News>Traveling veteran’s memorial wall stops in O’Fallon
Various motorcyle clubs participated in the ride from Mascoutah to O'Fallon, Ill., with the traveling veteran's memorial wall. The wall was started by Gold Star Parents - an organization of parents of military members killed in action - who wanted to show their appreciation for the servicemembers. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jake Eckhardt)
A member of the Patriot Guard organization escorts the traveling memorial into O'Fallon, Ill., Oct. 4. The Patriot Guard delivered the memorial while 150 riders from Vander Clute, Band of Brothers and Green Knights motorcycle clubs lead the expedition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane)
by Airman 1st Class Jake Eckhardt
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
10/10/2012 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- A convoy of veterans on motorcycles escorted the traveling veteran's memorial wall from Mascoutah to O'Fallon, Ill., Oct. 4.
"This event is to welcome the veterans home," said Jeff Hastings, Illinois Veteran of Foreign Wars membership recruiter and retired master sergeant.
The VFW along with nearly 50 volunteers placed 1,500 flags along the route the convoy of veterans would be taking.
The Patriot Guard delivered the memorial while 150 riders from Vander Clute, Band of Brothers and Green Knights motorcycle clubs lead the expedition.
"They are all volunteers," Hastings said. "They did this because they were asked. They did it to support all of our veterans."
The wall was on display from 1 p.m. until 10 p.m. Oct. 5, 12 p.m. until 10 p.m. Oct. 6. O'Fallon also hosted a parade for the veterans at 10 p.m. Oct. 6.
"We have to support our veterans," he said. "We have to let them know that we are here for them when they are here, when they are gone and when they need us. We're here to help fellow veterans."
The wall also stood as a symbol to show the local communities that the military serves the needs of the people as well.
Michael Bushey, a volunteer for the event and a retired master sergeant said, "Seeing this helps them remember why we are here. Having the wall here reminds the people that we still have troops deployed, we still need to honor them, and we still need to take care of them."
The wall was started by Gold Star Parents--an organization of parents of military members killed in action--who wanted to show their appreciation for the servicemembers. There were approximately seven Gold Star Parents associated with the event.
"It feels marvelous to help out with an event like this," said Bushey. "This is my way of showing respects for the men and women of the military now, active, retired and passed."