I saw that clip about LTC Hughes and was so proud of him. He really fit the title of Diplomats and Warriors which is what we are called to be. The incident showed just how difficult that can be.
My wife and I are still providing 2 doz roses for our church altar every week in memory of those who gave their last full measure of devotion. We will continue until the war is over.
The photo is of me at a weekly ” Support our Troops Rally.” I am there rain or shine to show my support. I was the first to display a flag representing a specific Army Division. The crowd loved it.
It was my pleasure to present Bruce Anderson of Outback Steakhouse in Erie PA, with a Certificate of Recognition for the support that Outback has given our young Eagles serving in Afghanistan. As you may remember they went over in 2002 and fed them steaks with all the trimmings.
This Certificate was given to Bruce from all of us 327th Vietnam Veterans associated with this web site, but I had the personal pleasure of being the one to deliver it.
Mr. Anderson told me that the certificate would be hung in his restaurant with pride.
Outback has been quiet about future support, but Bruce said to look for something to happen as early as this month, January 2003.
This past Sat. I joined in a United Freedom Ride and Rally at Charleston, WV. It was to raise money for the families of depolyed troops from our area. The weather turned bad with temp. in the 50’s and rain. But we had 254 bikers show up. And looking and talking to some of them seemed most were Vets. We rode to the State capital and all along the interstate people were waving flags and cheering. At the Capitol the streets were lined with the same thing. They raised over $30,000 for the families. I am very glad to have participated and to see the people out in that kind of weather cheering us made it special. I got to meet our Senator, Congresswoman Shelly Moore Capitol. She was nice and talked about the vets and supporting them.
ABOVE THE REST
No Slack Brother takes an Alaskan Motorcycle Trip
John & Vera Davis
Well, we are back and sooner than planned. The trip started out great with an easy ride from Phoenix to Zion National Park, Utah on the first day until we got to the motel, where Wes and Janice (the other couple on the trip) dumped their bike turning into the motel parking lot. Not one hurt too bad; just some scrapes and the bike was ok since it was a slow turn and easy fall. We spent the next day in Zion and then continued on to Bryce National Park on the third day. The weather from Phoenix to the Canadian border was clear and warm. Just before crossing the border on June 10th the rain started and continued off an on almost everyday until we got to Alaska on June 17th but we were all prepared for it and the cold weather gear and rain suits made the riding enjoyable. Saw lots of stone mountain sheep, bears, deer, and moose along the way. Even saw a mama bear with three cubs along the road but couldn’t stop to get a picture. For the most part the roads were in good shape, even those areas where construction was taking place. There is repair work going on every summer somewhere on the Alaskan Highway and you just have to be prepared to ride on gravel or muddy roads once in awhile. The longest stretch of gravel/muddy road was between Haines Junction and Beaver Creek, Yukon and this was about 10 miles. This is not to say that the Alcan is easy on bikes or other vehicles. The road is a rough chip seal and bumpy in a lot of places. When we stopped at Whitehorse, Yukon for the night I discovered my trunk support had broken and the trunk was almost ready to fall off. Now this support rack is a stainless steel tubing that had a poor design and I have heard of others cracking just like mine; of course the load I was carrying probably didn’t help. Well, the dealer didn’t have a support rack in stock but recommended a good welding shop in town so we spent a half day at the shop getting the rack welded up and probably stronger now than ever. Anyone with an older Harley Classic or UltraClassic should check their support rack where the trunk bolts to the rack and watch for cracks.
John, Vera, Wes & Janice
John, Wes & Janice
Continuing on from Whitehorse we make Tok, Alaska the next day but not without incident. The roads in the Yukon were rough but when we reached Alaska the roads really got bad because it was hard to see some of the dips and potholes. The permafrost under the roads is thawing out because of such mild weather and everyday the crews are having to repair new areas. We just happened to hit a few bad potholes that I didn’t see and Vera was bounced up and down very hard several times and injured her back. She was in so much pain by the time we reached Tok that we had to get her to bed and ice down her back and neck. The next day I took her to the local emergency clinic where they took x-rays and thought that she might have a compression fracture of the lower back. Well, she was in no shape to continue the trip so our friends left for Valdez while I took Vera to Fairbanks on a slow, all day ride and put her on a redeye special flight back to Phoenix. She was so disappointed about having to fly home and not be able to continue the trip but for her sake there was no way we could hold up in motel for a couple of weeks and then take the chance of here injuring the back even more. She is still having some problems but getting better and after further examination the doctors at home determine that there were no fractures.
After seeing her off on the redeye special I got a few hours sleep and stopped at the Alaskan State Harley Owners Group Rally in Fairbanks before heading for Anchorage and my daughter’s house on June 20th. Our friends made it into Anchorage on the 21st and Janice decided to fly out of Anchorage on the redeye on the 22nd. She said that she was tired of the rain. The day she left it cleared up and was sunny and warm (about 70).
Wes and I should have stayed in Anchorage for a couple of more days to see if we could get a new rear tire for his BMW and get one put on my Harley and my transmission check, but we didn’t and we almost regretted it later. We left on Monday, June 23rd and the weather was clear and warm almost all the way home; only a few showers north of Prince George, BC. My transmission became harder and harder to shift, to the point I had to stomp on the heal shifter to get into 4th and 5th gear; something else to get fixed. Because of the erosion of tread on our rear tires over the Alcan highway we had to hold our speed to 60mph until we got back in to Washington. As soon as we crossed the border about noon on Friday we called the closest dealers in the Seattle area to arrange for new tires. When I got to Eastside Harley in Bellevue, WA my rear tire was on patches of cord so I was very lucky that I didn’t have a blowout. After getting new tires we left about 7:00pm and got about 70 miles south of Seattle before stopping for the night. The rest of the trip was uneventful, except for the heat crossing Nevada and Arizona. Total miles traveled, about 8800. It was a great trip and too short but I don’t think I would do it again on a motorcycle. I have done it with my RV and it was more comfortable but not as exciting.
Steve “Okie” Cain, William “Chief” Fehlhaber, Mike Carretero when they got together at Chief’s dad’s house in Lawton, Okla home of Ft Sill. It was great to see each other after over 30 years.