Three days on the road now, or maybe it’s four days. Rolling 70 strong and counting. Visits to Veterans Homes, Memorials, and schools are adding up too.

We rip across interstate highways, and roll strong along two lanes into the heartlands communities. People line the streets with cheers and flags waving, cars and trucks in opposing lanes pull over and stop; not only in town, but on open highways. Yesterday my arms burned from intense sunshine, and today an early rain and afternoon clouds keep things comfortable for leathers all day.

We were welcomed at state Veterans Homes and Hospitals by the Veterans of WW II, Korea, and Vietnam. It’s great to meet these guys and listen to a story or two. They get to feeling a little couped up and a fresh face makes their day more enjoyable. Some of the guys outliving their families and friends are especially grateful for the company. It’s important to let them know they are not forgotten. I was honored to assist with the wreath laying ceremony for a Medal of Honor recipient, PFC Daniel Bruce, 19 years old, when he gave his life so his buddies would live. Continue reading

The rains fell in the right places, away from the ride.

Thirty seven years after the Marguerittaville summer, I returned to Ottumwa, Iowa. I didn’t recognize the place!

Mike gave me a tour of the countryside and his old hometown called Eldon, site of the American Gothic House. For those of you unfamiliar with the artistic significance of Eldon, as Mike was too; it’s home to the second most recognized painting next to the Mona Lisa – see attached photo.

After Mike loaded his toys on the trailer, we dropped off his rig at a friends farm, unloaded the bike, and then headed out to meet up with the NVAR (National Veteran’s Awareness Ride) riders. Along the way, we stopped in Winterset, Iowa. In case that name doesn’t ring a bell, it’s the birthplace of John Wayne. How cool was that. Continue reading