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Veterans stop in Charleston on Run for the Wall

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Chris Dorst William "Blue" Clausman, left, of Cathedral City, California, and Don Freitag of Holdrege, Nebraska, salute while reading the inscriptions of names of West Virginia military members killed in Vietnam on the wall of the state war memorial.
Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Chris Dorst
William “Blue” Clausman, left, of Cathedral City, California, and Don Freitag of Holdrege, Nebraska, salute while reading the inscriptions of names of West Virginia military members killed in Vietnam on the wall of the state war memorial.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — When the “Run for the Wall” motorcyclists pulled onto the state Capitol grounds Thursday, they were met with flag-waving, patriotic support from West Virginians.

Run for the Wall is an annual motorcycle event in remembrance of American veterans who were killed in action, missing in action or prisoners of war. Riders travel from California to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall, in Washington, D.C., where they place a wreath at the monument and pay respects to their fallen comrades.

West Virginia Vietnam veterans Roger Keller and Ronny Stone are two of the hundreds of motorcyclists riding in remembrance, taking part in the run for five and seven years, respectively. Although Keller and Stone are lifelong friends who went to high school with one another, Keller said that Run for the Wall is not a joy ride for them, but a mission.

The riders are highly organized, Keller said, with motorcyclists split into “platoons…

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