Sunday was a great day. I love it for a couple of reasons the first is that we hold a morning church service. This was in Goodland Kansas. This town was a new stop for RFTW and they really did it right. Our base was the town's armory where they fed and entertained us both in the evening and next morning. Our service is usually held out doors before the rider meeting. Because of wind and temperature we moved inside to where breakfast was being served. I asked Chaplain Phillip Rittermeyer from Ft. Carson to share the morning message. He did an outstanding job as he spoke of true hope. Chp. Rittermeyer has been a part of RFTW for many years and many of us have watched as he trained and started his military career. While in Iraq many RFTW family members sent care packages and prayed for his safe return. This was a a very moving reunion as Chp. Rittermeyer shared.
Our ride across Kansas has been very windy, but we have avoided the rain so far. Our usual lunch stop in Oakley Kansas was pleasant and very filling as the people of that town come together to give a true feast. From there as we approach Junction city the highway over passes are frequently crowded with patriotic individuals doing their best to let our many veteran riders know they are loved and appreciated in the heart of this great land. One particular over-pass is absolutely cover in red, white. and blue. Dozens of flags, banners and individuals crowd this structure as we ride by. They are responsible for billions of goose bumps and many tears as we journey on.
Junction City has become a highlight of the run. As we approach a park in the town, where their Vietnam War Memorial is located, the streets are lined with waving citizens. Hundreds of waving flags are held, hung, and placed along the route. As we make our final approach you see what appears to be a small canyon made of American flags. The final few blocks of our ride is crowded with cheering individuals holding full size American flags and cheering "thank you" and "welcome home." Many of our veteran riders are overcome at this sight. There will always be controversy of how our troops were treated after returning home form the Vietnam war. I don't have all the answers about this issue but I know any vet on a bike coming into Junction City yesterday received a hero's welcome.