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WildSpirit4You
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Posted on Thu, May 17, 2007 13:09

NATIONWIDE - The Rolling Thunder rides again. For the second year in a row, the Rolling Thunder motorcyclist organization is riding across the country to pay tribute to America's troops, veterans and POW/MIAs. Bikers from Northern California, Washington state and even Australia gathered Wednesday at the KOA campground, riding hogs festooned with American and POW/MIA flags. The group sets out this morning. CHP officers from the Barstow station will escort the convoy all the way to Needles, where they will be met by escort from the Navajo tribe. Joy Jeanette of Adelanto, founder of the California chapter of Rolling Thunder, carries with her an album full of names and pictures of troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. "We will honor the dead and their families from each state we pass through," she said. The convoy will hold vigils and ceremonies at many stops along the way to bring awareness, they say, to the great debt the nation owes America's soldiers and veterans. "We're here for a reason," Jeanette said. "We're not going to forget those left behind." One of those, whose remains have yet to be identified, is Jeanette's brother, Donald W. Walter, who fought in Vietnam. Most of the riders are veterans. Some have sons or friends in Iraq and Afghanistan. What united them is a passion to keep the importance of veterans' issues at the forefront of the national consciousness. "We will keep reminding the government until all POW/MIAs are accounted for," Jeanette said. At journey's end, thousands of Rolling Thunder bikers are expected to congregate in Washington, D.C., for Memorial Day ceremonies honoring the troops. For Dee Lake of Quincy, paying tribute to Vietnam vets is especially important, and he is particularly looking forward to a vigil to be held at the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial wall. "We need to support the troops after they come home, too," Lake said, citing post-traumatic stress disorder and marital problems as common problems among returned vets. Recently retired CHP officer Craig Williams of Victorville says he's demonstrating his commitment to the troops because he has friends in Iraq and because he served for 31 years in the Army. "We're all standing here because of them," he said. ( I DAMN SURE WISH I COULD'VE MADE IT WITH THEM! ) ~~ RIDE SAFE ... STAY FREE!!! ~~ ************************************


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WildSpirit4You
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Posted on Wed, May 23, 2007 16:46

~~ NO, FREEDOM ISN'T FREE ~~ I watched the flag pass by one day. It fluttered in the breeze. A young Marine saluted it, And then he stood at ease. I looked at him in uniform So young, so tall, so proud, With hair cut square and eyes alert He'd stand out in any crowd. I thought how many men like him Had fallen through the years. How many died on foreign soil? How many mothers' tears? How many pilots' planes shot down? How many died at sea? How many foxholes were soldiers' graves? No, freedom isn't free. I heard the sound of taps one night, When everything was still I listened to the bugler play And felt a sudden chill. I wondered just how many times That taps had meant "Amen," When a flag had draped a coffin Of a brother or a friend. I thought of all the children, Of the mothers and the wives, Of fathers, sons and husbands With interrupted lives. I thought about a graveyard At the bottom of the sea Of unmarked graves in Arlington. No, freedom isn't free. Copyright 1981 by CDR Kelly Strong, USCG (Ret).


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irishpatti
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Posted on Fri, May 18, 2007 07:45

What's their agenda? Are they coming thru MI?


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