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FNG Story – Rick Behymer

Name: Rick Behymer
City: West Plains
State: Missouri
FNG Story:

I was an FNG on the Central Route, 2010 Run For The Wall. When I joined the Run in Wentzville Mo. I had no idea what an incredible experience being on The Run For The Wall would turn out to be for me. I’ve tried to explain to my wife and others just what being on the Run is like and I haven’t been able to adequately put it into words.

I haven’t been able to explain the instant friendship and sense of family that develops the morning you join the Run. I’ve come to realize that sense of family lasts much longer than the Run itself.

I took a couple of hundred pictures on the Run and while they bring a smile to my face when I look at them now, they aren’t nearly as good as the memories I have when we were moving and picture taking was out of the question. Memories like,

Two ladder fire trucks on an overpass parked facing each other, their ladders fully extended, a very large American Flag suspended between them. On top of the cab of one fire truck stood lone a fireman, holding a perfect hand salute, backlit by the morning sun, as we went under that overpass.

Overpasses with people standing shoulder to shoulder holding flags and waving, with bed sheets made into signs hanging from overpass railings saying “Welcome Home”

A little girl about 8 or so in West Virginia who asked if she could take a picture of me and the 2 riders I was talking to at the time, just because we were on the Run.

Being fortunate enough to be allowed to ride into Arlington National Cemetery, with 249 other FNGs from 2010.

Seeing The Wall for the first time, and walking it’s length.

Words can’t describe how those things touched my heart, caused a lump in my throat, and sometimes required me to blink rapidly to clear my vision.

I could ramble on for several more paragraphs about the things I saw, and the feelings I felt but I won’t. If you were on either Route you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t been on the Run For The Wall yet I urge you to go as soon as you can.

It doesn’t take long to realize that it takes a lot of dedicated people to make the Run For The Wall work as well as it does. To all of them I’d like to take this opportunity to say Thank You for the Ride of a Lifetime. To everyone on the Central Route, particularly the Second Platoon, Thank You isn’t nearly enough, but it’ll have to do. It was an honor to ride with all of you.

Would I do it again? Absolutely! Only the next time my wife will be with me. After seeing the pictures I took, and listening to me try to explain what being on the Run For The Wall was like for me this year, she’s decided she wants to see it all for herself next year starting in California.