The American Legion Online Updates & Discussions Headline Animator

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 27, 2009

Legacy Scholarship reaches $609,131.00

I just watched the Tuesday session at National Convention. Departments and Legion Riders from all over the US gave their contributions to the National Comander.

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

Posted from "Doc" Shaw in Afghanistan.

Hi Bill,

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
Durulaman Road
Kabul, Afghanistan

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

South Carolina really gave big!

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!

Continue to send me your pictures ( and I will post them on this blog...Flamingo Tina.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Legacy Run over $300,000!

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!

If you have pictures from this years run please email me at and let me know where they are posted. Also, National Public Affairs is going to create a CD of all the pics and make it available for purchase - word will be posted on the Legion website -

Here is a picture of Group C from the Legacy Run - Mike Kirchoff was the Road Captain. Group C was larger when we started but Otis had to drop out because his brother-in-law passed away, a couple had to hurry to Louisville for committee meetings and another few moved to other groups. Hope we see all of you back next year.

I'll keep posting as long as people are emailing their pictures to me - and I'm going to download all the pics I have to a site and post where that is. Mike and I are still heading back to Florida. We are in Bowling Green, KY tonight and hope to take a couple of days to get home - - just relaxing and enjoying being on the road.

Signing off: Flamingo Tina

Friday, August 21, 2009

Legacy Run Arrives in Louisville

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

Legacy Run arrives in Charleston, WV

We left Front Royal, VA this morning at 7:30 am. Post 53 hosted a wonderful breakfast. The weather keeps threatening but we are still dry!
The ride through Virginia down I70 was uneventful. It is beautiful country and the groups continued south and east to lunch in Glen Murray Park, Buena Vista, VA.

Although lunch was in Buena Vista the Lynchburg VA Post hosted us with burgers and dogs in a beautiful park pavilion. Past Dept of VA Commander 'Andy' explained that it was his wish to have his Post host a meal but we were no where near Lynchburg, VA so they brought lunch to us! A great big thank you to the Dept of VA and all the people who worked to make this great lunch stop a reality.

The pavilion was on a rise behind an old farm house next to a creek. They staged our bikes up a small road, some bikes under trees, and the trikes/trailers up on a rise...all in all another challenge!

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

Legacy Run Going Great - bringing in Donations!

The Legacy Run kicked off Tuesday with a great ride from Indianapolis east to Wheeling, WV. Over 200 riders rode out and as Head Road Captain Dick Woods said "This is the best first day we have ever had - everyone performed as though we had been riding together forever!".

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!
The McClure House Hotel and the city of Wheeling, WV showed us a great time for dinner on Tuesday and again for breakfast on Wednesday. Even though the logistics were a little tight the welcome we got in Wheeling was outstanding!
Wednesday morning dawned cloudy but still no rain! Our stop at the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, PA was extremely moving. National Commander Rehbein placed a wreath from the American Legion Riders in honor of the heroes that went into that field on 9/11. It was such a great honor to pay tribute to these people.

One of the plaques at the Memorial

A plaque from Motorcycle Riders

Things left at the Memorial

Commander Rehbein presenting the wreath

This is the field where the plane went in -
just behind our motorcycles and to the right.
Tonight we are staying in Front Royale, VA. We ride to Charleston tomorrow.
Flamingo Tina is tired and going to bed! There are tons of pictures that people are taking - I hope they will let me know where they are being posted to - -
Flamingo Tina signing off!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Kansas Blog

Follow this link to check out the Kansas Legacy Run Blog:

Chris Krueger, Co-Director
American Legion Riders Chapter 180
Great Bend, KS

Legacy Run Leaders take ABATE of Indiana Advanced Riders Class

As a requirement this year all Road Captains, Asst Road Captains and Tail Gunners went through an ABATE Group Riding instruction and abreviated Advanced Riders Class.

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

ALR Legacy Run Blogs

If you are running a Legacy Run blog for your local ALR, please email your link to me.

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

Riders converge on Indianapolis

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

And so it begins...

Mike and Tina Kirchof departed Panama City, FL this morning to begin our trek to Indianapolis. We left at 6:00 am and had a great ride up through Florida into Alabama. We hit fog in the low areas but it was blessedly cool!

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

MD ALR 116 to Shanksville, PA

The MD ALR Post 116 will be departing Wednesday August 19th from Reisterstown, MD heading to Flight 93 Memorial in PA.
We will travel I-70, I-76 & Rte 30. Anyone interested in tagging along please rsvp at

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

President Obama visits with Legion National Commander David K. Rehbein


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

National Commander David K. Rehbein (IA)

Ride Plan from FLORIDA


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
Arrive Chattanooga

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.

Ride Safe,
Mike "Smiley" Amig
American Legion
Department of Florida
American Legion Riders Chairmen
904-742-0841 (c)