Cross-country Motorcycle Ride for Veterans

Petaluman Victor Vaz joined the 25th Run for the Wall last May after a friend invited him. About 1,500 participating motorcyclists take to the highway to ride from California to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., to honor fallen or missing-in-action soldiers and to promote healing among veterans and their families.

Vaz was a one-time Elvis impersonator and skydiver said he’s been riding motorcycles ever since he was young. He’s no stranger to adventures but his ride to Washington in honor of veterans, was different — and better — than all the rest.

Some motorcyclists got into accidents along the way and were cared for by medical personnel that accompanied the caravan since the group had to keep riding and couldn’t stop to help.

For Vaz, arriving in the nation’s capitol was the pinnacle of the entire experience. A picture taken at the time shows him overcome with emotion.

“The event, educating people about (soldiers missing in action) definitely opened my eyes,” he said. “I’d never been to the wall, and it reached into your soul, brought out feelings I never knew I had.”

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