Longview Hosts Annual Run For The Wall - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Longview Hosts Annual Run For The Wall

An emotional coast to coast motorcycle ride rumbled through east Texas today, in the annual motorcycle run for the wall . They come riding motorcycles, from big cites and small towns all across America. It's a ride that's become a symbol of respect and dignity for those who were left behind in Vietnam. A journey across the country that ends at the Vietnam memorial in the nations capitol.

      "20 years we've been doing this running across the country we started off with just a few bikes" says run for the wall photographer Rick Avolio.

      Almost 500 riders pulled into VFW post 4002 in Longview, men and women from all over the country, making their way to D.C. , in memory of p-o-w's and m-i-a's.

    "They're all a bunch of great people going across the country and they're getting the word out about how there's still about 1800 missing in action from Vietnam" says Vietnam veteran Larry Woodall from Seattle.

      This year they carry with them the ashes of fellow Vietnam veteran Dick Darnell, to give him a special honor.

   "And we're going to get those ashes and we're going to lay them at the apex of the Vietnam memorial on memorial day" Avolio says.

    "This is not a party it's a mission it a mission all across tha nation to make a statement for p-o-w's and m-I's-a's" says Vietnam vet and Houston rider John Gana.

     And the riders form missing man formations , for fellow vets who've passed away since last year.

    "To ride that missing man position the guy that's riding right next to the guy that's missing it really brings it home" says Gana.

    The VFW was honored with a 20 year run plaque. And for the riders the welcome in Longview honors their fallen brothers.

    "They filled out a blank check to the united states of America for up to an including their life. That's alot" Gana says.

     Thought their days of service are gone, these vets will continue to make that run for the wall,  so that no one will forget. Organizers say the riders should be in Washington D.C. Before memorial day. At that time, they expect more than 400 thousand riders. Bob Hallmark reporting/kltv.com

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