VA employees on 1188-mile motorcycle ride to honor fallen Veterans and to raise awareness of Veteran Suicide.Posted: September 4, 2017
The 2017 Iron Vet Ride leaves from the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita and ends at the Raymond G. Murphy Medical Center in Albuquerque. Photo from 2016 Iron Vet Ride
Photo: Tara Cisneros
By Circe Olson Woessner
On September 23, 2017, VA employees from the Wichita, KS, Regional Office will begin their 1188-mile ride from Wichita to Albuquerque, NM and back to honor America’s fallen Veterans.
The “Iron Vet Ride” is open to all comers and is being organized by VA employees with the help of the AMVETS Riders Chapter 14, Clovis, NM, Chapter 181, Raymore, MO, and Chapter 36, Wichita, KS. In Albuquerque, VFW Post 401, American Legion Riders Post 99, Chapter 22, the Raymond G. Murphy Medical Center and the NM Veterans Memorial are planning events for Saturday evening and Sunday morning in support of Iron Vet.
“The Iron Vet Ride is about getting VA, Veterans Service Organizations, and the community working together for a common goal, and to raise awareness about Veteran Suicide. It is a great feeling to be there supporting the families”, says Brett Wells, event organizer and Wichita Regional Office employee.
Originally, the ride honored SGT Kyle B. Osborn and LCPL Joshua Eli Witsman who died in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and SFC Travis S. Bachman who was killed by an IED in Iraq. This year’s ride also honors Albuquerque native PO2 Jamie Langfitt.
Christina Camacho, a social worker at the Albuquerque VA says, “The Iron Vet Ride gives us an opportunity to work with community to raise awareness about suicide prevention efforts. We want Veterans to know we are here when they are facing a crisis and will give them the support they need. We’re striving to reach the National goal of getting to 0 deaths that are caused by an act of suicide.”
Cervantes restaurant and Post 401 are hosting a dinner for the riders and community on Saturday evening at the post. Representatives from the VA Medical Center and the Suicide Prevention team will be featured speakers at the dinner.
On Sunday morning, the riders will take part in a brief early morning ceremony at the Veteran’s Memorial on Louisiana before heading back East.
A year ago today, the Museum of the American Military Family opened its doors in the village Tijeras, NM (Right next to Molly’s Bar). What a year it’s been! We’ve hosted nearly 900 visitors, and have hosted movies, book discussion groups and music events. We’ve opened our archives to researchers and have hosted numerous Naturalization ceremonies. We dedicated our Memorial to Military Families…This fall, we will publish two more anthologies: “War Child: Lessons Learned Growing Up in War”, and “SHOUT: Sharing our Truth”. We will open two new exhibits: “Inside Out” and “Host Nation Hospitality”. We will have our cookbook “Homefront Hearth” ready for the new exhibit.
We could not have done it without you—and we cannot continue without your support—it truly takes a village to create our Museum, dedicated to America’s Military Families.
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A massive group of motorcycle riders will be passing through New Mexico on May 18 and 19, and one of their stops will be the Museum of the American Military Family in Tijeras, N.M.
The “Run For The Wall” will have thousands of motorcyclists crossing the country and visiting various communities and VA facilities as they make their way to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. over Memorial Day weekend.
“Run For The Wall transcends the politics of man and agendas of individuals,” said Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, Executive Director of the Museum of the American Military Family & Learning Center (MAMF). “The Run brings together people from all walks of life, from all branches of service, and of all ages for a couple of weeks a year to work together for a cause that makes America proud.”
Woessner is the New Mexico coordinator for the Run For The Wall Midway Route. The Midway Route will have 300 riders as it passes through New Mexico. Duke City Harley Davidson will serve as a fuel sponsor for one leg of the New Mexico run, and will host a dinner for the riders at their dealership on May 18. Rich Ford will provide a hearty New Mexico breakfast for the group on May 19. Many New Mexico service organizations from across the state, including the Veterans Canteen Service, will contribute food or fuel. Other stops in New Mexico for Midway will include Grants/Milan, Moriarity, and Santa Rosa.
Run For The Wall’s mission is to promote healing among all veterans, their families and friends; to call for an accounting of all prisoners of war and those missing in action (POW/MIA); to honor the memory of those killed in action (KIA) from all wars, and to support U.S. military personnel around the world. Platoons and Ambassadors from the group will visit the Museum of the American Military Family on May 19. The museum is located at 546 New Mexico Highway 333 (aka Route 66) in Tijeras.
For more information, please contact Dr. Circe Olson Woessner at (505) 504-6830