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

Kristine Wood "Eyes"Southern Route SitRepsLeave a Comment

My day began very early this morning. My husband, “Doc” is a Road Guard in Training “RGIT”. They had a team meeting at 5:15 am in the hotel parking lot. I admire and respect the road guards, first off because they are very skilled riders (or crazy) jury might still be out on that one, secondly, they work so dang hard, all day long.

I shot this short video of the road guards pulling out of the hotel parking lot to position road guards to guide riders to the breakfast/morning staging location.

IMG_2049

Rider’s enjoyed a delicious breakfast of biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon and sausage, provided by American Legion Post 10 of Las Cruces, NM.

After breakfast we headed over to the Las Cruces Veterans Memorial Park. This year we enjoyed a police escort, a change from last year. I think they realized it was easier to join us, hehehe, don’t quote me on that. Watching the road guards work in conjunction with the police department was poetry in action.

The park was a short four miles from the legion post but it was through Las Cruces.The road guards and police officers did what is called a “bump and run”. Meaning the motor officers with their lights flashing would secure an intersection and then once a road guard was available, they would “bump” the officer to free him/her up to go secure the next intersection. It was fun to watch them “bump and run” through the intersections as we traveled to the park.

Speaking of road guards, one very special road guard has 41 adopted nieces and nephews following his trip across the country with Run for the Wall. They call him “Uncle Joker” he is known to southern route riders as “Joker”. His sister’s 4th grade class from The First Baptist Church School, known as the patriots of Shreveport, LA. are following “Uncle Joker”, through the tracking device he has on his bike. The teacher is sharing, photos from the RFTW Facebook page and Instagram of the events through out the day. She is also reading the daily sit-rep to the class. A huge shout out to the Patriots of Shreveport! Pins and stickers are on the way!

To finish today’s focus on the road guards I have one other collage of road guard/LEO liaison “Stonewall” receiving the first ever “KMA” pin. What it was awarded for, we do not know, perhaps “Bugs” or “Stonewall” will tell all. The other photo is of “Chrome” & “Wildcat” preparing to blast the 15/5 minute warning. Upon hearing the blast, riders better be at their bikes, gearing up, because the pack is leaving.

A huge thank you to all of the Southern Route road guards. I’d name you all individually but I left the list in my tour pack. Just know, the riders love you and appreciate you❤️❤️🏍🇺🇸

The visit to the Veterans Park was amazing! I had a very special tour guide today. “Gump” whom I mentioned last night hung back and showed me around the Bataan Death march monument. Gump grew up in Las Cruces, so he knows a lot about it. How can you have a more meaningful experience of a POW monument than when walking and talking with a repatriated POW?

This is what I learned, in a nut shell:

April 9, 1942, we surrendered to the Japanese which began the seven day, sixty-five mile Bataan Death March. 70,000 started the march, of those 70,000, 1,000 Americans and possibly 15,000 Filipinos died before reaching Camp O’Donnell. New Mexico had the highest per capita Japanese P.O.W. population in the nation.

I asked Gump;s permission to take his picture with the monument. Not something you see everyday. A repatriated P.O.W. and a monument to his home state’s P.O.W.s. You’ll see in the photo, footprints in the clay. The footprints coincide with the soldiers from New Mexico. A very moving tribute to the sacrifice they made.

It was an honor to tour the Bataan Death March monument with Gump. An experience I will not forget. Thank you Gump for sharing your heart, compassion and understanding of the plight of POWs, with me today. Love ya! ❤️


From the Veterans Park we rode 77 miles, and crossed into Texas, where the trucks are BIG and dirty! A big shout out to all the cowboy hat wearing, flag waving Texans that lined the streets to cheer us on our way.

The second leg of the afternoon was very hot, riders did as they were told and drank a lot of water and gatorade.

We ended the night at the Odessa Crossroads Fellowship Church. They lay out the best meal ever! Sweet Tea, fried cat fish, chicken, corn bread, beans. What more could a hot hungry rider ask for??? Thank you “Mojo” & “Wicked” for arranging for the great hospitality in Odessa.

Working on getting Ambassador and Outreach reports. Might do a photo dump of all three days events.

Since we are near Chris Kyle’s home, we’ll end tonight’s sit-rep with a quote from Chris:

“It was my duty to shoot the enemy, and I don’t regret it. My regrets are for the people I couldn’t save: Marines, soldiers, buddies. I’m not naive, and I don’t romanticize war. The worst moments of my life have come as a SEAL. But I can stand before God with a clear conscience about doing my job.”

Chris Kyle

Thank you for reading and God Bless America!

Please excuse grammar and spelling, too tired to care.