They ride for those who can’t


All photos by Gil Potts

Every year around this time, thousands of motorcyclists from all over the country get on their bikes on a journey to the Wall — the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington.

Run for the Wall participants began their long haul to Washington in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. on May 14 and all riders will eventually meet up via different routes in Arlington, Va. on May 23.

Along the way, riders visit VA Medical Centers, Veterans’ Memorials, Veterans’ Outreach Facilities, VFW Posts, American Legion Posts, and Community Centers, as well as schools along the routes.

Last Friday, Van Horn was again host to those riders. It was impossible to miss the vast number of motorcycles on Broadway, and they

stopped for a rest and good meal at the Van Horn Convention Center.

The Advocate met up with some of the participants last Fridayat the Convention Center. We spoke with Rick Mead (“Cowboy”) from El Paso, who has participated in the event since 1989.

“This is a chance for us to travel across the country to remind the American public to keep in mind that we still POWs and MIAs out there (prisoners of war and missing in action),” said Mr. Mead.

“None of us are naive enough to think that any of them may be alive, but the families need accountability for their loved ones, even if we just bring remains home, that would be a success story.

How has the ride changed since 1989? Mr. Mead said that as one of the original riders on the trip to Washington, there were only 49 riders.

“During the 20th anniversary,which I had the honor of leading the southern route, we had 600 riders. Last year for the 25th anniversary, we pulled in 1,800 riders.
Mr. Mead added that social media, such as Twitter and Facebook has helped raise awareness for the organization, “but we need more social media,” he said.


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