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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Odessa Tx

Diana here at the Holiday Inn at Hwy 191 in Odessa hooked me up with a room comp. She said it was inspiring what I was doing.... Some days I don't feel so inspired. Mari and Jerrika also work at the hotel and were equally interested. They are 3 sweet young ladies.
Yesterday was a rough one for the first half. I had slept in a cotton field te night before and a heavy lightening storm came thru followed by hard winds and rain. My poor tent woulda flown away if I hadn't been in it. So because of that storm I only got a few hours sleep so I was tired. I have also been fighting heavy head winds which make progress slow and cause me to work twice as hard with each step. Well, thank the Lord for every connection I have met cuz yesterday those connections came thru. I won't try to detail it out but the basic is this...... I spoke to a Gold Star mom yesterday. Gold Star Moms are named such once they have lost a child to war. Not a title anyone chooses that's for sure but certainly it holds a bit of honor amongst the military community. So her name was Lita and she had a friend who was driving west to a bike rally an said I should go. So, I get in touch with Melissa who is also a GS mom and she scoops me up in her Big Red Dodge Ram called "Beast" which is. Rolling tribute to her son RJ who was KIA in Iraq, 2006. So we go to this function which turns out to be the "Run To The Wall" ride which brings awareness to our vets and works to keep the soldiers honored as opposed to how the Vietnam vets were so horribly treated. Well, the ride was headig east and I was going west and Melissa was going to meet up withthem so it all worked out. I met soooooooo many amazing vets at the rally. I can't begin to explain the stories I heard and the history I came in contact with. What a true honor to e able to be in their prescence. There were over 140 bikes there and maybe twice as many people. I met too many parents that have lost a child. That was kinda tough to hear. After the rally and good food, we all rode over to the memorial wall and had a candle light vigil in remembrance of all te POW/MIA's out there. Again, it was so touching to hear tees vets get up an speak about how it was then and whatvthey went thru. I felt so insignificant when I compared my deployment with theirs. These vets are the true heroes.
I stayed with a local vet in midland last night. "Kojak" and his wife LeAnne put me up for the night. Great folks they are and great hosts.
This morning Darrell(Kojak) and I went over to the memorial again for the laying of the wreath ceremony an then I was allowed a short intro of what I was doing. Several spec ops guys came up and hugged me and I was really speechless. I felt dumb for a minute. I was so awestruck when I was talking that i forgot my usual well rehearsed rhetoric for a fumbling of words that I'm not sure was elegant. They seemed to get it though.
After this we all went to I-20 and waited for them to come by. Wild Bill iwas out there saluting them as they drove by. If you watch the YouTube videos I made you can see alot of the bikes and you will see us down on the road. After all that I headed west from midland to Odessa an found the holiday inn that is comping my room. When I hit the Odessa outskirts a marine Purple Heart recipient stopped me and told me his short story. We said a few words and he gave me a few dollars. I also have had several people stop mentoday and say sinkage nice things. After this past 5-6 days that have just pretty much been horrible... This has been a nice change.
I may stay another night here at te hotel just to get some relax time in. I'm about to hit the wide open spaces I her. After Odessa it's pretty much nada. Should be fun.
Everyone have a great weekend and don't forget to do your pushups!
Thank a vet!


  1. Stock up on supplies then, OK?

  2. Glad to hear that you have had a place to rest. I have been concerned about the storms that have been battering you. The first time that I was at the moveable wall, I was a wreck. It was twenty years after my brother was killed in South Vietnam and I wept like a baby. It disturbed my children and my husband. I didn't go to the actual wall in DC because I was afraid of my reaction, though I did give my son a rose to leave there. Sad that I can't face that. I don't go to his grave either for the same reasons. He only lived 19 years and I have lived forty years passed the time that he died and still have problems with it. That is the impact that it leaves forever.

    I am worried about you being passed Odessa. I hope the weather and everything will be good for you. Schedule refueling stops. I will be watching for your posts and updates and promise to notify authorities if I don't hear regularly from you. You are in my prayers. Your safety is my concern.