NVAO Board Update – 3 May 22

NVAO Members,

We hope your bikes and bodies are in shape for the 2022 National Veterans Awareness Ride (NVAR). Just a couple more weeks and we’ll be together again… honoring our Veterans, meeting with students in schools and participating in local memorial services.

1. Thanks to all of the State Coordinators for hustling, cajoling, and helping in any way they could to get the NVAR put together despite all of the last minute changes that have been required. We’ve got some really, really good people on our side….all across America.

2. Among the many highlights of the preparation for this year’s NVAR:.

a. For those who arrive in Auburn early enough on Monday, May 17, Wayne Worden is going to take anyone who wants to go on a beautiful, scenic route down into the valley by the river near Auburn and then onward to the Armed Forces Pavilion & Community Gardens. He plans to leave the motel at about 1:30pm.

b. The Reno VAMC plans to have our first ever Zoom meeting with the Vets who can’t come outside. A VA staff member will broadcast the police escort, the bikes coming into the parking lot through the Patriot Guard Riders Flag Line and then interview the members of the NVAR….all of which will be simultaneously seen by the Vets inside the VAMC.

c. Jayson has a very cool surprise for us at the Salt Lake City Veterans Home. He made me promise not to tell what is going to happen at the welcoming ceremony, but it’s going to be very cool.

d. The Tiptons finally got a positive response from the Cheyenne VAMC. Kat and Mike had to stay on the situation all the way up to today. Good job. Cheyenne is a great stop for us.

e. Bill Luft has been able to get us police escorts through virtually the entire state of Nebraska.

f. Jackwagon (actually, his wife) got us a new place for dinner in Des Moines. A great location and wonderful food provided.

g. Gary Croft has given us some extra time at the Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial in Marseilles, IL to visit the museum. Now, his task is to get them to open the museum. If anyone can do it, Gary can.

h. After a few scary moments and phone calls, Lugnut got the ok for dinner at St. Joe’s in Michigan City. Also, he has confirmed that the Indiana State Veterans Home will let us have lunch with the Vets outside under the shelter.

i. If the weather is nice, Dave and Tony have an exciting new way for us to see more Vets in Chillicothe.

j. Eddie Shinn got us some great police escorts in West Virginia, plus a new place for breakfast in Clarksburg.

k. We’ll all be laying flowers at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington.

l. On Sunday morning, after we’ve parked our bikes in the RFK parking lot, before the Ride to Remember, Headdog will walk us up to a place we’ll call “Bowen’s Cafe”. Carolyn and Steve Bowen have invited us to relax with coffee, juice and donuts in their backyard. It’s only a few blocks from the staging area for Ride to Remember.

3. Thanks to those of you who have told us they are doing “Thank You” cards and/or having kids do artwork for the Vets in the hospitals and home. If you give them to the State Coordinators, she/he will present them to the VA staff to give to the Vets. If you send them to Jerry Conner, 1032 Dinsmore Road, Winnetka, IL 60093, even if they arrive late, we’ll make sure they get to the Vets who need some cheering up.

4. Be sure to bring plenty of masks. Virtually all of the hospitals and homes will require us to wear masks while on their property.

5. Be sure to bring proof of vaccinations. There will be at least a few places where we will be required to show proof of vaccinations. If you don’t have proof, you will not be allowed into the facility. We will announce the day’s safety protocols at each morning’s riders’ meeting.

6. Blake sent us the attached flyer for the May 9-11 visit of the WWII B-29 Bomber “Doc” to Historic Wendover Airfield. If you’re in the area, it looks like a fun experience. For more info, you can call Blake at 530-250-7474 or email him at blake@norcalpgr.org.

7. Wayne Schuller, our good friend from  Council Bluffs, IA, heard on the news that eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska got a bunch of snow and cold weather so he hopped into his car and visited the local Bass Pro Shop and got them to donate a couple bags of hand warmers to the riders of the 2022 NVAR. Thanks to Wayne and a big thanks to Bass Pro Shop.

8. If anyone knows Jana Jepperson or Jeff Hicock or Michael Allen or Byron Hooper, we don’t have their current email addresses. If they don’t get back to us with their correct addresses, we’ll have to delete them from our mailing list.

That’s it for now, be careful out there, Never Forget.

Board of Directors – National Veterans Awareness Organization

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