AP NEWS

Run for the Wall makes stop in Needles

May 17, 2019

NEEDLES — Motorcycles of nearly every make and model came through Needles on Wednesday as part of the Run for the Wall.

The riders who participate in the event ride under the mission statement “To promote healing among ALL veterans and their families and friends, to call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action (POW/ MIA), to honor the memory of those Killed in Action (KIA) from all wars, and to support our military personnel all over the world.”

Run for the Wall, founded by Vietnam veterans in 1989, is the largest and longest organized cross-country motorcycle ride in the world, crossing the United States during a 10-day trip that culminates at the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

The stop in Needles was one of the first on the trip.

The Needles High School Band treated those who were at Santa Fe Park in front of the El Garces.

When the motorcyclists arrived in Needles they were treated to cold water, food, Powerade and lots of people thanking them for their service.

The motorcyclists who arrived in Needles are traveling the Central Route, one of three routes riders may take to complete the trip from Ontario, California, to Washington.

The Central Route runs through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia.

The Midway Route runs through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia.

The Southern Route runs through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia.

The entourage is scheduled to visit Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington on Saturday, May 25, before continuing on to the Lincoln Memorial and nearby Vietnam Memorial Wall.

While the participants of Run for the Wall were arriving, a group of them called the “outreach team” held a special ceremony.

“During our designated route we meet a Gold Star Family,” said John “Dirt” Grimes. “On behalf of the Run for the Wall we give them tokens of gratitude to the Gold Star Family for their sacrifice.”

The Gold Star Family that received the special token was Lori Deysie, who lost her son, Ara Tyler Deysie, on May 9, 2008.

Eamon Tansey, Central Route coordinator, addressed the people at Santa Fe Park in front of the El Garces. He thanked everyone who came out to support the motorcyclists and thanked all the businesses that donated water, food and other things to the Run for the Wall event.