CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Many bikers who take part in the Run for the Wall cross country trip every year say they ride for Veteran family members or friends, but others like Randy Vogel, of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, says he rides “for those who can’t.”
“We ride for those that were lost in previous battles that we’re, unfortunately, still losing today and even those in our veteran’s hospitals and people that can’t ride for other reasons,” Vogel told MetroNews during a stop at the State Capitol.
Hundreds of bikers arrived in Charleston Thursday morning after stopping in Nitro Wednesday.
The annual 10-day trip begins in California and ends Friday at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. ahead of this Memorial Day.
This is Vogel’s fourth year riding. He joined his friend Jerry Ewing, of Belton, Missouri, who is a six-year rider. Both men met up with the group in Kansas City, Missouri.
The journey to Charleston included some rain and tornado warnings, but the two men said that did not stop them from riding.
“It doesn’t matter to us what the weather is — whether it’s t-shirts or rain coats, we’ll continue the mission,” Ewing said.
“This is a mission,” added Vogel. “A lot of people think it’s just a motorcycle ride. No. It’s mission to Washington, D.C. to make sure our leaders in D.C. never forget that we still have those missing in action that haven’t been brought home to their families.”
Vogel said he always know when they’ve made it to West Virginia because the people are so friendly.
“People here are so warm and welcoming every time we come in,” he said. “We always meet a lot of smiling folks and they’re always very, very happy to see us.”
Bikers will next travel to Rainelle. When they arrive in D.C., they’ll lay a wreath and plaque at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.