Bikers Roll Through Mt. Vernon to Honor Fallen Veterans

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By Matthew Searcy

MT. VERNON -- A late May tradition rolls on in Mt. Vernon. On Tuesday, hundreds of motorcycles rumbled through town. 

It's part of the annual Run for the Wall, as veterans make their way to the nation's capital to mark Memorial Day.
 
The week long road trip from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. stretches nearly 3,000 miles. It's a tribute journey for fallen vets and their families.  
 
"Being a part of this makes me feel like my father's with them," said Michelle Baugh.  
 
The Centralia woman lost her father in Vietnam.  
     
"He was killed in action May 29, 1968," explained Baugh. "He was 19-years-old." 
 
She was just three months old when he died, but the men her father served with have become a major part of her life.  
 
"I wouldn't be the person I am today without the men that knew my father," said Baugh.  
 
The Run for the Wall is a chance to reconnect.  
 
"I compare it to a puzzle," explained Baugh. "It's a giant puzzle and every time you hear a new story it's another piece of the puzzle coming together. They knew him in such an intimate way that no one else could ever know." 
 
She came out Tuesday in support of some 300 bikers as they refueled and recharged at Mt. Vernon's Waterkotte Harley Davidson. 
 
Veteran Ken Ward was among the group, "We have had so many different experiences where the vets got the healing they need to get over the demons they have been fighting for years." 
 
Riders say the support they receive along the way is well worth the trip.  
 
"Patriotism it is out there," said Ward. "During an event like this it definitely comes out and it's just unbelievable the support we get."  
 
"They have been friends but they are more like family to me," said Baugh. "We come out here and we connect with these vets." 
 
The bikers will stop in Indiana on Tuesday night. They are expected to reach Washington D.C. by Friday afternoon and take part in Memorial Day events there all weekend.
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