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The American Legion Legacy Run

Indianapolis - Louisville
August 18-23, 2009

Riding for the children of fallen heroes.

An online gathering of American Legion Riders and others interested in the annual American Legion Legacy Run. Click on the "Post a Comment" link following the articles below and join in the discussion!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Another Legacy Run Blog (Kansas style!)

Here is a link to another Blog kept during the run. This was by Brenda & Chris Krueger who were on a Yellow Goldwing with a trailer.

There are some great pictures!


Flamingo Tina


August 28, 2008, 4:20 pm. Mike and I just pulled into our driveway in Panama City, FL. We have ridden 4,334 miles and had more fun than we thought imaginable. We got browner, got fatter (!), and got to participate in an extraordinary event!

Imagine - $515,346.23!!! All for the Legacy Scholarship Fund.

I for one am proud to have ridden with all the Legion Riders on the ride and I'm proud to be a member of the American Legion Riders, representing Unit 356, of the American Legion Auxiliary, Lynn Haven, FL.

I made a new Group on Flickr called Legacy Run to post photos you took of the run. Feel free to add your pictures so we can share! It's a public group you just need a Yahoo ID.

From Panama City, FL, signing off one last time until next year...

Flamingo Tina (

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Final Legacy Ride Video

Hi all,

Here is the final Legacy Ride video I produced for the convention and showed to the group yesterday.

It was a pleasure to document this ride and applaud the Legion Rider's effort in raising money for the children of our fallen heros. Bravo.


Event Videographer

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


The American Legion National Convention is online virtually live on “Legion TV” at our national website below ( Click on the main page links to see the opening ceremony as well as videos of the entire national convention as it unfolds today through Thursday.
Don’t miss the final tally for 2008 for The American Legion Legacy Run as Commander Conatser accepts the last of the Run donations on stage from your fellow Legion Riders. That video is available now (it began running after only a twenty minute delay from Phoenix).

--Bill AWACS Sloan

Sunday, August 24, 2008

2008 Legacy Ride Video Pt.2

Hi all,

We made it to Phoenix safe and sound. What a beautiful ride through Arizona. If you get the chance to drive highway 60 through Snowflake, AZ to Globe, AZ - you'll see some of the prettiest scenery in the west.

Great job to all riders. See you all next year!

Event Videographer

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday, August 22, Phoenix Convention Center

The American Legion Riders gathered at Post 2 for a ceremonial parade to the Convention Center in Phoenix where the National American Legion Convention is being held.

Our last ride meeting with 'Uncle' Dick Woods, as well as our last prayer (which is how we started each day).

There to meet us was National Commander Conatser, National Auxiliary President Jan Pulvermacher-Ryan, and the Son's National Commander would have been there but was kept from convention due to ill health.

Commander Conaster took donations from many, many Legion Riders standing in the hot Phoenix sun but it was all worth it. According to the calculations, the amount of money raised for the Legacy Scholarship Fund - just on the ride - is $320,000.00. We all certainly worked hard to raise this money and can't wait to hear how much more money is donated during Convention.

The Riders had a meeting at 11:00 am where issues were discussed about next year's ride, etc. If anyone has ideas for the ride next year email He is the Dept of Illinois Adjutant but is also one of the National Legion Rider Coordinators. Some want to have regional rides terminate in Indy then ride together to Louisville. Others want a nice 1200-1800 mile ride (something scenic) that ends in Louisville. We have to keep this momentum going. Riding together on a long ride with a common goal is just too good.

Following the meeting, Mike and I were lucky enough to meet Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known as America's Toughest Sheriff!! He was there to recognize the Arizona Riders and their Liberty Bell.

Some Riders will be staying for Convention as delegates, some will be staying just to be there, some have already left, and some will be leaving tomorrow. It is always sad when the ride comes to an end.

As Tom Haines said last night - Our goals for this ride was to Promote the American Legion Legacy Scholarship fund, Arrive in Phoenix safely, and to have fun. Suffice it to say: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

It has been an honor and a pleasure to be your official 'blogger' for the Legacy Run. I hope you enjoyed my posts as much as I enjoyed making them. If you have any suggestions, feedback, or just want to comment, remember you can make a comment below or email me at

Signing off from Phoenix, AZ: Flamingo Tina

Pictures DAY 5

American Legion Riders suited up early on Day 5 of the cross country American Legion Legacy Scholarship Run from Indianapolis to Phoenix. The Riders are shown in the pre-dawn hours west of Gallup, New Mexico.

American Legion Riders descend into the scenic Salt River Canyon between Snowflake and Globe Arizona near the end of a 1,800 mile journey from Indianapolis to Phoenix where The American Legion holds its 90th National Convention.

Marilyn Chom's polyester ponytail whips in the breeze as she rides between Gallup, New Mexico and Phoenix, Ariz,. on Day 5 of The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Run. Chow is a member of the Mt. Clemens Legion Post in Michigan.

"Uncle" Dick Woods, road captain for the third-annual American Legion Legacy Scholarship Run, gives the thumbs up at the end of the 1,800 mile motorcycle ride from Indianapolis Post 64 to Phoenix Post 2. More than 300 American Legion Riders participated in the cross-country ride to raise money for college scholarships for children of military member who have died in the war on terrorism.

Thursday, August 21, Gallup, NM to Tempe, AZ

Early. Really Early. Posse up was at 4:30 am for a 5:30 am kick stands up. This was our last day of riding as a group under the direction of 'Uncle' Dick Woods. So glad to be riding - so sorry to be done!

It was a little chilly - 47 degrees!

I checked with T. J. 'Tom' Haines about how it is to ride at the end of this group - he is the 'sweep' and rides behind everyone. He is also the one who works out all the logistics for this ride - a very tall order! Here is what he had to say...(did I mention that TJ wears highly visible clothing and gloves that glow in the dark???)

Today's ride started so early because we needed to get into Phoenix before the high heat really hit - - our scheduled arrival time was 12:30 pm.

We left in the dark but the sun came up behind us with a vengeance. When we stopped for gas at Snowflake it was already starting to warm up.
Dick had promised a really great ride through the Salt River Canyon but I don't think any of us were ready for the gorgeous ride we had. At first we were saying - we got off the Interstate for this? But about 10 miles into the ride the pine trees got more abundant and then the real ride began!

Canyons, rock bluffs, 25 mph curves, 180 motorcycles, knowing it was our last day together, memories for a lifetime!

I'm hoping to have a video of the canyon ride tomorrow - just have to get it from a rider I know who was filming...

Group A3 - This one's for you, Don, in Dover. We all missed you!

We arrived into Tempe at the Post at 12:30 (as scheduled!) in 108 degree weather. I've ridden in hotter weather but something about the humidity (yes, they have humidity in Phoenix in August) nearly killed some of us!

Once at the Post, we had pictures of TJ and Dick, the Texas/Michigan Logistics Crew, Road Captains, Asst Road Captains, and Sweeps, Lady Riders, etc. It is hard to imagine that the ride is officially finished.

Texas/Michigan 'Crew'

Road Captains/Sweeps/Asst Road Captains
Ladies who rode from Indy to Tempe!
One important note: National Commander Conaster took donations and the tally is up over $240,000.00. There will be more donations made tomorrow when we get the 'official' greeting for Convention.

For now, suffice it to say that I am proud to have ridden with all you Legion Riders from Indianapolis, IN to Tempe, AZ. Can't wait to ride with you again next year!

If you have pictures or a blog that you would like to have posted here, please email me at and I will get it posted.

This Blog will be posted for a while to make sure that people have time to get home and read/look at all this info!

Signing off from Tempe, AZ: Flamingo Tina

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Warrior Spirit


You guys are doing a wonderful job. I wish I was there with you this year but I am there in spirit!!! Hanging out here in the California Desert getting ready for my 5th Combat Tour coming in the coming months. Hopefully I will get to ride with you next year. Stay safe, and break the record for donations.

Love you all,
MAJ John P. Spanogle

Pictures DAY 4

American Legion Riders roar into the Route 66 Travel Center wast of Albuquerque to refuel for the last time before their Day 4 overnight stop at Gallup, New Mexico.

Cheri Ray takes a little time away from her duties as an advance team member for the Indianapolis to Phoenix American Legion Legacy Run to repair chaps belonging to Bob Swanson, past commander of Omaha, Neb. Post 1. The zipper repair took place at Albuquerque Legion Post 99 whose members hosted lunch for the nearly 200 American legion Riders.

New Mexico State Policemen Eric Jones chats with Dolly Collins at a fuel stop east of Albuquerque. He husband, a member of Fremont, Ind., Post 1 talked Dolly into taking the ride from Indianapolis to Phoenix. Dolly was not in trouble. Numerous New Mexico police department escorted the Legion Riders through The Land of Enchantment.

American legion Rider Dave Adam of Minneapolis Legion Post 1 waits his turn in line at the first fuel stop in New Mexico on Day 4 of The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Run. "Today's sunshine sure beats the rain we fought through on Oklahoma," he said.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, Tucumcari, NM to Gallup, NM

Commander Conatser addressed our Riders meeting at 7:00 am at the Elks Lodge in Tucumcari.

We rode out in 57 degree temperature, overcast skies. The New Mexico roads leave a lot to be desired but the New Mexico law enforcement gives new meaning to 'police support'. Two motorcycle state police rode with us across the entire state!

As we rode across Albuquerque law enforcement blocked every entrance to I 40 so we rode through town the only ones on the road! When we arrived at Post 99 for lunch, it looked like a New Mexico State Trooper/Albuquerque Police convention! As you can see from the picture, they had plenty of officers to help block traffic.

Post 99 greeted us cheerfully and fed us royally! The food and hospitality were wonderful. Here are pictures of the greeters and the Commander.

Once we got out of Albuquerque, we had a 2 troopers with us all the way to Gallup. They even blocked traffic so if we had road construction and went down to 1 lane, there was no traffic coming up behind us to impede our lane change.

Riders Right Hand Salute to New Mexico!!

We rode into Gallup around 4:30, checked into the Best Western, gassed up, I'm doing this Blog, then I'm going to bed EARLY!
Tomorrow we posse up at 4:30 am with kick stands up at 5:30 am for the ride through the mountains down to Tempe. We will arrive at 12:30 - early enough to miss the hottest part of the day.

I can't believe tomorrow is the last day of the ride - it has been such a pleasure riding with all these wonderful Legion Riders from all over the United States. I close tonight with miscellaneous pics of the riders preparing to leave our first gas stop today - - just relaxing on or around their bikes - you can see there is quite a mixture of Riders!

Signing off: Flamingo Tina from Gallup, NM

ALR Poet Laureate Dan McGuire

Below is a stunningly beautiful poem that Dan McGuire, a Legacy Run comrade, wrote on August 15, just after arriving in Indianapolis with the gang from Maryland. See his daily reflections on life, motorcycles, Flights and Units, and 18-wheelers here and at

Couldn’t sleep last night
Dragged myself out of bed.
Loaded stuff on the B’Mer
The battery was dead.

I stood there quite baffled,
Really, how could it be?
Then I recalled little Eva
Laughing, playing my CD.

I gave the bike a push
Rolled it down the drive
Slowly let the clutch out.
The B’Mer came alive!

It was still quite early,
When I headed for the meet.
Figured I’d get some coffee
A little something to eat.

I was first at Arby’s
Looking for the men.
Is anyone aware
Arby’s opens up at ten?

You’d never guess to hear us,
Shouting, music and horn.
It’d been a half century
Since any of us were born.

Squid was elected our leader,
I’d love to make him stop
Rearranging all the riders
For that first photo op.

We really looked quite organized
A staggered block long chain.
Then our leaders redirected us
By random change of lane.

We lunched in Pennsylvania,
The traffic was a pity.
The roads and lines of travel,
Surely designed by committee.

We left a strong contingent
The long trip a thing of pride
We all felt a bit comfort
On the trailer was not our ride.

The fallen steed is now on trailer
Sympathy to our comrade Jay.
Tomorrow a gang of 11?
Right now I cannot say.

We saw the night’s accommodations
Our expectations were quite low
What the Econolodge delivered
We’d prefer you do not know.

---Dan McGuire, August 15, 2008

More to come! For more blogging content and pictures of the "Reisterstown Riders" and The American Legion Legacy Run, go to the Maryland Post 116 website:

Pictures Day 3

Texas District 18 Legionnaires present a Texas flag to American Legion National Commander Marty Conatser during a lunch hosted by Shamrock, Texas Post 68.

Legion Riders used a number of strategies to stay dry during their ride from Oklahoma City and Tucumcari, New Mexico on Day 3 of their 1,800 mile trip from Indianapolis to Phoenix. Many used hi-tech rain gear. This rider used plastic shopping bags to keep his boots and feet dry.

Waterlogged American Legion Riders arrive for a lunch stop in Shamrock, Texas.

American Legion Riders awoke to a rain on Day 3 of the American Legion Legacy Run. They negotiated highway construction and rain for most of the day as they traveled from Oklahoma City to Tucumcari, New Mexico

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Warrensburg, MO ALR Group Works Gas Stop

I received the following email from 'Mud' . . . I took this picture of a few of their bikes with the flags waving while at the gas stop...

Hi Tina,

Just wanted you to know that the Joplin, MO fuel stop was run by ALR Chapter 131 from Warrensburg, Missouri. We left our post at 5:30 am on Monday to make the 180 mile run to Joplin to help out the Legacy Run. 19 bikes made the trip with Old Glory waiving from our bikes...two of our officers ran to Springfield to catch up with the Run at that fuel stop and rode on to Joplin then helped out with that fuel stop. After the fuel stop that I believe only took 20 minutes (I was told the fastest ever) our Chapter presented a check in the amount of $600.00 to the National American Legion Commander as a chapter donation to the Legacy Scholarship Fund.

We ride hundreds of miles each year supporting our Veterans and Military personal and we like to coin our phrase "THIS IS WHAT WE DO! KICKSTANDS UP - LETS RIDE!"


Dave Mudd "Mud"
Missouri ALR Chapter 131, Director
Warrensburg, Missouri

2008 Legacy Run Video Capsule Pt 1

Hi all, 

Here is a short capsule from the first two days of the 2008 Legacy Run.  We are in Tucumcari, New Mexico tonight.  Two more days of the ride to go!

Watch for Pt 2 of this series when we arrive in Phoenix.

Thanks for checking this out.  We're having a great ride!

Derek Tow

Tuesday, August 19, Oklahoma City, OK to Tucumcari, NM

Robert from Texas was all decked out in his rain gear - - hope you can make out what he says about riding in the rain.

Words to describe today: Wet. Grey. Soup. Cold.

It is hard to describe what it is like putting on rain gear at dawn, packing your bike in the rain, holding the safety briefing in the rain, then riding out of Oklahoma City in the Wet, Grey, Soupy, Cold, Rain.

I think I can speak for all the riders that today bonded us even more with dealing with this weather. The rain held with us through Amarillo, Tx. It was spooky when towering wind generators appeared out of the mist in Western Oklahoma - - they looked like some science fiction creature chopping fog for sport! I wish I had a helmet cam so I could have taken a picture.

The Clinton, OK Post had coffee and doughnuts for us at our first gas stop. What a relief to get out of the rain and drink something hot. I realized I didn't have enough layers on - most people started adding jackets under rain gear and tried not to leave too many puddles at the Post!

Lunch was at Shamrock Tx Post #68. More Bar-B-Q Texas style! At no cost to the Riders. Also, this wonderful Post hosted us at the Valero gas station for free gas for all bikes. Now, folks, there are about 160 bikes at this point and we all took on about 2.5 gallons - - that's a lot of gas and a great donation from this Post for this event. YOU GET A RIDERS RIGHT HAND SALUTE!

Even though it was still raining the food and gas really made us all feel great so we bundled up and rode out of Shamrock heading for our last gas stop in Vega, TX. We were SO happy when we left Amarillo and the rain finally came to an end. The plains of Texas gave way to the dessert of New Mexico and we rode in sunshine for the first time since Tulsa, OK.

The ride from Vega into Tucumcari was so enjoyable because for the first time today we could all relax, enjoy the scenery, and ride like the wind.

Tucumcari ALR Chapter #9 and the Elks Lodge hosted a Mexican dinner that was to die for! Thanks to all the volunteers who cooked and served.

Commander Conatser took donations and as of this evening, donations are at $208,466.00. That includes the $29,713.00 collected this evening alone!

We head to Gallup, NM tomorrow. Kick Stands Up at 7:30 am. The rain tuckered me out!

Signing off: Flamingo Tina, Tucumcari, NM

Althea Peterson, Tulsa World--Great Reporting!

Althea Peterson of the Tulsa World reported on The American Legion Legacy Run as it passed through Tulsa and visited Post 308. Click on this link to that organization's website for her great video:

Pictures DAY 2

American Legion Riders gather for early morning safety and information meeting in St. Robert, Mo., at the start of the second day of the American Legion Legacy Scholarship Ride from Indianapolis, Ind., to Phoenix, Ariz.

American Legion volunteers Skeeter Petty (left) and Richard Holdren assist American Legion Rider Ray Sutton from post 178 in Van Wirt, Ohio during a fuel stop Aug. 18 between St. Robert, Mo., and Oklahoma City, Okla. The RIders are traveling from Indianapolis, Ind., to Phoenix, Ariz., to raise money for The American Legion Legacy Scholarship.

Fairfax, Va., Post 179 Legionnaire Mike Nicholas directs arriving American Legion Riders Aug. 18 at a fuel stop in Missouri during the second day of The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Ride.

The lead group of American Legion Riders cross a bridge along historic Route 66 that spans the Verdigris River east of Oklahoma City, Okla. By the end of day 2 Riders on the run from Indianapolis, Ind., to Phoenix, Ariz., had collected more than $180,000 in donations towards the $350,000 goal for The American Legion Legacy Scholarship.