AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Run for the Wall riders making a stop in Amarillo this weekend as they make their annual trip to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., The riders will stay overnight Friday, where they will have a dinner hosted by Christian Heritage Church.
“These are combat vets. A lot of them. They are either riding for the wars they were in and friends and family they lost or they are riding in honor of a family member they lost,” said Litha Bagsby, Run for the Wall dinner coordinator.
For over three decades, Run for the Wall has had the same mission of promoting healing among all veterans and their families and friends, a call for accounting for all POWs and those missing in action, and honoring the memories of those killed in action.
They do this by riding across the country from California to Washington D.C. to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and by making numerous stops along the way.
Ken “Six String” Dugas, the midway route coordinator for Run for the Wall said this ride provides a sense of healing among the veterans that take part.
“Every year I see, what I can the Run for the Wall miracle, where some of these veterans who have been struggling with their demons for over 50 years start finding healing with Run for the Wall,” said Dugas.
Bagsby said they have been feeding the bikers that have stopped in Amarillo for more than 12 years and said it feels good to give these riders a place to relax.
“It gives us a chance to thank them for their service and to love on them. A lot of them were Vietnam Vets that never got loved on, so it’s very heartwarming,” said Bagsby.
Danny “Stew” Stewart said there is a fellowship among those that ride for Run for the Wall that can’t be broken.
“They welcome those guys in here and by the time they get to DC, they are a brotherhood and it’s awesome,” said Stewart.
Dugas added there are over 1,500 riders participating this year with the four different routes.
The next stop for the midway route of the Run for the Wall will be Shawnee, Oklahoma.
Dugas said that this year for the first time, they will also be going to the Middle Eastern Conflicts Wall in Marseilles, Illinois after departing from Arlington on May 24th.
More information on the Run for the Wall and its routes can be found here.