Howdy from Weatherford, TEXAS!
Today we are less than 4 weeks away from KSU! Through the past 11 months of hard work and preparation, your leadership team has ensured the plans for Southern Route have been set, checked and re-checked. In this last month, they are taking the opportunity to make small adjustments and improvements that will pay off for us all on the Run next month.
Last month’s message was all about getting ready. I won’t repeat those lines here, but I do want to STRONGLY EMPHASIZE the part about having ALL your registration paperwork available in hand when you check in – especially if you are planning to check in with minors!
Our 11th Platoon Leader, Angie “Den Mother” Uhler wrote a great Facebook Article about many preparation tasks including bike preparation and packing/repacking to ensure you can actually carry all that you may need. She also presented a great suggestion that Riders print out the Emergency Medical Form and fill it out prior to arrival to ensure it is correct, complete, legible and ready to go in your lanyard pouch. You can find that form at the following link on our web site: “https://rftw.us/emergency-information-form-2”.
So with this month’s message, I’m not going to dive further into the minute details of what everyone needs to do to get their bikes and themselves ready for the Run. There are dozens of those messages out there already. I want to spend this last Newsletter focusing on why we ride…
While producing this year’s Southern Route video, I was moved by thoughts of experiences on the Run, conversations with Gunny about the early days and conversations with my mentors about finding the focus of the Mission. Seeing Gunny’s 1989 interview video brought all those things into clear view, and that focus was made stronger than ever. It’s something about which I’ve written often as a continuous underlying theme of why we do what we do. It’s about people – our family. Family by blood, family by oath, family by service, family by shared adversity, extended family, our family’s family, our missing family, our lost family. Our family that loves deeply, supports courageously, defends honorably, gives generously and prays incessantly. That’s why when Gunny mentions LtCol Higgins or Col Shelton and asks “Where are they?” it doesn’t matter that you don’t know them – because you know them. They are family and we don’t leave family to suffer at the hands of those we know seek to do them harm. After the disappearance of loved ones, we don’t leave family alone to wonder, “Where are they?” We don’t leave our active service members to wonder if their sacrifice is worth the cost. And we don’t leave our honored service members returning from the life changing experience of combat to deal with the healing without the support. Those are the applications of our mission statement and when we ride for those who can’t, THIS is why we ride.
As I’ve said before, we all have stories about what brought us to the Run and the strong urge to reconnect with our family is what brings us back. While we’re all together for this glorious 10 days of reunion, remembrance and renewal, I urge everyone to savor every moment, because you all know it will pass much too quickly.
For all those who have gone before, those with us now and those who would be here if they could…
TOGETHER WE can make a difference! This is why WE RIDE!
IS IT MAY YET?
Very best regards,
Billie “Bugs” Dunlap
Southern Route Coordinator
Run For The Wall XXXI