Doug's RFTW 2015 travel blog

American flag dropped in with the parachute team

War vet Huey now used in fire-fighting around West Virginia

The reception in Wentzville was wonderful. Hosted by the VFW Post#5327. The following morning after breakfast we rode to the Wentzville Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This is one of the very first Vietnam Vets memorials in the USA, originally dedicated in 1967. After a wreath laying ceremony we went on to the VA Hospital at Jefferson Barracks in St Louis. This is one of my favorite stops as we are allowed to enter the wards and visit with some of the patients.

Leaving Jefferson Barracks we cross the Mississippi River into Illinois. Our lunch stop is at Waterkotte Harley-Davidson in Mt Vernon, IL. then on to Evansville, Indiana for fuel and a snack. Last stop of the day is in Corydon, IN at the fairgrounds where the local Moose Lodge, the American Legion and other good citizens put on a SUPER GOOD catfish fry. This is one stop where I go back for seconds, it's that good.

The next day (Day 8 or 13, depending upon whose count you are using) our first stop was at the Robley Rex VA Medical Center. Again we were able to visit with the patients. I'm sure we provided some good cheer and a little diversion from their troubles. A special treat there is getting a bag of popcorn from "Popcorn Bill". Bill was a patient then a volunteer at the hospital and has been making popcorn for patients and visitors for a couple of decades or more. Next we made a fuel stop in Waddy, Kentucky then on to Frankfort and the Kentucky State Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This is a very unique structure in that it is built in the form of a large sundial. 1103 Kentuckians died during this war and the sundial is constructed so that the shadow of the pointer falls on each name on the exact date of their death. I've never seen anything quite like it before. From there it was on to Mt. Sterling, KY for lunch provided by the community. Then another 114 miles to Hurricane, WV for ceremonies that included a parachute drop-in carrying a big American flag. Dinner by the Yamaha motorcycle dealer.

That takes us up through May 20th.

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