Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 5: Last Day Before the Run

We got to sleep in and have a slow breakfast one more time.  Chaplain Duane Gryder came and joined us, along with "Road Thing," the Central Route Senior Chaplain this year.  It was raining lightly, so I was glad we could stay inside.

Dad needed a few giant safety pins to get his chaplain armband on his vest.  The pins were actually kilt pins, or something like that, but they looked like they wouldn't come loose like the little safety pins we had used in the past.  Chaplain Gryder bought his at a craft store about a mile away.  Dad had me walk over there, but I got lost for just a little while.  Eventually, I figured out where I was and where I needed to be and found the store.  I felt awkward in my biker leathers next to a bunch of sewing people with "kilt pins" and was glad to be walking back to the hotel.

When it came around lunch time, Dad and I went to a Barbecue pit to talk for a while, but we didn't want to blow a bunch of cash there, so we just walked a little way over to Carl's Jr. to eat.

The FNG* meeting followed soon after.  There were many new people coming to the Run this year, so the meeting was very crowded.  The Route Coordinator and others discussed the basics of the Run--what to do, how to ride, things to avoid and more.

Then there was a bike blessing.  Dad gave away a lot of bike blessing stickers.  A free dinner was served afterward.  With almost all of the riders there, the line was extremely long.  I just waited until most of the people had eaten before I got in line.

While we all ate, there were free giveaways and many people talked on a trailer with speakers hooked up.  Dad went up and talked about RFTA, which stands for Run For Them All, and organization Dad has helped start.  The goal of the organization is to get new people on the Run so when Vietnam era vets cannot continue the ride it does not end.  They helped five FNG's afford going on the ride this year and are raising funds by selling patches.

After that there wasn't much left to do but go to bed and get ready for the start of the Run For The Wall.

*New people to the Run are called FNG's.  In Vietnam, this was a name for new soldiers.  On the Run, many refer to FNG as Fine New Guy.

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