By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer
“We ride for those who can’t” is the Run for the Wall’s motto, dedicated to honoring prisoners of war and soldiers still missing in action.
Arnie Swift, a Vietnam veteran and part of the Run for the Wall’s Road Guard, stopped by OOIDA headquarters in Grain Valley, Mo., in late May to say thank you for the Association’s continued support for the Run for the Wall, the annual motorcycle pilgrimage to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
This was the 25th anniversary of the ride to D.C. and marked the 17th year that Swift has participated in the ride.
He said his role is constantly changing. This year he was part of the road guard. A few years ago he served as the chaplain for riders along the Central Route, and he has also been an ambassador for Run for the Wall.
“I go where I am needed,” Swift told Land Line. “I have had the unique perspective of being in the front of the group to being at the very end, but it’s great to just be a part of this.”
He said nearly 450 riders participated, including many FNG – Fine New Guy/Gal or first-timers – on this year’s Run for the Wall.
“It was wonderful at the end to see all of the FNGs turn their pins upside down, signaling that they had completed the mission,” Swift said.
He said besides the Southern and Central routes, the plan is to add a third route, along Interstate 40, next year. LL