The new falcon herald logo.
Feature Articles

Annual Run for the Wall is a run for them all

Each year, thousands of motorcycle riders make their way across America on a journey of healing that also serves as a tribute to military members who risk and give up their lives in the line of duty.On May 24, some of those bikers will pass through Falcon.James “JWilly” Williams, who retired after 21 years serving in both the United States Army and U.S. Air Force, will be on one of those bikes as he participates in the annual Run for the Wall, a cross-country journey from California to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C.Williams completed the 2015 run; and plans to repeat this year.”Run for the Wall really impacted me. I didn’t think it would affect me that way,î Williams said. ìThere are a lot of Vietnam veterans who participate in the run, and I think it’s very therapeutic for them because they did not get the homecoming they should have.”The annual 10-day-long ride began in 1989 when Vietnam veterans James Gregory and Bill Evans traveled across the country on their motorcycles. Today, three cross-country routes allow thousands of motorcyclists comprised of veterans, active duty personnel and their friends and family to honor veterans and military service members, to honor the memory of those killed in action, to call for the accounting of those missing in action or taken as prisoners of war and to support military personnel worldwide.Williams said the ride can be “grueling,” as he recalled dodging tornadoes and enduring rain and snow during his first ride.”I thought of all the men and women overseas and thought, ‘If they can do that, I can do this.’ Then I remember looking up and seeing about 10 or 15 people on the overpass. I really came to peace,” Williams said.On their way to Washington, riders participate in parades, and visit schools, monuments and museums like the Special Forces Museum at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. First-time Run for the Wall bikers ride in procession through Arlington National Cemetery, an experience Williams described as “very somber and humbling.”Fuel teams, staging teams and road guards make sure the motorcycles are refueled and no one is left behind. People line the highways, roads and overpasses to get a glimpse of the riders and show their support by cheering and waving flags.In Colorado, the riders on the central route refuel in Pueblo and ride through Colorado Springs and Falcon on their way to Limon. American Legion District 7’s four American Legion Rider programs, including Falcon’s American Legion Riders Post 2008, contribute to lunch and fuel expenses for the bikers, said Frank Serrano, a retired Air Force veteran and president of American Legion Riders Post 2008.”This is the type of thing we support in the American Legion and in the American Legion Riders. To have that support system means so much to these guys,” Serrano said. He estimated that about 60 percent of Run for the Wall is paid for by the American Legion institution.”It’s great to see the community out there with us, and the ride is the opportunity to be patriotic and honor the fallen,” Williams said.Dinah Carney, another Air Force veteran, also participated in last year’s Run for the Wall and is preparing to participate again this year. Itís about camaraderie, she said.”The military is something you sign up for, it’s something you do,î Carney said. ìBut (the Run for the Wall) is something you do because you want to do it. People of all ages ñ- families ñ- come together as a group. It’s very memorable.îWilliams added, “You learn about the warrior spirit and what it means to be a warrior. People may break down emotionally on this ride, but there’s a support system. We don’t leave anyone behind.”The 2016 Run for the Wall Central Route riders, which include riders from the local American Legion Riders Post 2008, are scheduled to ride through Falcon on Saturday, May 21. A gathering is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Rock Island Trail in Colorado Springs to support the riders on their way to Limon. For more information, contact American Legion Riders Post 2008 at 719-270-0896 or more on Run for the Wall, visit

StratusIQ Fiber Internet Falcon Advertisement

Current Weather

Weather Cams by StratusIQ

Search Advertisers