Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day 14

We started the day by taking down the tents with the rest if the family. It was easier with the added help, even though we had more tents.
Then we rode to the nearby VFW outpost. I got some breakfast there and we started to get Bibles and stickers out to give away after Dad preached that morning. His message was encouraging the men to let God lead their life.
Then after the Rider's meeting, which went on very much like the others had, I said goodbye to family and friends and got on the bike with Dad.
It was a great ride besides the strong wind that hit us hard on the mostly flat prairie. We entered Kansas. The wind went on even stronger than before. I think we were all glad when we arrived at the first fuel stop. Then we rode a bit more and got to the place where we ate lunch. It was right next to a museum and in our few spare minutes we went inside.
We found skeletons, pictures and more. I had been there the year before but to chaplain Dean this was all new. We did not have much time, so we left soon after getting there.
We set off again. We picked up a few day riders who had come between us and the chase truck. We tried to get some road guards to get them out of there, but in the Rider's meeting Mr. Russ Cockrin said that we could not get them out like that because, he said, it was too dangerous. So we put a different plan into action.
The way we are set up in the back is this: The four Chaplains are usually side-by-side on the road, making two horizontal groups. Then some distance back we have the chase truck and behind it the support vehicle. What we did was this: first, Dad and the chaplain lagged behind some, creating a large gap in the middle of the chaplain Corp. Then the chase truck passed us and and got into the gap. After that Dad and the other chaplain beside us sped back in front of the truck, leaving the day riders behind.
But they came right back into the wrong place, apparently not getting the hint. So the chase truck and the support vehicle leap-frogged like we had just done and were back in the right positions.
This time they got the hint and left us alone.
We stopped again and got ready for the next hundred miles in the wind.
For two more hours we rode with the wind blasting our faces off. Then we finally got to the destination. People paraded with hundreds of flags. This seemed like the most incredible parade we had gotten the whole time. When we stopped Dad confirmed my lingering suspicion: the parade was not for us. We just happened to be riding with dozens and dozens of veterans. The parade was for those who had done so much and lost so much for our freedom. We were just along for the ride.
We got some free shirts and other stuff at the event. Dad found Chaplain Dean and we talked while most of it went on, so I didn't see much of what it was.
After that we went to a hotel and had dinner. Of course, another event went on while we ate and lots and lots of plaques were handed out. Dad was honored as well as the many others for his being a chaplain.
After that we went to a store to look for a tent, because our tent's zipper was breaking. Once that's gone, the rest of the tent doesn't work well. We couldn't find the right one, though, so we just tried to get the zipper on the first tent to work and we slept in that at the campground that night.

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