If you happen to see a larger than usual number of motorcycles in the Dallas/Fort Worth area come May 21 it might be the “Run for the Wall” motorcycle ride that is coming through Texas again this year. The ride is part of a larger event that begins in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. and ends in Washington, D.C. 10 days later.
A ride to promote healing for veterans, their families and friends, Run for the Wall is about an accounting of all the Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action, also honoring the many who have been Killed in Action over the years.
The ride will come through the City of Grand Prairie, but it’s a Dallas/Fort Worth event overall with the Dallas County [Mesquite] Vet Center and the Taylor County [Abilene] Mobile VC staff on hand to meet with the veterans participating in the event.
Grand Prairie “Run for the Wall” Coordinator Mary Anne Hand says of the event “We will greet riders and feed them while we have a ceremony honoring them [at the high school].”
In its 28th year, about 450 to 500 riders are expected to descend on Grand Prairie on that Saturday at around 6:30 p.m. at Dubiski Career High School. Then on May 22nd, the riders will be at Wal-Mart off I-20 and Great Southwest Parkway where they will be served coffee and a small breakfast before they leave at 8:00 a.m. to continue their way to Washington D.C.
Hand says the riders began stopping off in the city back in 2010. As in years past folks will gather to send the riders on their way at either the Wal-Mart or at the Fish Creek Bridge overpass.
“These riders come from all over the country to do this ride,” Hand explains. “Some only go part of the way, but the majority does the whole ride.”
There are three routes all leaving from California heading east, Grand Prairie is part of the Southern Route option.
“I wish to have lots of people greeting the riders as they come in,” Hand says. “Only my volunteers and the RFTW riders can enter the cafeteria at Dubiski Career High School, but this year we will have speakers outside so greeters can hear the ceremony and greeters can meet and talk to the riders when they park their motorcycles in the parking lot too.”
On hand for the event the Mobile Vet Center offers the riders a chance to ask a variety of questions about services they are eligible for as well as to discuss individual, group, and family readjustment counseling for Veterans and their families in making a successful transition from combat to civilian life. There will also be nurses available if needed.
The event is sponsored by the City of Grand Prairie, Grand Prairie ISD, Grand Prairie Police, Longhorn Harley-Davidson, Local DFW area businesses, Local Grand Prairie Veterans Organizations, Dallas County VC and Grand Prairie RFTW volunteers. Hand concludes proudly that this year they were also able to pay for an entire fuel stop for the riders in Cisco, Texas.
“This money will fuel all the motorcycles and the chase trucks,” Hand concludes. “We did the fuel stop in Cisco because Grand Prairie doesn't have a designated fuel stop where they shut down entire gas stations to fuel all the vehicles.”