This year marks the final Washington, D.C. demonstration in support of POW/MIA and Veterans’ Issues. The organization will continue to bring awareness to the public, in years to come, with regional demonstrations. Speakers for this year include Robert Wilkie, Secretary of Veterans Affairs; Gary Wetzel, Medal of Honor recipient; Senator Mike Brown of the District of Columbia; Lt. General Tom McInerney, USAF (retired); Jason Noel, Harley Davidson Corp., Director of Sales; and other supporters of Rolling Thunder®, Inc. and the POW/MIA issue. Celebrity entertainers slated to provide a fitting musical tribute include Rockie Lynne; Gordon Painter; and Ben Mason. Weekend Highlights:
- Friday, May 24
- National Washington Cathedral “Blessing of the Bikes” – Massachusetts & Wisconsin Avenues, Washington, D.C.– 5 p.m.
- Candlelight vigil at the Vietnam Wall led by the Flame of Freedom which will lead the Gold Star mothers, to honor and remember those who gave their lives in service to their country, and those who are still missing or held prisoner – 9 p.m.
- Saturday, May 25
- Harley-Davidson of Washington D.C. – 9407 Livingston Road, Fort Washington, MD – free barbeque 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- U.S. Navy Memorial wreath presentation – 701 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest Washington, D.C. (on the Plaza) – 12 noon.
- Rolling Thunder Hospitality Room – Hyatt Regency, Crystal City – 8:00 p.m.
- Sunday, May 26
- Rolling Thunder®, Inc. Demonstration – leaves Pentagon North Parking Lot at noon.
- Program of speakers and Musical Tribute to Veterans at the stage in front of the Reflecting Pool facing the Lincoln Memorial from 1:30 – 5 p.m.
The Rolling Thunder®, Inc. Flame of Freedom will also be transported via motorcycle escort by Rolling Thunder®, Inc. Mississippi Chapter 1, starting with a ceremony in Wake Forest, NC on May 19th and other locations noted on their website, arriving in Washington, D.C. May 24, 2019. The Flame will be used at the Candlelight Vigil to lead Gold Star mothers as they walk along the Vietnam Wall during the May 24th candlelight remembrance. For more information: rtflameoffreedom.com
Legislation: S-693 – National POW/MIA Flag Act (to fly the POW/MIA flag every day the American flag is displayed) passed the Senate on May 3, 2019. The companion bill H.R. 1579 National POW/MIA Flag Act must pass in the House of Representatives and then to the President to become law. H.R.1019 – Full Military Honors Act – Those who were ex POW/MIAs regardless of rank. This legislation provides Medal of Honor recipients and Prisoners of War the recognition, regardless of rank, to be buried with full military honors. Currently, this is reserved for senior officers, noncommissioned officers, and service members killed in combat. Secretary of Veterans affairs to have clinical trial with effects of cannabis health outcomes for veterans with PTSD, health assessments on veterans that have been exposed to open burn pits or toxic airborne chemicals, improve benefits for women Veterans, victims of Agent Orange relief act. Prescription drug costs continue to rise with many Veterans now going without the medication they need. There are still over 369,709 VA claims pending with 74,208 claims over 125 days. The backlog of VA claims is a major contributing factor to the increased homelessness and nearly 22 suicides a day of our Veterans.
Rolling Thunder Charities®, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization with 96% of all donated funds going to Veterans in need of help. We pay their rent, mortgage, utilities, food and clothing. From May 1, 2018 to May 1, 2019 Charities has helped 174 Veterans and donations totaled $256,276. To donate to help our Veterans please go to the National website: www.rollingthunder1.com
Information for Media
Program details will be available in the Rolling Thunder®, Inc. press room at rollingthunder1.com and are updated as needed. Members of Rolling Thunder®, Inc.’s National Media Committee will be available at event locations throughout the weekend to assist working press with interviews, photographs, and any other needs. For more information or to schedule interviews in advance, please contact Nancy Regg, National Media Committee Chairperson, at 908*310*3268 (cell) or email@example.com.
Rolling Thunder®, Inc. is a 501(c)(4) non-profit Veterans organization incorporated in 1995, by National Director Sgt. Artie Muller, to seek accountability for all POW/MIAs from past wars and to promote the needs of Veterans. National membership is comprised of Veterans from all wars and peacetime with 40-45% of members being non-veterans. There are currently over 95 chartered Rolling Thunder®, Inc. chapters throughout the United States. Although many members ride motorcycles, a person does not have to own or ride a motorcycle to be a member.
SOURCE Rolling Thunder, Inc.