2022 Ride Prelude:
I’m pleased to welcome everyone to the 2022 NVAR.
It’s been a looong 1,080 days, and we’re anxious to visit our veterans. I’m sure they’ll be happy to see some fresh faces, too. The pesky pandemic is still with us and precautions will vary from one facility to another, but where there’s a will there’s a way, and we will get some forms of face time with our veterans.
We hope all of you faired well, and it would be wonderful if none of you suffered the loss of a loved one from Covid 19. However, given the extent of the NVAR family and friends, sadly, the odds are not favorable for that. Our hearts and prayers go out to all.
Our world has changed since my last post, and yet, some things never change. A constant with the tick of time is mankind’s struggle for life, liberty, and happiness. At one point in time, March 23, 1775, to be exact, Patrick Henry spoke to the Virginia militia in preparation to face the British. “I know not what course others may take,” he thundered, “but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death.”
Fast forward to Feb. 24, 2022; the mighty Moskva, flagship of the Russian Navy, sat off a rocky outcrop known as Snake Island in the Black Sea. An officer ordered thirteen Ukrainian soldiers to surrender, or face their wrath. The soldiers thundered back, “Go F++K Yourself,” (a favorite phrase from our dearly departed Brother, Trick, and now a battlecry for the defenders). The thirteen exhausted their ammunition, were captured, then freed in a prisoner exchange—and later, the Ukrainians then sank the Moskva!
The heart of a warrior holds such a weight of compassion for life and liberty, that there is no limit to their sacrifice for it. And to that, veterans from a multiple of countries traveled to Ukraine to join their fight as a foreign legion.
Two acts of exemplary compassion occurred as I wrote this post; former U.S. Marine, Willy Joseph Cancel, 22, was killed fighting alongside the Ukrainian military. He leaves behind a wife and a 7-month old son. On our home front; Bishop Evans, 22, grew from ranks in the Boy Scouts of America and JROTC, to a Texas National Guardsman with service in Kuwait and Iraq. Bishop Evans was on assignment at our southern border when he drowned in his attempt to save two illegal immigrants—who survived and were found to be drug smugglers.
Men and women with such compassion, as those, we visit in veterans homes and hospitals across America, we meet them in many places along our journey, and we ride with them. To those veterans and their families, and those before them, we owe a debt of gratitude, and hold a responsibility — to Never Forget.
Please join us each day on our ride from Sacramento to Washington, D.C.
May God Bless America, Bless our Military, and Bless the people of Ukraine.
Mike “Track” Rinowski
PS: Please give a nod of appreciation to Roger Granbois for his wizardry in creating this wonderful new website. It’s especially friendly for the sit-rep, that would be me, and I trust you’ll find it as easy to browse.
Also, physicists have invested years and tens of billions of dollars in search of the God Particle; the most basic physical component of the atom, and finally they have a suspect. From a motorcycle ride around Vietnam, I was enlightened to “the God Particle of the American Soul.” It’s not a tangible item to be found, actually, it’s something simply, to be.
Please check out the video link above.
Thank You & Never Forget – Mike (Track) Rinowski