NVAO Board Update – 16 Mar 23

NVAO Members,

Amid the crazy weather that has raced around the country, California has certainly seen its share. Wayne Worden (California State Coordinator) called in from Auburn, CA and reports that they’ve had lots of rain but they’ve been mostly ok. Up higher in the mountains the snow has been a real problem and farther east in the Lake Tahoe area they’ve got record amounts of snow.  Mike Tipton (Wyoming State Coordinator) tells me that Wyoming has had one its toughest winters in recent years. Drifts up to ten and twelve feet high, snow on top of ice on top of snow and the snow plows are working overtime. If there’s a fast, hot thaw, there will be flooding galore.

I’m sure that Mother Nature will get it out of her system by the start of the National Veterans Awareness Ride. I’m pretty sure we’ll have sunshine and warm weather the whole way from California to DC. Ha ha.

1. We are continuing to hear good things about the VA Hospitals and Homes. Some are requiring masks, but they are going to be open. Some will let us visit the Veterans in the common areas only, but they are going to be open. Some will let us meet with the Veterans outside and inside and they’re planning to be open. A couple places we visit might require proof of vaccination but they will be open. It’s looking really good for seeing lots of Veterans, school children and participating in memorial services.

As we mentioned in previous Updates, we’ll handle safety protocol like we did in 2022. We recommend that you get vaccinated to protect yourself and others from Covid but we will not require it for you to be on the NVAR. We will have everyone test before the ride and, as we did in 2022, if someone gets sick on the ride, we will require that everyone takes the 15 minute Covid test. Persons testing positive will not be allowed to continue on the ride. This is for the protection of the rest of the riders and most importantly, for the patients and residents in the VA Hospitals and Homes. As mentioned in the last Update, with Medicare you can go to CVS and/or Walgreens and get eight in-home 15 minute Covid tests free every 30 days. We urge you to do this and bring the unused tests with you so that we’ve got a good supply in case we need them on the ride. You can also go to COVID.gov/tests and the government will send you four free at-home tests. Thank you.

Please, please pick up some FREE Covid tests and bring them on the NVAR. Us having them on the ride could make a HUGE difference if there is an emergency. Thank you.

For the NVAR, we’ve got a couple nice items to raffle off. If anyone has any raffle items or items for the 50/50 drawings at breakfast, please bring them and give them to Kat and Mike Tipton to put into the trailer and we’ll have some fun each morning.

2. Here’s how you can help the NVAR. If each of us brings some boxes of at-home 15 minute COVID-19 tests, we’ll easily have enough for emergencies on the ride. You can get 8 COVID-19 tests (that’s four boxes with two tests in each box) per person every 30 days FREE at CVS and Walgreens.

3. This year’s NVAR will be dedicated to the memory of Don “Recon” Morrill, who passed away a couple of years ago.  After serving in Vietnam in the 1960’s, Recon dedicated himself to many Veterans’ affairs. He rode with the Run for the Wall. He helped organize the Pentagon parking for the tens of thousands of bikes before the Rolling Thunder protest ride in Washington, DC. He was a mainstay in the Toys for Tots each year in Chicago. He helped homeless Vets. And Recon was one of the founding fathers of the National Veterans Awareness Ride. In the early 2000’s Recon checked out VA Hospitals and Homes and helped other organizers set up the first rides from California to Washington, DC. He was a good man.

4. For those of you who are riding in all or part of the 2023 National Veterans Awareness Ride, you may go to our website (nvao.us) and type in your information on the registration form, print it and give it to the Registration Manager (Tony Jackson) when you get to the ride. This will save time when you arrive and it’ll also be easier for us to read than your handwriting. If you can’t do it online, Tony will have blank forms for you on the ride.

5. As we have done in the past, we will provide an Accident Scene First Aid Class for everyone who’d like to attend. Greg Bingaman and Stacie Bobeck will once again share their expertise on everything from wound dressing, to CPR, to the use of the AED, to helmet removal do’s and don’t. We are fortunate to have Greg and Stacie as our instructors. Greg is a Nurse Practitioner as part of Trauma and Surgical Services within the Beacon Health System. Stacie is a Trauma Educator and Outreach/injury Prevention Coordinator with Beacon Health System. This is an excellent class and could be critical for you any time you witness an accident (attached is a complete description of the details of the class). The class will be held on Sunday, May 7 at the Wall Gang Headquarters (911 Chicago St., Michigan City, IN).

Saturday night (May 6) at 6pm we will provide a pizza dinner at the Wall Gang Headquarters.

Sunday morning, we will provide a donuts, juice and coffee breakfast at 7:30am. The class will start at 8:00am. We will provided a Subway lunch at 11:35am. The class will end at about 2:00pm.

To allow us to prepare appropriately, please rsvp to Jerry Conner (jerry.d.conner@comcast.net or 847-446-3926) if you plan to attend the First Aid Class. Also, please let me know if you want a meat sub or a veggie sub.

6. For your enjoyment, here’s a link to a very short video of Motorcycle Chariot Racing. Amazing, Enjoy!

That’s it for now.

Be Careful out there.

Board of Directors – National Veterans Awareness Organization

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