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Run For The Wall

By Ben Crookshanks

Each year since 1989, a group of veterans and their friends have climbed aboard their motorcycles in Ontario, California and headed east on The Run For The Wall. Their destination is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. After traveling 300 miles a day for ten days they arrive in Washington on the Friday before Memorial Day. Their mission is simple-honor those who served, remember those who paid the ultimate price and pray for those who have not come home yet.

Part of the journey takes them across southern West Virginia. For most of the trip, they travel along interstate highways. In West Virginia it is different. In Charleston, they leave I-64 and take U.S. Route 60 through Kanawha, Fayette and Greenbrier Counties. The reason they take this route is the West Virginia Turnpike, a toll road, is between Charleston and Beckley. If each one stopped at the tollbooth they would become scattered out.

Everyone says, after seeing the mountains, they are glad they decided to not follow the Turnpike.

The bikers arrive in Rainelle, in the western end of Greenbrier County, on the Thursday before Memorial Day. They spend the night and go on to Washington the next day.

If you see them on the road, give them the thumbs-up; they'll appreciate it. To learn more go on-line at www.rftw.org.