‘Run for the Wall’ Veterans Ride Pulls Into D.C. Today

May 26, 2017 View Comments by

Cookeville

After nearly two weeks on the road, Run for the Wall (RFTW) participants will be arriving today at their final destination: Washington, D.C.

With a tagline of “riding for those who can’t,” the cross-country event has a mission to call attention to prisoners of war and those missing in action; to honor those killed in action from all wars; to promote healing among veterans and their families; and to support United States military personnel across the globe.

The emotionally and physically demanding 10-day journey began in California on May 17, and ends Memorial Day weekend in D.C., with visits to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery. Along the way, the riders make stops at memorials, veterans hospitals, and schools, and are often welcomed into towns with much fanfare. Stops have included Winslow, AZ, Colorado City, TX, and Wytheville, VA. A favored midway stop was Cookeville, TN.

Serving as the only overnight stop in Tennessee, Cookeville welcomed the procession of more than 300 riders down Jefferson Avenue. The riders were escorted by the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Cookeville Police, and Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, and residents stood on the sidelines waving American flags. With event partnerships spanning from Harley-Davidson to the American Motorcycle Association, the town has developed a reputation as a hub for motorcycling.

“There is always one city that stands out,” said James “Gunny” Gregory, RFTW founder. “Cookeville is obviously that city for the Midway Route. This community’s hospitality is one I know remains in each of our hearts throughout the year, and only grows with each year we return.”

To learn more about Run for the Wall, visit www.rtfw.us.

To learn more about Cookeville, visit www.visitcookevilleTN.com.

Photography: Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors Bureau

 

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