The four riders from Santa Paula taking part in the “Run For The Wall” are (l-r) Gilbert Gomez, Sr., Robert Medrano, Gilbert Gomez, Jr., and Roy Solis. Father Charles (center) blessed the four before their trip. Photo by Brian D. Wilson

“Run For The Wall”

May 18, 2007
Four Santa Paulans head out on the “Run For The Wall” ride to Washington, D.C.
Santa Paula News
Four Santa Paula residents headed out on their motorcycles this week to participate in the annual “Run for the Wall” ride to Washington, D.C. Gilbert Gomez, Sr., Robert Medrano, Gilbert Gomez, Jr., and Roy Solis rode out Tuesday to join up with a large contingent of riders going to D.C. for the Rolling Thunder parade on Memorial Day. Organizers expect over 350,000 motorcycles to take part in the parade. Gilbert Sr., a Vietnam veteran, said he’s been riding all his life, but had put off joining the annual ride. This year he said, “I’ve got to go.” When he told his son, he said he was going as well. The Santa Paula riders are wearing patches in memory of three men who died or are still missing from the Vietnam War. They are Jimmy Cavander (MIA), Max Vasquez III (KIA), and Eduardo Chavez (KIA).“Run For The Wall” was started in 1989 by James Gregory and Bill Evans. They were a couple of Vietnam vets who traveled across the heartland of America on motorcycles, talking to local radio, TV and newspapers about the fact that we had thousands of men and women still unaccounted for from all of our wars.The cross-country ride does not include any political speeches or demonstrations. They get their point across by riding through the United States. The issue of public awareness is only part of the benefit of “Run For The Wall.” They also give Vietnam veterans and all vets the opportunity to get their own welcome home and start the healing process.
Along the way the riders make stops at memorials, veteran’s hospitals and schools. Many times they are welcomed in communities with parades, escorts and receptions.

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