4:00 AM – really?! – a rider’s meeting and by 6:30 AM, we are on the Pentagon parking lot. Before noon, there was an estimated 900,000 people waiting for the ride to the Wall. It was extremely hot with no shade, but it was worth the price to pay. This ride is for the approximate 700 soldiers still alive in Viet Nam. Our government needs to find them and either bring them home or inform their families that they want to stay, and hopefully provide closure. There is legislation to force our government to follow up on these soldiers and we pray it goes through this year.
It is an incredible experience to ride with hundreds of thousands of motorcycles and have hundreds of thousands of people standing on the streets to greet us. We followed it by a trip to the apex of the Viet Nam Wall and laid a patch and rocker for M25 in honor of Papa Smurf. Papa Smurf was our Point Man for M25 in the Upper South Carolina Conference. We had a very moving prayer as we all knelt and people passing by stopped and honored our time. People came by for a while and thanked us for our prayer and gave us a hug.
Then we walked to the WWII Memorial and laid a patch in honor of Garnett Jones who lived in Virginia and retired from the Army as the Viet Nam war was under way. He was the first veteran to receive our ministry on Run For The Wall the first year out. He always waited for me in Wytheville, VA when we passed by. We had a prayer before we left.
It was a real blessing for Carolyn, Chaplain Moore and I to visit the other campsite where Mission: M25 was feeding the folks at Burke Lake Campsite. CrossRoads did a fantastic job this year. It was cool how both campsites fed the same type of meals: chicken on the first night followed by barbecue pork the next. God really worked through these two churches as they both went above and beyond the ‘call of duty.’
By 10:30 PM we were exhausted and ‘fell’ into our tents to grab some sleep. It was an incredible day that ended with a feeling of “Mission Complete.”