AND AMERICAN LEGION POST 106
Over the past several months there have been a lot of people coordinating the welcome of five Veterans who got on bicycles and rode 4,000 miles from Washington DC to La Push. One can only imagine what these five men, three Army and two Marines endured or enjoyed along the way but they all had the experience of a lifetime. To learn more about the Warrior Expeditions group go to warriorexpeditions.org/
On this end of the world, there were folks from the Trails Coalition like Jeff Bohman, Board President Peninsula Trails Coalition, and Tom Coonelly Olympic Peninsula MOAA who were doing the heavy lifting.
Closer to home there were some great folks over at La Push including; Zachary Jones, Vice Chairman and Rio Jaime, Treasurer from the Quileute Tribal Council. We also had a Tribal Elder, Thomas Jackson who is one of the greatest storytellers I know besides being a Vietnam Veteran. Rio, Zach, and Thomas came to greet all of the riders with a welcome and a special gift, and a welcome song. We even enjoyed the drum songs from a few others during the first meeting. It’s great having neighbors and friends like all the people of La Push.
Also in La Push is this place called Coast Guard Station Quillayute River. My great thanks to Petty Officer James Thrall who is the Operations Officer for the station and someone I call friend. He and his group were of great help by allowing the storage of the bicycles for later pickup after the riders had all headed for home. Thank you!
Of course, I am not forgetting my fellow members of Forks American Legion Post 106 and the Forks Elks lodge who made this work and kept me out of trouble as much as possible. We had help from Veterans like Skip Barnes and Paul Hampton who stood ready at the Forks Elks, for almost anything and who ultimately provided lodging for a couple of the riders as they made the last leg of the ride.
And then there were the guys who you see in every photo with the riders. Commander Bubba Bolin, Sgt. at Arms Rick Seguin, Mike Marshal, and yours truly were there to welcome fellow veterans and enjoy being part of their return. I wanted to try and provide a little more coordination than we had last year when it was the first year and not much was known about the program. I also wanted the riders to know the gang on the Pacific Coast knew who was coming to visit and appreciated what they had done.
All I can say is THANK YOU to all who were part of this. Every rider expressed the fact that they would not forget our welcome!
The riders in order of arrival were; Jared Sainato, US Army, Carlos Monterroza, US Marines, Richard Rivdeneira, US Marines, David Davila, US Army, and Michael Buckley, US Army.