Thursday, August 27, 2009
The goal for this year was $400,000. 00. At Convention on Tuesday, august 25th donations have reached $609,131. !!!
This blows all the other years out of the water! It was a thrill to watch everyone give their donations - - it was a great thrill to see TJ get up and give $32,000 (Converse Texas???) wish we could have been there.
I just received word from Bad Bob Crouch that there are pictures out there - I'll keep posting!
Signing off: Flamingo Tina
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I am sorry I was unable to make the Legacy Run for the 3rd year in a row but I am here in Kabul, Afghanistan on what I think is a higher mission. Be it known that I am there in spirit and via reading the blog. I have attached a letter that I would like read to the riders as they come to the great Commonwealth of Virginia. I would truly appreciate it if someone could read it to them.
H. David "Doc" Shaw
Central Post Office Bx 458
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Dear Legacy Run Riders,
Greetings from Kabul, Afghanistan where I am currently serving not on a military mission but armed instead with books and knowledge as we educate the hearts and minds of the young Afghans leaders who will lead this country into future. It saddens me that after participating with you all for two years that I am not with you again and cannot, in person, welcome you to my home state, the great Commonwealth of Virginia. Let it be known, however, that my heart and my mind are with you throughout this great mission that you are undertaking. I know it will be another overwhelming success.
I know many of you would like to know of the success of Operation Enduring Freedom here in Afghanistan. The one thing that I learned while living in the D.C. metro area and now even more living here in Afghanistan is that you cannot trust everything you hear, read, or see in the media. To paraphrase Mark Twain, “the news of the demise of Afghanistan is great exaggerated.” I often read the western news and shake my head in wonder as they report mostly negative things about the mission here. I am here, and trust me when I tell you that the U.S. and its International partners are winning the war on terror in Afghanistan and that the Afghan people truly appreciate all that is being done for them. They look back at the dark days of the Soviet invasion and then civil war and their days under the Taliban rule and they truly know what was and could be without the support of the U.S. and the international communities and not a day goes by when we are not thanked for what we are doing for them. I know I am speaking to the choir here as you all support our troops with an undying passion. Please continue to do so and to support the non military mission here as well.
As someone who has done it, I know you all will cherish your ride in the Legacy Run 2009. My memories of the past two years are permanently indelled in my mind. Most memorable, however, is that moment in which we were told that we had exceeded our goals in raising funds for the children of our fallen troops. I know once again you all will be successful in that effort. Have a great ride, a safe ride, and keep the shiny side up.
H. David “Doc” Shaw
Monday, August 24, 2009
I received pictures from South Carolina today. This group from Post 178 and Post 166 rode the Legacy Run this year. The first picture is taken at Post 64 in Indianapolis prior to the Run.
The second picture is of Bob Duncan, South Carolina State Director presenting a check for $10,000 from Chapter 178 Murrells Inlet,S.C. Last year they gave $500 and swore they'd be back this year with more - - this was a LOT more!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
These overpasses held American Legion, Legion Riders, Auxiliary, SAL and community supporters of the Legacy Run. It made the last few miles into Wheeling WV easier! We salute those volunteers who stood on overpasses and waited for the run to 'ride under'!
The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund goal this year is $400,000. Donations as of this morning were over $300,000. and convention hasn't even convened! Legion Riders from across the nation continued to give donations to National Executive Director Marty Justice at the Legion Rider meeting today in Louisville.
One of the wonderful things about being part of the Legacy Run is hearing about all the ways people collect donations. Mississippi and Hawaii both sold pins during the ride. Some chapters asked for donations from other organizations. Poker Runs, Baskets of Cheer, 50/50's, collections outside grocery stores, meals, raffles, everything from soup to nuts to bring in donations for this American Legion program.
Bill Sloan addressed the Legion Rider meeting today at the Convention Center in Louisville. There are officially 104,000 Legion Riders (according to the Consolidated Post Reports filled out and submitted by every Post for Convention). If every Legion Rider donated $10.00 and brought it to the Legacy Run next year that would be $1,040,000. Simply amazing when you do the math!
Friday, August 21, 2009
Picture taken by Laura A. Gibbs on the back a bike (overpass in Eastern Ohio)
The Legacy Run arrived in Louisville at 1:30 pm today. We had a great ride in from Charleston. We only got a litle bit wet! Lots of rain gear - not much water...that's the best news!
The Post here hosted a great lunch and Commander Rehbein took donations and collected $99,000 more dollars!!!
Here is a picture of one of the overpasses with the baloons...I will post more later. I'm at the Kansas Pool party at the Holiday Inn and need to get back - they have Bad Bob Crouch doing DJ in a kilt!
I will be posting where to access all the pictures taken by Legion staff. Bill Sloan has promised me a location within the week - - he is a bit busy you know - he rode the ride, worked the gas stops and now has to do that Legion work stuff...I'll keep you posted!
It has been a pleasure riding with all of you and until we meet again next year...
Flamingotina Signing off
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Have a mentioned all the gravel? I don't have any pictures but there was gravel with 2 U-turns at the Flight 93 Memorial, gravel at the gas stop today (had to park there 2 times). We were staged for gas on the gravel then re-staged for leaving on the gravel. The good news - no events with gravel! The other good news? I can really ride well on gravel now!
The highlight of the day was the last 90+ miles through the countryside on US 60 W. This road goes from Meadow Bluff to Charleston. It is a really nice road with lots of curves, ups and downs, and a few switch backs. Other than some issues with rush hour traffic in Charleston, it was a perfect ride.
The Dept of WV had a hospitality suite at the Ramada in Charleston and last time I checked it was still going strong! The dinner was good and it was fun seeing some new faces! Fifteen riders arrived today from Florida with our old friends Bud and Loretta out of Jacksonville.
Charlie & Ruth from Michigan are keeping track of us on this blog - - Hi Guys!
Tommorow we ride into Louisville and another Legacy Run is going to be over. We're going to bed early so we can get up and stage at 5:15 am.
Did I mention that it rained while we were gassing up in Midland/Meadow Bluff but we were all in the store waiting in line for the restroom - - the bikes got wet but not many of us did!
Hopefully the rain gods will be kind tomorrow!
We want to thank Reverend Ron (Legacy Run Chaplain) for his prayers every morning for good riding and support of our troops. The prayers are working because we've had a few near misses (bikes almost down, bikes down but back up, flat tires, exhaust systems broken, etc.) but nothing really bad has occured.
The purpose of this ride is to bring awareness to this program by escorting the National Commander to Convention and to raise money at individual posts and transport the $$ to convention thereby publicizing the need for donations! Oh, and have a safe ride that the Legion Riders can call their own and of course, have fun!
Today I had fun. Uncle Dick Woods (Head Road Captain) gave us a pointer that I actually heard and tried out today. It had to do with finding the spot where the rpm's on your bike are at the point where you don't have to down-shift, up-shift, or brake when coming into and out of curves. You just roll on and roll off your throttle - - its so simple! I found the zone on my bike and had the best time today! So easy!
Time to sign off: Flamingo Tina from Charleston, WV
ps. if anyone has pictures they would like to share - please post them on Picasa or Walgreens or CVS or Facebook and let me know where to find them. Thanks!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
National Commander Rehbein has been collecting contributions to the Legacy Scholarship Fund along the way and as of the first night in Wheeling it was at $89,000.00 (I think we are over $200,000 at this point on Wednesday night). Sarge, Road Captain of 'F' Troop continues to bring in $20 - 30 from perfect strangers at fuel stops and hotels! I even kicked in $5.00 out of my pocket when my cell phone went off during the presentations on Tuesday!
The Legions along the way have been fabulous. Post 64 in Indianapolis hosted the run breakfast on Tuesday morning. Post 526 in Fairborn, OH hosted lunch. Eastern Ohio Posts manned overpasses with a big show as we headed east for West Virginia. There was even an overpass where they released red, white, and blue baloons! Fire Departments hoisted American Flags with booms and children waved flags - it was wonderful!
Monday, August 17, 2009
One of the modules was to lift a 900 lb Yamaha Venture off the ground. This is an interesting technique and even a 5' tall 58 year old woman can get a big 'ol motorcycle off the ground! The pictures tell the tale...
Set your feet, turn the handlebars to the left, put your behind into the seat sort of low so your legs are bent - remember - use your legs...not your back then lift!
Grit your teeth and lift some more! Keep pushing with your legs and walk your feet closer to the bike and it begins to rise!
When you get it to a point where it is balancing you put the kick stand down and voila - the bike is up!
This was a great refresher for all of us and we are ready to head out tomorrow. This afternoon at 4:30 we will have our first 'All Riders' meeting. It has been great seeing everyone again this year.
Flamingo Tina signing off.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Also, if you have something you would like to post, email me and I'll make a post to this blog. There are people who follow this run who would like to hear about other groups...
The Road Captain, Asst. Road Captain, and Tail Gunner meeting went well at Post 64. Billy Johnson, Marti Justice, and Bill Sloan have done another stellar job this year. "Uncle Dick" Woods will be our Head Road Captain again this year and other than that it looks like all we need are the 700+ riders that have registered so we can leave on Tuesday!
Signing off: Flamingo Tina
Sunday, August 16th, American Legion Riders converge on the La Quinta in Indianapolis. The Road Captain's meeting is at 5:00 at Post 64 but until then everyone is visiting and getting re-aquainted from last year.
Mike Kirchoff "Goat" from Florida and "Bubble Head" from Georgia discussing last year's ride! Lunch consisted of lots of conversation about Army vs Marines vs Navy vs Air Force (as usual!) and of course lots of talk about each Legion Rider Chapter.
Hopefully Claudette (tropical storm in the gulf) will not bring a lot of rain for our ride...only time will tell!
FlamingoTina signing off
Thursday, August 13, 2009
We made it through Tennessee and into Kentucky before stopping for the night. We will get to Ohio tomorrow to pick up our friend (Dennis) who will be Mike's sweep in our group.
The VFW in Port St Joe donated $500.00 just as we were leaving so we have more money! The St. Andrews Bay Civic Club gave $500.00 and the Det at Tyndall (Red Horse Squadron) cooked burgers and made $447. In all we have $1,447.00 with us to deliver for the Legacy Scholarship Fund.
It would be great to be able to see all the different groups from the air getting ready to converge on Indianapolis (or other points along the route). This is always a time when old friends get back together and ride for a great cause. It is always with great pride that we ride North to gather and ride as a group - American Legion Riders one and all.
Ride safe, everyone and we'll see you on the road!
Signing off: Flamingo Tina
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
VA healthcare will not be endangered by national system, says President Obama
Promise made during private meeting with National Commander of The American Legion
WASHINGTON (Aug. 4, 2009) – President Obama, meeting privately with the leader of nation’s largest veterans service organization this morning, pledged to keep the medical care system administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs essentially as is – quelling fears that VA healthcare would be absorbed into a national health care system.
“(I) got his very strong assurance the VA as our veterans know it will continue to exist,” said National Commander David K. Rehbein. “It will not be diluted or folded into some sort of national system and that the folks who go to the VA…that will be considered their insurance, so any insurance requirements (will be met) simply by being enrolled in the VA.”
Another topic discussed during the one-on-one meeting in the Oval Office was Medicare reimbursement to the VA, a proposal long championed by The American Legion. This proposed practice would require Medicare to pay for care provided at Department VA medical facilities to Medicare beneficiaries – that is, eligible veterans over the age of 65 with non-service related injuries, illnesses and conditions. Currently, Medicare is precluded by statute from doing this.
“Medicare reimbursement to VA would be a boon to veterans in that it would encourage them to take advantage of what we consider the best care anywhere,” said Rehbein. It would also generate much-needed revenue for the VA.” The “Medicare VA Reimbursement Act of 2009” resulted from a discussion Rehbein had with House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner (D-CA) at the Legion’s DC headquarters just three weeks ago. “I am pleased that Chairman Filner visited with us and then took prompt action,” Rehbein said.
Obama and Rehbein also discussed the positive effects that the enhanced educational benefits contained within the newly enacted and American Legion-pioneered Post 9/11 GI Bill will have on the veterans community and the nation as a whole.
The vexing problem of a dramatically growing backlog of VA benefits claims was also considered by the two. Rehbein said he feels the president “fully appreciates” its gravity and will do what he can to aid in its solution.
Rehbein, obviously pleased with the meeting’s outcome, characterized the 25-minute White House chat as “very friendly…conversational in style” in which “issues were discussed rather than positions being presented.”
With a current membership of 2.5 million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and the mentoring of youth. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.
Media contacts: Craig Roberts, (202) 263-2982, Cell (202) 406-088 or Joe March, (317) 630-1253; Cell (317) 748-1926. A high resolution photo of Nat. Cmdr. Rehbein is available at www.legion.org.
We are 16 days out before we depart for our journey to Louisville. Mickey and Vinnie have volunteer to be our road captains for our trip. They will start sending out e-mails for things to think about for the trip and finalize the route. Some of you are pros for long distant rides and some this will be the first time. Right now we have 12 bikes and one car, no trailer.
Depart Wednesday, 19th August Jacksonville (Post 316 Atlantic Beach) 9am Arrive Post 380 in Charlotte, NC (4235 W. Tyvola Rd., Charlotte, NC, 28208) the hotel 2 miles from the Post. Rooms numbers have been requested waiting on a response.
Depart Thursday, 20th Charlotte, NC 9am
Arrive Charleston, WV 6pm (meet the group)
Make reservations In accordance with Legacy Run, they have rooms reserved for the run.
Depart Friday 21st Charleston, WV (Follow Legacy schedule to Louisville)
Arrive Louisville, Ky Arrival Ceremony
Make reservations In accordance with Legacy Run, they have rooms reserved for the run.
Sat. Aug. 22 to Sun Aug 23, 2009
- Rider activities, runs sponsored by area ALR chapters, and other events
- 91st Annual National Convention Parade
Depart Monday, August 25th 9am Louisville, Ky
Post 95, East Ridge, TN will be our host. I’ll call them tomorrow to give the number of rooms.
Depart Tuesday August 26th 9am
Arrive Lake City 4pm - end of ride folks break off from there or spend the night
Please forward this e-mail to folks within your chapter who are on the master list.
Mike "Smiley" Amig
Department of Florida
American Legion Riders Chairmen