Thursday, May 17, 2018

Strong Women

Same drill as last night. For the nuts and bolts of the run, go to RFTW.US , Southern Hub, Southern Sit-rep.

This year is the XXX anniversary of Run for the Wall. Someone decided it was time to have an all female platoon leadership. This year the 2nd platoon is comprised of Eyes (me) as the Platoon Leader, Mojo (Diann) as the Assistant Platoon Leader and Happy Jackie as the tail gunner. ALL WOMEN.

We decided we didn't want to give out challenge coins as is customary, we wanted to do something different. Mojo had these really cool pins made for us, featuring Joan of Arc, a Strong Women. Because we are strong Women, leading veterans to the Vietnam Memorial.

Today I had the honor to give out a few pins. One to Wildcat, A road guard that works super hard all day to keep riders safe and rolling at the right time in the right direction, a strong woman.  Another pin I gave to a female rider, Shannon who is also an MIA daughter,  a strong woman.

And then when we arrived in Wilcox, AZ the police department lined up to be recognized for escorting us in and out of town. Guess what, one female police officer amongst the 10 male officers. I just had to give her a pin!

Her name is Marsha, she nearly cried when I present her with a pin. This is what I say when presenting a Joan of Arc, 2nd Platoon, 30th anniversary pin. First I explain the Joan of Arc thing and the first ever all female platoon and then I say,

"To a strong woman; may you be one, may you know one,  may you ride with one" 

Had a great day. The RFTW riders are wonderful. Everyone is super respectful of the female platoon. No special treatment is expected and none is given. By the way, none of us are crazy feminists or anything. We have husbands and boyfriends and love our men.

Finally, a shout out to my good husband who gassed up my bike tonight so I could come in and write the Run for the Wall - Sit-Rep. You're the best my honey, love you!

Good night and God Bless, 345 mile day tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Day 1, Ontario CA - Chandler AZ, 50 Mile Detour

Since I began this blog, five years ago I have new Run for the Wall Responsibilities. I know write the office sit-rep "situational report" every night for the Southern Route. I also post to social media sites for the Southern Route, I am in platoon leadership. Due to these responsibilities, I can't keep up this blog as well as the official one. Please check out the official blog at, Southern Route Hub, Southern Route Sit-Rep.

Here's a link:

I thought I would post the verbiage from the official sit-rep (below) but then  I'll add my thoughts and impressions that might not be appropriate for the official blog.

I can't believe I am a Platoon Leader! You know my road name is Wrong Way Eyes. I am riding as the Platoon Leader for the 2nd Platoon. Let's hope I don't make a wrong turn and take 300 motorcycles with me! My road guard, Care Bear, his road name is really Caretaker, but I like Care Bear better, anyway, he has assured me he won't let me go the wrong way.  Ha, he's always off riding somewhere else in the pack. It's all on me, keep me in your prayers that I don't go the wrong way!

Today is was hotter than heck! We took a 50 mile detour to avoid some problem on I-10. I thought for sure we were lost in the desert and the Arizona State Troopers had no idea where the Chandler Harley Davidson deal was located. We eventually arrived, an hour late.

On a serious note, it is such an honor to ride with MIA daughters and sons, with Veterans of not only Vietnam but Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan. Helping to escort these veterans and family members is a small thing I can do for the freedoms I enjoy.  More tomorrow!

Official Sit-Rep Post incase you don't want to look it up.

It was a beautiful morning to kick off the XXX Run for the Wall. 
3 Routes - 1 Mission

To quote Board of Director President, Les Williams, "This is a mission, not a joy ride. We are here for our brothers & sisters. The rider's meeting began with the usual, prayer, pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and The National Anthem. 

As the National Anthem began a quiet hush fell over the crowd. Slowly and gently, voices could be heard joining in. The voices swelled in one united chorus. Brought chills to my bones and made me that much prouder to be an American πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ.

The Flag ceremony was performed by the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines. Les dismissed them immediately so they could spend time with their families, as they are being deployed soon. May God Bless them and keep them. πŸ™πŸ»

James Gregory "Gunny" was then presented with the one thing he's never been awarded, an FNG patch. Hahaha! ismissed the group with these words, "We will meet again in Washington D.C." Amen! And we were off!

The Southern Route made it to their first stop, 92 miles, a little ahead of schedule. Wookie shared the story of Specialist Elliott Crook, assigned to Company A, 101st Aviation Battalion, 101st Airborne Division: "The Screaming Eagles" 

On May 16, 1971 Spc Crook was the crew chief of a UH1H helicopter. Other crew members: Lt. Joseph P. Nolan, pilot; W1 Craig L. Farlow, aircraft commander, and SP4 Timothy J. Jacobsen, door gunner. The helicopter was the 7th to land on the LZ. On departing the LZ, pilots of 5th & 6th helicopters reported taking enemy fire. LT. Nolan reported that he was taking heavy ground fire, that his crew chief was wounded. Lt. Nolan immediately took off and at 250 feet, witnesses saw his aircraft rapidly lose roter RPM and crash into the tree tops, bursting into flames. No No survivors were seen to exit the aircraft. The crew is missing in action. 


 "Man doesn't die as long as he is remembered" WE REMEMBER! 

We left Coachella ahead of schedule for the 92 mile ride to Blythe. Four miles in, we left California and entered Arizona. We also crossed the Colorado River. The ride was beautiful, saguaro Cacti on either side of the road. The cacti have new growth right now. The tops of the cactus look like they are growing hair.  The ride was a little hot, my temperature gauge pegged at 120, but it's a dry heat πŸ€ͺ.

Blythe rolled out the red carpet. The Blythe JROTC conducted a beautiful remembrance ceremony.

I ate lunch with an MIA son, Joe Stuart, he is an FNG rider. I have his Father's biography and will share it another day. We are honored to have Joe riding with us. We love you Joe and are glad you decided to join us. 

Pulled out of Blythe, again ahead of schedule. Bee lined it for the Tonopah - Shell Station. Once in Tonapah, we learned there was a problem on the I10 and Arizona State Troopers would be escorting us on the detour. WELL, little did we know it was a 50 MILE DETOUR! Through the Sanora Desert National Monument Park, beautiful detour.  The route was supposed to be 68 miles, it ended up being 114 miles. I was beginning to wonder if anyone at the front new where the heck the Chandler Harley Davidson was located.We finally arrived, enjoyed cheeseburgers and mac & cheese, called it a night and went to the host hotel. 

I'll end with today's quote in the Southern Route itinerary. "My responsibility, our responsibility as lucky Americans, is to try to give back to this country as much as it ha given us, as we continue our American journey together." GEN Colin Powell. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Day 4

Thank heavens today was a whole lot better than yesterday. I have a feeling the Southern Route Coordinator made a few minot changes and things ran much smoother at the back of the pack.

Today was fantastic, because Texas and Texans are fantastic. We visited two memorial, one the Permian Basin Vietnam Memorial and the Big Spring Memorial, both beautiful. I will post a couple pictures and I am going to bed.

Riding through the Dallas/Fort Worth Metropolitan Area was very exhilirating! Kept me on my toes!

Good Night Folks, I have an "Out Reach" first thing in the morning. Going to the Texas State Vietnam Veterans' Memorial. It's a new experience.

Bigger than life Vietnam Veteran Heroes

Big Spring Veterans' Memorial

Friday, May 19, 2017

Day 3 - A little lost and always last!

Today was not such a good day. I am too exhausted to write much. Platoons 1 & 2 were last in the pack. Platoon missed the off ramp for the first stop so Platoon 2 stayed with Platoon one and we kept on rolling. Finally topped on a freeway on-ramp. Sat there deciding what should be done about this mishap. After a good 30 minutes of sitting in the sun whomever was  in charge decided we should start rolling towards the next stop and hopefully the main pack would catch up to us and we could rejoin them.

It did work but we rolled through El Paso, Texas on the freeway at 40 mph. The cars were not very happy at the 25 bikes in the middle lane going 30 miles below the speed limit.

If you can believe it, the day got worse after that. I am just happy that I AM NOT THE ONE THAT MISSED THE OFF RAMP. SOMEONE ELSE EARNED THE NAME WRONG WAY TODAY. (names have been changed to protect the innocent)

A good night's sleep is needed. Tomorrow will be better!

Thursday, May 18, 2017


I don't usually write about me and my day but tonight's post has to be an exception because today was FANTASTIC! The weather was perfect, and I mean perfect! Sunny, but not hot, big white fluffy clouds, PERFECT!

A couple things came together today to make it special. Let me explain what it is like riding in a group of 200 plus motorcycles. We ride very close together, very close. It is important for us to stay close because if we don't we can spread out for 10 miles or so. In the quest to stay close but not to crash into each other this thing called "rubber banding" occurs. It's when someone hits their breaks so everyone hits their breaks then you have to speed up to catch up to the bikes that didn't hit their breaks. It is awful, it makes for a tiresome, irritating ride.

The only riders that aren't affected by this rubber banding are the riders that are in the front of the pack. Well today, it was my Platoon's turn to ride at the front of the pack. The only bikes in front of us were the lead element, the route coordinators (the big cheeses) and the support riders. So my platoon was up front. Then my platoon leader comes to me and tells me, he wants me to ride in the Platoon Leader position ALL DAY. Yes folks, all day. I rode up front, all day, setting the pace for my platoon. I could look at the countryside without fear of crashing into the bike in front of me. My hands didn't get sore, from slamming on the breaks and constantly down shifting. We're talking PERFECT!

Another fun thing, my platoon leader is Vic and then there's me as the Assistant Platoon Leader and Jaci and Kathy are tail gunners.
Kathy and my bike at the FRONT of the pack ready to ride out of the Willcox, AZ Elks Lodge. It's not very often two female riders are leading a platoon.

Except for Vic we're an all female platoon leadership. I am having shirts made for us to wear on the last day that say "Vic's Angeles". Shhhhh, don't tell him. Oh, Vic rides a Victory Motorcycle, It's PERFECT!

And the last thing that made today perfect was meeting these ladies that belong to The Daughters of the American Revolution in Arizona. When you belong to DAR, you have instant friends all over the country.

Thanks for sharing my great day with me. I am so blessed to live in this great land and to participate in such great activities.  One quick shout out to my amazing husband that makes it all possible. Who puts up with my crazy antics and ideas. Love you honey ❤️.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

California Rocked it today!

California redeemed itself (slightly) today. Normally we ride through California and there is nary a person on the over passes or lining the streets. Not today boy! To start with, members of the Daughters of the American Revolution came out to send us off. These ladies are members of the Katuktu Chapter. Ladies you're the best! Senior, one of the Southern Route, Road Guards photo bombed us which made it even more fun. 

And April Laing a member of the American Legion Riders, Chapter 716 also came out to send us off. Sorry I didn't get a photo. Thank you for coming out to support us!

As we rode from Ontario to the Arizona state line, I counted five overpasses with flag wavers. One over pass held a firetruck with the firemen standing at attention. Oh my heart swelled. Then 10 miles outside of Blythe, CA we were escorted by the California Highway Patrol into Blythe.

Say what you will about California, we are Americans!

Every year, I start off a little nervous. This year was no different. Wouldn't you know it, on the first day, the first maneuver is a u-turn. Those of you that don't ride won't understand what a big deal a u-turn is. I am not a very big person and I am riding a 950 pound motorcycle. It's not easy to make sharp turns. (don't believe everything you see on you tube). Well, I nailed that first u-turn and everything that followed. I got this, 2017 is going to be a breeze!

I am going to bed now, I will write a better blog post tomorrow night. I need a little sleep tonight.

I want to leave you with this quote:

"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave" Elmer Davis

I am so thankful for the men and women that stand guard at the gates of our country. God Bless them one and all.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Santa Ed Receives a Book

The run hasn't even started and I have already shed tears. Let me tell you the story.

Four years ago I went on my first Run for the Wall. I met so many Vietnam Veterans. One in particular touched my heart,  Santa Ed (pictured here). I told him of my plans to write a book about the run. The book was to help ALL veterans heal from the scars of war. I held both of Santa Ed's hands and said, "look into my eyes, I want you to see into my soul and know that I WILL write this book". Santa Ed, became very agitated and said, "that's it, that's it, you can't use my words on me!" Your road name is Eyes. Every since that day, my road name has been Eyes.

Well today, I had the opportunity to present Santa Ed with a copy of the book Run for the Wall - A Journey to the Vietnam Memorial. He cried, and I cried. Yes, it's been a four year project.

It is still my prayer and hope that the book makes it into the hands of every American Veteran, that they can see and feel the love, support and appreciation of the American people.

Another wonderful surprise was when another one
of my favorite Vietnam Veterans came riding into the parking lot.
This is "On the Five" πŸ˜‚, years ago, he was left waiting on the 5 Freeway for a bunch of his buddies. They didn't show up for hours. Well, the name stuck.

One of the best things about the run is the friendships you make and renew year after year as riders gather from all over the world to once again partake in this Patriotic, Veteran loving, flag waving event.