VFW Fuels Cross-Country Riders

Since 2013, VFW Headquarters’ Membership Department has assisted motorcyclists traveling to the nation’s capital for the annual Run for the Wall event

The VFW Membership Department at the National Headquarters did its part in supporting the 2022 Run for the Wall, which is in support of Vietnam War veterans who lost their lives in the war.

The Membership Department since 2013 has held a “gas up” event in Concordia, Missouri. The town is located about 60 miles east of Kansas City, Missouri.

Motorcyclists fuel up at a gas station in Concordia, Missouri
Motorcyclists from across the country line up to receive fuel on May 23 in Concordia, Missouri, during the VFW National Headquarters Membership Department’s pit stop event in support of the 32nd Run for the Wall. Photo by Dave Spiva.
This year, the Membership Department donated about $1,500 for the fuel used for some 350 motorcyclists.

VFW Membership Eligibility Coordinator Matt Nute said the event was a “sight to see” and helped the Run for the Wall participants on their journey.

“The entire town turns up with flags and signs, and there are people with flags on all the overpasses leading up to Concordia,” Nute said. “It’s a really great experience for the riders.”

The Run for the Wall, an event established in 1988, is a coordinated effort of motorcyclists across the country in support of Vietnam War veterans killed in action. Riders of the central route, one of three routes for the event, began in Ontario, California, located about 35 miles east of Los Angeles, and ended at the Vietnam War memorial in Washington, D.C.

Run for the Wall’s Central Route Coordinator Tom Miller said he has been a part of the Concordia event 13 times. He said the community and veterans service organizations, including VFW, have always supported the motorcyclists.

“They are always awesome,” said Miller, an Army veteran. “I’m from California, and every year I get to see America. Along the way, VFW Posts help us with gas or meals.”

Miller, who served from 1967 to 1970 with the 1st Cavalry, said at least 80 percent of the riders are veterans and that many are VFW members or at least support VFW.

Paul Marshall, the assistant route coordinator, said he “appreciated the work of the VFW,” from Posts across the country to the fuel VFW’s Membership Department gives to the riders.

“The VFW is an important part of this trip,” the Army veteran said. “The Run for the Wall could not happen without the VFW.”

This article is featured in the 2022 August issue of VFW magazine, and was written by Dave Spiva, associate editor for VFW magazine.