D.C. Motorcycle Ride Comes Through Longview - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/20/07-Longview

D.C. Motorcycle Ride Comes Through Longview

The annual motorcycle ride from California to the nation's capital passed through East Texas today.  Veterans and supporters make their yearly ride to the Vietnam memorial, in support of those missing in action in service to our country in the annual run for the wall.  More than 500 bikers rolled into Longview on a mission to make people remember.

"Every year, we do this in remembrance of the POS's and MIA's, and remember the latest MIA's in Iraq," said navy Vietnam veteran John Gana of Houston.

"We ride our motorcycles cross country and we do it for the ones that can't ride," said U.S. Army Vietnam veteran Ray McDowell.

For the last 18 years,  they've made the ride from Ontario, CA to Washington D.C. to the Vietnam Memorial Wall, with thousands joining in along the way to honor those who are still missing in action and prisoners of war.

"It's my payback to my brothers who did go to Vietnam and an investment in my children," said Arizona rider John King.

For some, the ride is also to honor a new generation of veterans.

"Both of my kids are Marines.  Our son, his battalion, is on the Syrian border right now.  Today's his birthday," King said.

Many renew old friendships, seeing each other only this time of year.  They bear the scars of the past and through this ride, hope the country will remember the past.

"There's still a lot of our friends that are missing," said Gana.

By the time the ride gets to the D.C. memorial wall they expect to have more than 500,000 riders.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting.  bhallmark@kltv.com

 

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