RUN FOR THE WALL
(We Ride For Those Who Can’t)
May 15–May 25, 2013
Run For The Wall recognizes the sacrifices and contributions made by all Veterans who have served our nation. Veterans of recent conflicts and those currently on active duty are welcome to join us as we ride for those who cannot. By joining or supporting Run For The Wall, you participate in our mission which is to promote healing among all Veterans, 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.
Run For The Wall also known as RFTW or The Run, was started in 1989 as an effort by a couple of Vietnam Veterans who traveled across the heartland of America on motorcycles, talking to local media about the fact that we have many men and women still unaccounted for from all of our wars. The need for this awareness continues, so we maintain this tradition every May. We don’t give political speeches or stage demonstrations. RFTW emphasizes its message by traveling through the United States in a safe and orderly manner. We obey traffic laws and treat all citizens with respect.
The issues of public awareness are only part of the benefit of RFTW. We give all Veterans the opportunity to get their own “Welcome Home” and start the healing process. Everyone who has fought or has friends/loved ones who have fought in a war have their own issues: the welcome home, the good-bye to buddies lost, or just trying to accept coming home alive. Many who participate in RFTW find that whatever they’ve been missing can be found within the RFTW family.
There is a registration fee to participate in RFTW, and everyone pays their own travel expenses. We are a 501(c3) not-for-profit organization which accepts tax-deductible donations. Some meals are donated and others are provided for a small contribution to local citizen organizations. We have generous groups and individuals who, on occasion, have paid for gas and lodging for our participants.
RFTW takes ten days to reach Washington, DC, arriving on Memorial Day weekend. Events scheduled include a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery, the RFTW participants’ photo at the Lincoln Memorial, and the walk together to the Vietnam Wall. Many RFTW riders participate in Rolling Thunder’s “Ride For Freedom” on Sunday.
Along our routes RFTW riders visit Veterans Medical Centers, Veterans’ Memorials, Veterans’ Outreach Facilities, VFW’s, American Legion Posts, community centers and schools. We enjoy parades, escorts, and welcome-home receptions from many patriotic Americans. The ages of the participants range from “eight to eighty!” These include: mothers, fathers, grandparents, as well as many Gold Star and Blue Star families. All patriotic Americans, not just Veterans, are welcome to participate in RFTW.
Some people join RFTW and think of it as just another vacation or motorcycle event. After one or two days though, they realize this is something very special. It is unlike anything else they have experienced, and it becomes a MISSION. They become part of the RFTW family whose members come from the United States, Canada, Australia, as well as other countries.
In May 2013, RFTW will celebrate 25 years of helping Veterans and their families. For more detailed information and the exact routes, please visit our website. We invite everyone to come join us.
The official Run For The Wall website is: www.rftw.org.