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Midway Route November 2022 Newsletter

HAPPY BIRTHDAY UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

With that said, I do want to celebrate the birthdays of all branches of service and hope that all of you have a meaningful VETERANS DAY. We need to continually honor our veterans every day of the year and this gives us a special day to honor them. All have given so much to assure that you and I have the freedoms that we do. It takes a lot of sacrifice and dedication and many have suffered individually as a result of that service and dedication. A great deal of you return home and you do not feel the same as when you left, and many of you are not the same person while still on active duty. These symptoms had different names over several centuries and in 1980 the behavioral health community developed diagnostic criteria and officially recognized POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD). The United States military and the Department of Veteran Affairs have developed programs to more effectively help active-duty personnel and veterans. Even with the availability of these programs, there are thousands of individuals still suffering. I am speaking in terms of military personnel here, however, PTSD can affect anyone. In several newsletters, my intention is to create more awareness about this problem. Part of the Run for the Wall mission is to “promote healing among all veterans, their families and friends”. The information presented below is from the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress which is part of the Department of Veterans Affairs: 

 

“(The National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress) We are the world’s leading research and educational center of excellence on PTSD and traumatic stress.

PTSD is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening or traumatic event. If symptoms last more than a few months, it may be PTSD. The good news is that there are effective treatments.

It’s normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after a traumatic event (also called “trauma”). At first, it may be hard to do daily activities you are used to doing, like go to work, go to school, or spend time with people you care about. But most people start to feel better after a few weeks or months. For some people, PTSD symptoms may start later, or they may come and go over time. If it’s been longer than a few months and thoughts and feelings from the trauma are upsetting you or causing problems in your life, you may have PTSD.

Anyone can develop PTSD at any age. Some factors can increase the chance that someone will have PTSD, many of which are not under that person’s control. For example, having a very intense or long-lasting traumatic event or getting injured during the event can make it more likely that a person will develop PTSD. PTSD is also more common after certain types of trauma, like combat and sexual assault.

Personal factors—like previous traumatic exposure, age, and gender—can affect whether or not a person will develop PTSD. What happens after the traumatic event is also important. Stress can make PTSD more likely, while social support can make it less likely.”

 

I want to thank Mike “Papa Mike” Cash and his foundation, OPERATION FAMILY, for providing us with this information and guidance on this very important issue.

Next month we will publish more on this subject.

                              —————————————————-

On another note, Midway Route needs you to consider volunteering to help with both staging and promotions teams. The Staging process will be changed for 2023. Staging has come into the modern era with changes to the platoon placement markings making the job physically easier and less stressful. We will improve hydration opportunities and provide medical support. Staging is such an important aspect of daily organization on the route and we need your help. Please contact Gina Cutrer by email at gina.cutrer@rftw.us or call her directly at 225-202-5328. If you would like to volunteer for any position on Midway Route, please fill out the Volunteer Request Form (CLICK HERE TO VOLUNTEER). Between now and May 2023 there will be openings on different teams. By volunteering now, you will be on the ready list to be asked to join a team. 

 

I am pleased to announce the Midway Route will have two fundraiser activities for this coming year that were successes last year. Our Promotions Team Leaders for 2023 are Gina “LeSpice” Cutrer and Randy “Mullet” Olgion. The first is the HOTEL DRAWING. This was an awesome fundraiser in 2022 and we are doing it again. The prize is $1000 which is approximately the amount it will take to pay for most of your hotel expenses or anything you need. The money raised from this drawing will go to support our adopted schools and our fuel stops. 

The cost per ticket is $10.00 or you can purchase seven tickets for $50.00! If you purchase $100.00 worth, you will get 20 tickets and $150 gets you 30 tickets. ANYONE CAN PARTICIPATE. You do not have to be a registered rider for Run for the Wall. You can be a non-participant. You can sit at home or be on the beach in Cabo. 

                                   DRAWING IS JANUARY 1, 2023

If you would like to purchase HOTEL DRAWING tickets, please make a check out to RFTW Midway Route and send it to:

Gina Cutrer
33538 Nancy Drive
Walker, LA 70785

You may also use Venmo:

@Gina-Cutrer-1

 

Our next fundraiser is the SUPER BOWL DRAWING. It is early, however, we are beginning to make an effort to raise the money to support the fuel cost for every rider on the Midway Route this year by conducting various fundraising activities. So, we are offering a Super Bowl Football Board opportunity to support the Midway Route fuel costs. Winners will be receiving a gift card to use during the 2023 RFTW ride. 

Buy a Super Bowl 2023 square for $25.00 or $100.00 buys you 5 squares or buy as many entries as you like! The winning square at the end of each Quarter will receive a $100.00 Walmart Gift Card. End of game score is the fourth quarter, no overtime. 

The Board will be filled out from the top to bottom and left to right based on the time and date of the receipt of your entry and payment. The numbers will be drawn from the hat after a board is complete, so there will be no particular order. All entries must be received by 31 January 2023. 

How to enter:

  1.  Send check made out to RFTW Midway Route to:

                      Gina Cutrer
                      33538 Nancy Drive
                      Walker, LA 70785

  1.   Or pay via:

                      WWW.VENMO.COM (APP) to @Gina-Cutrer-1

Once the Board is filled and numbers assigned, the Board will be emailed prior to game start and posted to RFTW Facebook.  

Those receiving gift cards will be contacted the day after the game to ensure we have the correct contact information for mailing the gift card to you.

Thank you all for your continued generosity in this fundraising effort and GOOD LUCK. We appreciate and need your support for the Midway Route. If you want to help but do not want to participate in these drawings then please send a check to Run for the Wall-Midway Route to Gina Cutrer at her address listed above. Please do note “Midway Route” on your check.

 

Please register for the RFTW if you have not done so (CLICK HERE TO REGISTER). Registration information helps the Midway Route in planning all the details necessary for a successful ride. If you register early, you save money. Registration is set up on a graduated system where the later you register, the more it costs. A good incentive plan for registering early. 

  

NEVER GIVE UP

Jim “BRUZER” Bruzewski

Midway Route Coordinator 2023

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Sandbox Route RC Newsletter – November 2022

Sandbox Route RC Newsletter

Middle East Conflicts Wall
Welcome to the Sandbox Route RC Newsletter for November 2022.

Operation Urgent Fury

The situation in the Caribbean nation Grenada had been of concern to American officials since 1979, when the leftist Maurice Bishop seized power and began to develop close relations with Cuba. In 1983, another Marxist, Bernard Coard, had Bishop assassinated and took control of the government. Protesters clashed with the new government and violence escalated. There were approximately 1,000 Americans in Grenada at the time, many of them students at the island’s medical school. 

Citing the danger to the U.S. citizens in Grenada, Operation Urgent Fury was hastily thrown together; U.S. President Ronald Reagan ordered U.S. troops to the island, where they soon found themselves facing opposition from Grenadan armed forces and groups of Cuban military engineers, who were there to repair and expand the island’s airport. The new airport under construction in Grenada was deemed a transfer point for weapons destined for Latin American revolutionaries. Marines and paratroopers, supported by air strikes, led the invasion on October 25, 1983. Fighting was fierce, especially around the airport defended by the Cubans—and, unexpectedly for the U.S., the Grenadan militia put up a stout fight. U.S. helicopter gunships, naval gunfire, and reinforcements were deployed until, after three days, resistance ended. U.S. losses totaled 19 dead and 150 wounded out of approximately 7,000 who participated in the invasion. November 21, 1983, marked the official end of the Grenada campaign.

These 19 servicemembers lost during Operation Urgent Fury are engraved on the Middle East Conflicts Wall in Marseilles, Illinois.

This is why we ride! 

Remember the Run for the Wall Mission – “To promote healing among ALL veterans and their families and friends, to call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action (POW/MIA), to honor the memory of those Killed in Action (KIA) from all wars, and to support our military personnel all over the world.” 

 

Registration

Registration for all 2023 RFTW Routes opened on September 11, 2022. Based on current registration numbers, the Sandbox Route is already up to 147 registered riders and participants including 18 FNG’s! Remember, the Early Bird Registration time frame began September 11, 2022, and runs through January 31, 2023. Beginning February 1, 2023, through April 30, 2023, we will enter the Regular Registration time frame and the registration fee increases for all routes; so be sure to register early and save some money!!!

Register Here

After registering, even returning riders are encouraged to go to the Rider Guidelines and familiarize themselves with the RFTW rider responsibilities. These Guidelines also include a standard of conduct expected of RFTW participants as well as RFTW Fueling guidelines and a RFTW Safety Briefing.

Rider Guidelines

If you have questions after reviewing the Rider Guidelines, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page to find the answers to many of your questions about registration and general questions about preparing for the Run for the Wall.

Frequently Asked Questions

And finally, please take the opportunity prior to departing home in May to download and complete the Emergency Information Form (in duplicate if possible). A completed Emergency Information Form is a requirement while participating in RFTW; but is also a great way to assist emergency responders in case of any emergency while traveling to and from RFTW.

Emergency Information Form

CURRENT SANDBOX ROUTE STATUS

The Sandbox Route Leadership team is meeting monthly and continues to work on updating and improving the Sandbox Route. We are still working out the logistics of changing some stops, in an effort to improve the overall Route. Our State Coordinators continue to do excellent work on getting our stops confirmed.  

SANDBOX LEADERSHIP

Let’s meet some of our new Team Leaders! Our Staging Team Leader is Steve “Depends” Berniklau and our Fuel Team Leader is Steven “Poppop” Rishel.  Both “Steve’s” are doing a great job planning out each of our stops, but they need your help! We need volunteers to join both the Staging and Fueling Teams, no experience needed! Those of you interested in assisting on the Sandbox Route by volunteering to be a member of the Staging or Fueling Teams please go to the volunteer link below and submit your volunteer form!

VOLUNTEER’s – Raise your Hands!

The Sandbox Route is continuously looking for volunteers for all positions. If you have questions about any specific team, please reach out to those Team Leaders to get some insight on what each team does and how you can help! Remember, the same volunteer form is used for all the Routes, just select the Route or Routes you are volunteering for and the position(s) you are interested in! If you volunteer on one of the 3 cross country routes, please consider bringing your experience to the Sandbox Route!

Volunteer Link

And remember, “Nothing Great is ever accomplished alone!” Let’s work together to make the Sandbox Route great! Together we will Continue the Mission safely and successfully!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Darin “Lurch” Koch

Sandbox Route Coordinator

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Midway Route RC Newsletter — October 2022

A part of our Run for the Wall mission is to “support our military personnel” and to “promote healing among all veterans and their families and friends”. As an opportunity to fulfill these tenants, we are excited to announce that Midway Route is visiting the US Army Installation in Lawton, Oklahoma known as Fort Sill, the FIRES Center of Excellence. For those of you who may not know, Fort Sill is the home of Air Defense and Field Artillery for the US Army and the only US Marine Corps Field Artillery MOS School. Today Fort Sill is one of only four US Army basic combat training locations turning nearly 17,000 civilians into soldiers every year.  Plans for the various activities there are all completed or nearly completed. We should have a full law enforcement escort from the time we enter Oklahoma to the time we leave Oklahoma. We hope to have active duty military personnel from Fort Sill ride with us as registered riders. What an honor that would be. Often civilians and military personnel living on or near large military installations in the U.S. become less sensitized as to how important their roles are in the big picture. We hope to bring more awareness to their importance in our daily lives and to honor them for their service to our country. A few of the planned activities are: The Tribes located within the Fort Sill area are planning to participate during our lunch at the Field Artillery Museum providing the Honor Guard, the presentation of an authentic tribal dance and, finally, the blessing of our bikes. A couple of Outreach activities are also in the planning process.

This year, we are blessed to have resources available to us at Fort Sill to plan and execute this event. This has been a collaborative effort with personnel at Fort Sill and the Tribes in the area and the City of Lawton community leaders along with our Oklahoma State Coordinators. I would also like to announce that Mike “Heavy” King has accepted the position as Mazz’s Assistant State Coordinator for Oklahoma. Thank all of you for your willingness to volunteer for the challenge of exploring and planning for new and exciting opportunities for our riders and to keep the mission viable. We hope to build on the possibilities of keeping the Run for the Wall relevant and meaningful for the future.

Speaking of opportunities and volunteers, I am pleased to announce that Gina Cutrer has accepted the position of Staging Lead and will co-lead with Promotions in 2023. Gina has had experience with staging and promotions over the last few years. She is asking if you would you consider volunteering to help with both staging and promotions. The Staging process will be changed for 2023. Staging has come into the modern era with changes to the platoon placement markings making the job  physically easier and less stressful. We hope to improve hydration opportunities and provide medical support. Staging is such an important aspect of daily organization on the route and we need your help. Please contact Gina Cutrer by email at gina.cutrer@rftw.us or call her directly at 225-202-5328.

Click here for the volunteer link.

I am pleased to announce the Midway Route will have two fundraiser activities for this coming year that were successes last year. Our Promotions Team Leaders for 2023 are Gina Cutrer and Randy “Mullet” Olgion. The first is the HOTEL DRAWING. This was an awesome fundraiser in 2022 and we are doing it again. The prize is $1000 which is approximately the amount it will take to pay for most of your hotel expenses or anything you need. The money raised from this drawing will go to support our adopted schools and our fuel stops.

The cost per ticket is $10.00 or you can purchase seven tickets for $50.00! If you purchase $100.00 worth, you will get 20 tickets. There is no limit to the number of tickets you can buy. If you would like to purchase HOTEL DRAWING tickets, please make a check out to RFTW and send it to:

Gina Cutrer
33538 Nancy Drive
Walker, LA 70785

You may also use Venmo:
@Gina-Cutrer-1

Our next fundraiser is the SUPER BOWL DRAWING. It is early, however, we are beginning to make an effort to raise the money to support the fuel cost for every rider on the Midway Route this year by conducting various fundraising activities. So, we are offering a Super Bowl Football Board opportunity to support the Midway Route fuel costs. Winners will be receiving a gift card to use during the 2023 RFTW ride.

Buy a Super Bowl 2023 square for $25.00 or $100.00 buys you 5 squares or buy as many entries as you like! The winning square at the end of each Quarter will receive a $100.00  Walmart Gift Card. End of game score is the fourth quarter, no overtime.

 The Board will be filled out from the top to bottom and left to right based on the time and date of the receipt of your entry and payment. The numbers will be drawn from the hat after a board is complete, so there will be no particular order. All entries must be received by 31 January 2023.

How to enter:

  1. Send check made out to Midway Route Fuel to:
    Gina Cutrer
    33538 Nancy Drive
    Walker, LA 70785
  1. Or pay via:
    WWW.VENMO.COM (APP) to @Gina-Cutrer-1

Once the Board is filled and numbers assigned, the Board will be emailed prior to game start and posted to RFTW Facebook.  

Those receiving gift cards will be contacted the day after the game to ensure we have the correct contact information for mailing the gift card to you.

Thank you all for your continued generosity in this fundraising effort and GOOD LUCK. We appreciate and need your support for the Midway Route. If you want to help but do not want to participate in these drawings then please send a check to Run for the Wall-Midway Route to Gina Cutrer at her address listed above. Please do note “Midway Route” on your check.

The Homes For Our Troops Key Presentation Ceremony happened in Queen Creek, AZ on September 24,2022. RFTW was well represented at the event and I want to personally thank all of you who made the extra effort to attend this heartwarming event. Many of you traveled great distances and took time off work to be there. This home was presented to a well deserving combat wounded Marine and his family. Their daily lives will be made easier by having this fully adapted home. Thank you Yev Shenker and family for you sacrifices for our country.

The Cookeville, TN Slow Down/Outreach Day is planned with details forthcoming. There will be three Outreach opportunities that day with full law enforcement support and escort. Staging and Fuel Teams will have the day off. Remember, this is your day off to stay in town and relax or go on an Outreach and relax. It is your day, you decide. Eventually, we will need to know how many riders will choose to go on each Outreach so we can plan LEO support and Road Guard support. I want to thank everyone who participated in the creative nature and planning of this new experience and opportunity for our Midway Route riders.

“NEVER GIVE UP”

Jim “BRUZER” Bruzewski
Midway Route Coordinator 2023

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Sandbox Route RC Newsletter – October 2022

Sandbox Route RC Newsletter
Middle East Conflicts Wall

Greetings from Pearland, Texas and welcome to the Sandbox Route RC Newsletter for October 2022.

With most riders now safely home following the All Riders Reunion in Kerrville, Texas, I want to send out a big thank you to Sam and Cowboy and everyone who worked to make the reunion a success. A special thanks to Robin “Wildcat” Conques Perry and her annual presentation of the Quilts of Valor to RFTW Combat Veterans for their service. Overall, I think a great time was had by all and we even managed to honor at least one rider with a new road name! Congratulations Lederhosen!

Why do we Ride? Let’s remember that even after our official military withdrawal we continue to lose 22 a day! Not everyone who returns home, returns home 100%. Many of our brothers and sisters who have served, suffer from depression after leaving the service. In 2021, research found that 30,177 active-duty personnel and veterans who served in the military after 9/11 have died by suicide – compared to the 7,057 service members killed in combat in those same 20 years. That is, military suicide rates are four times higher than deaths that occurred during military operations. An even newer study in September 2022, suggests that number is nearly twice that due to uncounted drug overdose suicides. This is unacceptable and we all need to do a better job looking out for our fellow veterans after they come home. What’s the first part of our mission statement? To “promote the healing among ALL veterans and their friends and family!” This is also one of the reasons why RFTW has developed the Sandbox Route. We need to look after our military brothers and sisters, and we need to do everything we can to stop the 22!

This is why we ride!

SAVE THE DATES!

Registration for RFTW Sandbox Route 2023 along with the 3 cross country routes officially opened on September 11, 2022. To date, the Sandbox Route has approximately 97 participants registered which puts us ahead of any other route! Let’s keep that momentum going and get registered!

https://rftw.us/rftw-registration/
Lurch Rolling

CURRENT SANDBOX ROUTE STATUS

The Sandbox Route Leadership team continues to work on updating and improving the Sandbox Route. We are working to update our itinerary and look forward to making changes that will improve and create a safer environment for all riders and participants. These changes take time, and we will announce those changes in upcoming newsletters once we have them completed.

We will still be departing DC on May 28, 2023, and arriving in Marseilles, IL on May 30, 2023, completing our Wall to Wall mission.

VOLUNTEER’s – We need you!

Interested in volunteering for a position on the Sandbox Route? Please go the RFTW.us site and fill out a Volunteer Sign-up form now and help make this Route successful.

https://rftw.us/volunteer-sign-up/

Nothing Great is ever accomplished alone! Let’s work together to make the Sandbox Route great! Together we will Continue the Mission safely and successfully!

Darin “Lurch” Koch

Sandbox Route Coordinator

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Sandbox Route RC Newsletter – September 2022

Sandbox Route RC Newsletter

Greetings Sandbox Route riders from a hot, humid, Pearland, Texas, and welcome to the Sandbox Route RC Newsletter for September 2022.

As we all know, the Sandbox Route culminates at the Middle East Conflicts Wall which is dedicated to commemorating the U.S. service men and women who have lost their lives in worldwide conflicts since the 1967 attack on the U.S.S. Liberty in the Eastern Mediterranean. The names on the wall represent our fallen heroes from 1967 to present at various locations such as Panama, Beirut, the Balkans, Grenada, Somalia, Haiti, USS Cole, USS Stark, terrorist attacks in Italy, Greece, Scotland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Fort Hood, Oklahoma City, Chattanooga, and the current conflicts in the Middle East.

This is a month that we have all come to remember, and one that changed generations similar to that infamous day in December 1944. The attacks on September 11, 2001, changed the world and the way of life for many Americans and their families. Names of those military members who lost their lives in the attack on the Pentagon are included on the Middle East Conflicts Wall. Those horrible attacks in 2001 subsequently sent our military into a war that continues to claim Sandbox Era warriors even after our official military withdrawal. We will not forget, we will not give up, and we will continue to support our brothers and sisters in and out of uniform and their families and friends. We will continue to say their names!

This is why we ride!

Middle East Conflicts Wall

Does everyone remember our Mission? – “To promote healing among ALL veterans and their  families and friends, to call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action (POW/MIA), to honor the memory of those Killed in Action (KIA) from all wars, and to support our military personnel all over the world.” 

Why do I ask? Because National POW/MIA Recognition Day is September 16, 2022.

“National POW/MIA Recognition Day was established in 1979 through a proclamation signed by President Jimmy Carter. Since then, each subsequent president has issued an annual proclamation commemorating the third Friday in September as National POW/MIA Recognition Day. A national-level ceremony is held on every National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Traditionally held at the Pentagon, it features members from each branch of military service and participation from high-ranking officials. In addition to the national-level ceremony, observances of National POW/MIA Recognition Day are held across the country on military installations, ships at sea, state capitols, schools, and veterans’ facilities. No matter where they are held, these National POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremonies share the common purpose of honoring those who were held captive and returned, as well as those who remain missing.

Since 1999, the POW/MIA Accounting community has created a poster commemorating National POW/MIA Recognition Day. The 2022 edition of the poster continues to honor this tradition.”

This is why we ride!

SAVE THE DATES!

Registration for all 2023 RFTW Routes is set to open on September 11, 2022. The registration process has change slightly for 2023 so be sure to give yourself a little bit of extra time while registering on-line!

https://rftw.us/rftw-registration/

The ALL RFTW Riders, past, present, and future, Reunion in Kerrville, TX is coming up at the end of the month. The Kerrville Riders Reunion is taking place from Wednesday September 21 through Sunday September 25, 2022. Go to the RFTW Facebook group or the TX Riders Reunion Facebook pages for up-to-date information, planning, rides, auctions, and more! Thank you to Roger “Cowboy” Mead and Sharann “Sam” Mead for all their hard work and dedication putting this together year after year! I hope to see many of you there!

CURRENT SANDBOX ROUTE STATUS

The Sandbox Route Leadership team continues to work on updating and improving the Sandbox Route through the evaluation of each of our stops to see where we can improve and create a safer environment for all riders and participants. This includes the possibility of combining some stops, eliminating unnecessary or extra stops, and limiting our stops and staging as much as reasonably possible. Potential changes may assist in removing some of the backroads, city, and single lane riding we endured last year.

SANDBOX LEADERSHIP

As Sandbox Route Coordinator, I am honored to announce our Road Guard Captain for 2023 will be Ken “Catfish” Ward. Ken has been associated with RFTW many years and served as the Central Route, Route Coordinator in 2014 and then served as a member of the BOD from 2014-2021. Ken is dedicated to the mission and shares in the vision of making this route great and SAFE! Safety is a primary concern for us all and everyone’s’ safety will be a strong factor in the decisions being made concerning the Route.

Most, if not all, of the primary leadership positions have been selected. Those Team Leaders will be working to identify assistants and volunteers to fill out and complete their respective teams in the coming months. Did you volunteer yet? Your Sandbox Route Leadership team can be viewed on the RFTW Sandbox Route page should you have any questions.

VOLUNTEER’s – Raise your Hands!

I encourage anyone who would like to volunteer to serve in any leadership or volunteer position on the Sandbox Route to go the RFTW.us site and fill out a Volunteer Sign-up form. Even if the position you are interested in volunteering for appears to be filled already, please fill out a volunteer form anyway. Our goal is to fill as many Sandbox Route positions with Sandbox era veterans and volunteers and to provide them with adequate training by experienced volunteers in those positions. The same volunteer form is used for all the Routes, just select the Route or Routes you are volunteering for and the position(s) you are interested in!

https://rftw.us/volunteer-sign-up/

And remember, “Nothing Great is ever accomplished alone!” Let’s work together to make the Sandbox Route great! Together we will Continue the Mission safely and successfully!

Darin “Lurch” Koch

Sandbox Route Coordinator

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Midway Route RC Newsletter — September 2022

POW MIA

Why We Ride
POW/MIA RECOGNITION DAY is SEPTEMBER 16, 2022.

Part of the RFTW Mission Statement is “To Call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action.” Because of multiple factors, there has never been an accurate accounting of all POW/MIAs. More than 81,000 Americans are still unaccounted for or remain missing. On this day, please remember our mission.

According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, the remains of Americans still missing include:

73,515 WWII (approximate)
7,841 Korean War
1,626 Vietnam
126 Cold War
6 from other conflicts since 1991

“YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN”

I am excited to announce Midway Route will be the Test/Recon route to implement the “Slow-Down-Day” for an extra day of community outreach along the Route. There are other exciting activities and changes for Midway that may be included in this year’s ride. We are exploring the possibility of visits to several active duty installations: Fort Sill, OK, Fort Campbell, KY and Seymour Johnson AFB, NC. The objective is to develop an ongoing Route that visits new stops, as well as our original stops every other year, thereby providing a broader mission awareness and impact. Just to let you know we will be visiting Ft. Sill, OK in 2023 rather than Weatherford, OK. We are not abandoning Weatherford but will alternate every other year. This will lighten some of the community support burden while not abandoning this stop in future years. This year will also be the first planned visit to the new Army Museum just prior to our arrival into DC. Again, not abandoning the Marine Museum, but we intend to begin a year to year rotation between the two museums. This will offer some variety as well as support for both organizations. These are some of the planned and proposed changes, as well as those still in the planning stages, that both expands our mission and adds variety for the riders year to year. Hopefully, this eases some of the financial burdens on a number of the small communities that struggle to support us.

Let’s talk about the “Slow-Down-Day.” After many discussions with Midway leadership, talking to riders and looking at the recent RFTW Survey results, we have concluded that riders would like to have another day in Cookeville, Tennessee. Cookeville is very excited for us to add a day in their community and will be providing dinner for the riders that evening. The day can be used for rest and recovery, as an Outreach Day, or just ride the area on your own. Thus, the name “Slow-Down-Day.” You will not be required to do anything. However, we hope to have a positive impact on support and expansion of our mission opportunities. To that end, your TN State coordinators (Ed Butler & Phil Friedli) along with the leadership team have developed 3 to 4 Outreach opportunities for that day. Those Outreaches would start about 9-10 AM and end by 2-3 PM. You can have breakfast at the hotel, and it looks as if each outreach will have lunch provided
(more details next month). These outreaches are for 100% of the riders, to include: the Staging, Fueling, Advanced Teams, and Trikes and Bikes with trailers who may unhook for the day and have the opportunity to participate in an outreach they otherwise may not be able to do, thereby experience its healing value. This is something you don’t ordinarily get to do. Rest is one of the main reasons for this day. We can also call this a Safety Day, so you can catch up on hydration and rest. The reality is that a few extra hours sleep and slight slowdown in the
intensity/demands of the daily riding will refresh and invigorate everyone. After you get up that morning, you will have time to drink your quart of water that helps get your brain hydrated. Proper hydration certainly should help prevent accidents/incidents caused due to dehydration. One last note. We will be adopting a school in the Cookeville, TN area. Adopting a school is always as exciting for us as it is for the students. We are trying to preserve the Midway Route RFTW Legacy and add new experiences.

This means, the Midway Route will leave California on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. Yes, it can be done, and we are working on the details. We will have shorter leadership meetings in California on Monday. Most leadership/rider details will be organized in ZOOM calls prior to arrival in California. Once again, this is your chance to have a positive impact on support and expansion of our mission opportunities. It will be a great eleven days, as we continue to explore some new experiences along the route. In all, my goal is still to shorten your riding days
where possible and not to lengthen them.

Homes for our Troops is having a Volunteer Day on September 10, 2022 in Queen Creek, Arizona. They will be doing landscaping activities around the new house for Yev Shenker and his family. Free lunch and a T-shirt will be provided to volunteers and the weather in Arizona should be nicer by then. RSVP to the website announcement.
Then on September 24, 2022, there will be a Key Ceremony for Yev Shenker and his family. We will escort Yev and his family to the new house. Details for both events are on the RFTW website.

REGISTRATION FOR THE 2023 RUN FOR THE WALL EVENT OPENS 9-11-2022

“NEVER GIVE UP”

Jim “BRUZER” Bruzewski
Midway Route Coordinator 2023

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Midway Route RC Newsletter – August 2022

Hello to the Midway Route Family and everyone else interested in our route.

The Midway Route Welcome VIDEO got posted this week and it is ready for viewing. I hope it is welcoming and informative. Special thanks to Denise “Zoom” Murray for production and to Mike “Bonehead” Kyzer, Jim “Hoofer” Mcrain and “Pawkee” for letting us use their video and photos. We would have been lost without their help.

We have had two very productive Board of Directors meetings since the last newsletter. They have approved three new State Coordinators. They are Ed Butler for Tennessee, Gary Whaley for North Carolina and George Doyle for New Mexico. We congratulate and welcome them to their new positions and thank them for volunteering. They have done much planning and hard work already. We are planning some new experiences for the route this year to possibly include visiting some active military bases. We will continue to visit our other amazing places along the way every other year perhaps. This will take the fundraising load off those communities and organizations that provide us with food and fuel along the way. Those things are always very much appreciated every year and we would not function without them.

The Board of Directors has also approved Don “Tennessee” King as our Road Guard Captain. 10-A-SEE has been the Midway Route Asst. Road Guard Captain since 2019 and the Sandbox Road Guard Captain since 2019. He has helped get us across country all that time without accidents or incidents. It is a remarkable safety record. He has been planning the details of moving our Midway pack through the new experience mentioned earlier. Congratulations 10-A-SEE and thank you for volunteering. He has a hard job ahead but he has been known to create miracles or something close.

We are thinking about having a day off in Cookeville, Tennessee for rest, laundry, and several outreach visits. We all know we are getting tired about that day on the run. This often adds up to safety issues the next few days. We have been talking to a lot of people about the idea and are getting some very positive feedback from our riders and leadership. We would spend two nights in Cookeville, our adopted town, or rather they adopted us. The hotel rate there is the cheapest on the route and they would feed us if we stayed. We already have three or four outreach opportunities available and the riding in the area is beautiful. You would not be obligated to participate in anything that day. You could just rest. We would leave California on Tuesday instead of Wednesday and have our meetings on Monday. It is one less day in California at the most expensive hotel on the route. We would also relieve pressure on the Central Route who usually bumps up against us all the way to Williams, AZ that day. We have most of the details worked out already and it could be done. There are lots of things to consider, so think about it. This should make our lives easier and not more difficult. We will still attempt to shorten our run days where possible. We will make a decision soon.

The President and Board of Directors have posted a rider SURVEY on the RFTW website. If you automatically receive RFTW emails you should have already gotten it. Please complete the survey as soon as possible. Please only do it once as it messes with the system if you try to take the survey twice. The SURVEY closes on August 31, 2022. This survey will be used to make some important Board of Director decisions, so please participate. This is your opportunity to have input into the decision making.

Well, this newsletter is chock full of stuff. Everything discussed is intended to make the run easier and more enjoyable but still keeping in mind that you continue to have a meaningful experience within the context of the four goals of the Run for the Wall.

REGISTRATION OPENS   9-11-2022

 

“NEVER GIVE UP”

 

Jim “Bruzer” Bruzewski

Midway Route Coordinator 2023

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Midway Route RC Newsletter – July 2022

Jim Bruzewski

I want to welcome everyone to the Midway Route Family.

I am Jim Bruzewski also known as “BRUZER”. I have the honor of being selected as the Route Coordinator for the 2023 Midway Route. I have served as a Tailgunner and Asst. Platoon Leader and have been a Road Guard, Push Team Leader and Asst. Road Guard Captain. I have been on the Midway Route since the Inaugural Run. Jerry “Corp” Wilkins joins us as the Asst. Route Coordinator. He will be the ARC as well as my mentor. His experience is invaluable.

We have been in the planning stages for a month now and have most team leads in place. We are always looking for more volunteers to step up and fill a variety of positions. If you have an interest in a particular position or job, send me an email and let me know. Include some of you experience with RFTW. I will get you in touch with the team lead for that position. I definitely appreciate everyone who volunteers as we would not be able to fulfill our mission without you. You are the reason we succeed every year.

The Midway Route is not just a route but is a FAMILY. We have developed a family culture over the years and I intend to carry on in that tradition. We don’t just say the words, it is part of our culture. We have a “servant leadership” that is there to help you get safely across country. Everyone, whether in a leadership position or not is here to answer your questions. The route is about you and the mission and not about leadership. Safety of everyone is of utmost importance.

We will continue to review the After Action Reports from 2022 and consider those experiences and recommendations going forward. We will continue to tweek the route to perhaps add some more varied experiences as we did this year. We understand that there are more veterans on the run who are not Vietnam Veterans like myself and we hope to add some experiences that are more relevant to you. I cannot make any promises but I would like to shorten your days where possible.

I want to thank everyone who participates in fundraising activities throughout the year and encourage you to continue fundraising efforts. The reality is that without fundraising we would not be able to complete our mission and travel accross this country. This year we even had a young lady in grade school who helped in fundraising for the Midway Family. I imagine we could all help.

Hope to see you join the Midway Route “FAMILY”.

The RFTW run dates from CA to DC are May 17-27, 2023
REGISTRATION opens 9-11-2022

“NEVER GIVE UP”

Jim “Bruzer” Bruzewski
Midway Route Coordinator 2023

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Holiday Greetings from Run for the Wall + Update on RFTW 2022

Happy Holidays

December 12, 2021

Dear Fellow Riders and Friends,

Greetings from beautiful Colorado. I’d like to take the opportunity to wish everybody in our RFTW family joyous holidays, good health, and a blessed New Year.

Many of us on the Board of Directors have received inquiries from anxious riders about the status of Run for the Wall XXXII in 2022. Apparently, rumors are running rampant, so please let me set the record straight.

We are proceeding on the assumption that we will conduct our Run in May as we always have… from Southern California to Washington, D.C. by three routes, and from D.C. to Marseilles, IL via the Sandbox Route. The Route Coordinators of all four routes, along with their respective State Coordinators, are hard at work getting their plans and logistical support in place as usual. As in previous years, we plan to publish the hotel list on January 1st, and registration for RFTW XXXII is up and running now.

The “rumor mill” always seems to take on a life of its own, but factual information is literally at your fingertips. Our website ( rftw.us ) has all the current information. If there are any changes to our planned Run, you will find it there first. Also, your individual Route Coordinators are putting out their newsletters on a frequent basis. I urge you to rely on these sources for your information… it isn’t “official” unless you read it there.

Take care and be well. Is it May yet?

Dave “Papa Smurf” Klemme
President, RFTW Board of Directors
“Freedom Isn’t Free”