Run For the Wall 2013
"We Ride for Those Who Cannot"
Remembering those Vietnam veterans yet unaccounted for, whether
prisoners of war or missing in action.
Every year hundreds of Vietnam era veterans gather in California to "ride for those who can't". My brother is one of them. In recent years more veterans have joined the RFTW ride to Washington DC, veterans of Bosnia, Desert Storm, the Gulf War (Iraq) and lately young vets from the on-going conflict in Afghanistan.
This year RFTW noted that the Vietnam War ended 37 years ago. This was the 25th year that vets rode in remembrance of war losses. The POWs and MIAs were their fellow service members, soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen who remain unaccounted for.
I'd listen to my brother's stories about the ride and one year I went up to Westminster Colorado to see him off for his ride. It wasn't his first year, but it was early enough in his participation that he was joining the ride at their overnight stop in Limon Colorado.
He now has a long strip of annual participation ribbons on his leather vest to go with his reversed FNG button. For several years it has been his honor to ride from Rancho Cucamonga California in service to the run as a staging crew member, fuel guy, tail gunner, and this year assistant platoon leader.
I figured it was time to see the Run for the Wall in action. American Legion Post 37 in Holbrook Arizona hosts the Run for lunch on their second day.
Friend Jim G and I traveled to Holbrook the day before so we would be rested up for the rolling thunder of arriving riders. We bought a burger, fries and a coke (supersized) for my brother and invited ourselves to sit with a family right across from the post in the shade of their tree.
This was the first time for Jim and really the first time mid-run for me. We had read up on the RFTW website to get an idea of the whole picture.
David Klemme, USMC (Ret), aka Papa Smurf, shows me his Honda Gold Wing after eating his BK lunch, and we looked through the mass of bikes parked neatly along the curbs, then double parked, then triple parked for TWO blocks. At this point, Day 2, there are already over 400 participants.
They are waiting in line for chow or already chowing down lunch. Most bikes sport American and POW/MIA flags. This lead
bike in the foreground has two flag masts for larger flags. They are deployed for arrivals, but are not left up when they are unattended.
|Participants are of all ages.|
|Bikes are of all types.|
|Many thanks to American Legion Post 37 for their Hospitality!|