and it’s a very good read; inspiring.  And the inspiration in that letter helped Marc’s mom, Debbie Lee to not simply sit around and grieve, but do something to help Veterans that need help dealing with PTSD. I need to read more and learn more which I will do but there is a lot of good stuff on this web site including some different treatments to assist with PTSD using a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber.  I’ve been told the results are outstanding and it makes sense to treat with pressurized oxygen.  It’s used by Physicians to promote faster healing of wounds.  Marc’s mom, known to the Seal community as Mama Lee has been fund raising for her organization to treat Vets that need help.  The letter is available at:


The section of Marc’s “last letter home” that affected Debbie to do something rather than to be angry mom and grieve is:  However, what I do over here is only a small precent of what keeps our country great.  I think the truth to out greatness is each other.  Purity, morals and kindness, passed down to each generation through example.  So to all my family and friends, do me a favor and pass on the kindness, the love, the precious gift of human life to each other so that when your children come in contact with a great conflict that we are faced with here in Iraq, that they are people of humanity, of pure motives, of compassion.


Back to today’s run, the weather is holding out to be pretty good.  Hot, but not raining.  We had an experience at the Minden Fuel stop where the gas station we were planning to fill up at was out of fuel!  The fuel team went across the street and that station did not want to handle us so they went to a 3rd station that was next door to the original target and they accommodated us, but it led to fancy shuffling of getting the bikes filled and then moved to the original station to be staged into the groups.  Two years ago, I wrote about spending a day with the Fuel Team and how they work hard behind the scenes to get all the bikes filled so quickly.  I’d also like to mention that Staging team that always stages the bikes, so we are in the correct groups and the correct location.  It’s been compared to herding cats.  Well, hopefully we’re better than that but the platoons are numbered, and everyone needs to be with their platoon.  There is a sticker on the windshield of each bike indicating the platoon they belong to so the stagers are out there with signs at all times of early morning darkness and afternoon heat to get us lined up properly so we can pull out as an organized pack.  There are so many jobs that are critical to this well-oiled mission that are unsung heroes to make the run the great mission it is.  It’s worth a big shout out with a Thank You to the staging team, Thanks for your hard work and doing your part so well.  Like the fuel team, they ride ahead of the team to be at the stops to guide us and often miss out on meals or some of the other memorials we visit.


Today’s Outreach Mission was to Camp V in Tyler Texas.  I was told about it from “Fred Fred” and it’s a camp for veterans that need anything to heal themselves.  From they’re web site of “Who We Are” : Veterans, Active Duty, and Military Families love to live among the lakes and piney woods of East Texas. However, along with this serenity comes frustration when resources, information, and outlets for wellness are needed but cannot be found. Where do we go? Who has this service? Only to be told, “We don’t do that; you have to go someplace else.” Just connecting to other Military families challenges their time, patience, and pocketbooks. Many give up!
CampV (Community Assisting Military Personnel and Veterans) has answered the call!


Our unique 20-acre campus provides convenient access to local Veteran Service Providers at one location in Tyler, Tx. Veteran Volunteer Advocates meet personally with clients to assess needs and situations. Then working through a network of resources, Veteran families receive assistance to advance their current circumstances.  The visit was an interesting learning experience and it’s empowering to see good resources made available to the Vets that need help.


Continuing onto our day, of course, we were well cared for as we traveled.  In Terrel TX, we stopped for fuel and the local community came out to greet us and offer all kinds of drinks, snacks and sandwiches.  A young lady who is a Freshman in High School sang the National Anthem that was a very good rendition.  Then we went on to Longview TX to the fairgrounds where we again were fed well, provided sandwiches, snacks, drinks and lots of other goodies.  A local woman had a table set up with little angel trinkets she made to give to us.  There were over 4000 with many different types and colors.  Then we went on to Monroe LA to have a real good dinner of catfish, pork, cole slaw, French frys and cake.  Thank You Terrel, Longview and Monroe Shriners Hall with supporting cast.  We appreciate your work and support.  One last thought, today the community support was overwhelming.  So many over passes had fire trucks with at least 40 foot long flags hanging from their ladder trucks with people waving at us, welcoming us into their area.  I would need more fingers on my hands to count the number of over passes that had welcoming people greeting us this way.


A good day all around!

Boots – USAF ’72 – ’75

2 thoughts on “Southern Route 2024 SitReps – Day 5 – Run For The Wall

  1. Thank you for the sitreps each day! I got to meet and speak a bit with Tigger in Grand Prairie and what an honor to learn about Marc! Safe travels to all!

  2. My name is Keshia Lynn and I work with WSLS in Roanoke. I understand one group is riding past Montvale Elementary School. Is anyone from the group free for a quick Zoom interview?

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