Veterans pay tribute ahead of Memorial Day

Bikers ride 5,800 miles to Arlington

POSTED: 01:04 PM PDT May 15, 2013    UPDATED: 05:51 PM PDT May 15, 2013 
Veterans pay tribute ahead of Memorial Day
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -- -

"A lot of good men didn't come back from Viet..." Sgt. Bill Corbett, Purple Heart recipient and Vietnam veteran pauses, gathers his composure, and finishes, "and the ones that did.. We want to remember them."

Sgt. Corbett is one of 75 patriots that waited patiently in the whipping winds to see hundreds of bikers make a "Run for the Wall," the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Arlington.

25 years ago, two Vietnam veterans felt that those missing in action were being forgotten.

"They rode their bikes from San Diego to Washington D.C. to meet with the Pentagon and Congress to remind them that there were soldiers from all service branches were unaccounted for," says Sgt. Gary Olsen, treasurer and secretary for Iron Horse Marine Foundation.

This flag salute in Palm Springs is the largest in California, and one of the first that bikers will see on their 10-day trip from Rancho Cucamonga to Washington D.C.

"This is a way to help the communities remember that they're still out there and there were huge sacrifices paid," says Olsen.

Men from the Wounded Warriors Regiment were in uniform. These days, that means matching maroon polos and kahki pants, as they stood guard with American flags over the Wall Road Bridge.

"It's the least we can do," says Sgt. Caleb Lynn. "It's the least anyone driving down this highway can do, is to just give a honk, give a wave, and show that they'll support."

Sgt. Lynn knows he's lucky to be here, and says the ride promotes mental and physical healing for veterans across the nation.

"I was shot in Sangin, Afghanistan in 2010. It was a pretty catastrophic injury. Near fatal. I'm still here today thanks to the wonders of Navy medicine and my positive mental mindset."

"The ones who get wounded... Don't forget them," advises Sgt. Corbett. "They're the ones that are going to need our help for the next 40, 50 years. And that's why we're here today."

For more information on the Ride for the Wall, visit www.rftw.org.

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