On May 24th, StandWatch held its clinic at the annual Run For the Wall (RFTW) motorcycle rally. Each year, thousands of bikers start out in Ontario, California with the goal of reaching the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Memorial Day. Along the way, they stop in various small towns across America. This year, the Central Route riders stopped in Nitro, West Virginia where we linked up to provide medical services.
This is the second year that StandWatch has provided a clinic at RFTW, and we can’t say enough positive things about the experience. Everyone associated with the event is selfless and proud to be an American. Most of the riders are Vietnam vets, but as that generation grows older, younger veterans from the current war are getting involved. It’s an incredible thing to see.
Each year, I’m asked to stand up and tell the riders about StandWatch, our mission, and the services we provide onsite. Quite honestly, I never know what I’m going to say until I walk up to the microphone. This year, I just wanted to thank the riders for allowing us to participate once again. I tried to keep it to 60 seconds, but it pretty much sums up why StandWatch.org supports this ride:
“My name is Zac Northup, and a couple friends and I, Al Conaway and Melin Moses, we run a nonprofit called StandWatch.org. Our general mission is to help any veteran who wants to create, and launch, community-based projects. Our primary mission, particularly here, is to give free healthcare to any veteran who has fallen through cracks in the healthcare system.”
“On the other side of this building here, we have a hospital shelter. It’s a tan tent. If you guys have any issue at all, come see us and we’ll take care of you. We have treated one person already.”
“I know you guys are tired so I’m not going to talk long. I just want to say, as an organization, that we are honored to be here. There’s a lot of talk about how divided the country is, but I think this ride proves all that stuff wrong. You guys are kind of like a thread that weaves its way through the fabric of the country, picking up people as you go, making us stronger. I believe that. I think as veterans, that’s our job. To make the country stronger. We did it in uniform and we can do it now.”
Anyway, come see us. We are deeply proud to be associated with Run For the Wall.
That’s it. That’s why we do Run For The Wall. We treated three patients, but even more importantly, we were there to let these men and women know that most Americans have got their backs.
On an administrative note, Melin, Al, and I want to thank the following people for helping out:
- Isaac Hudson
- Alex Northup
- John Legge
- Kassie Johnson
- Bret Johnson
- Evan Young
- Jody Sowards
- Isaac Gorrell
- Joe Young
- Mark Beck
- Madison Sayre
- City National Bank
- Qdoba Mexican Grille, Charleston
Can’t wait for next year.