Up at the Cathedral this week, the priests blessed the warriors. “I guess we aren’t dirt bags anymore?” suggested one of the tattooed bike riders from out west. Mostly they come from the South and the West, these former “military guys” as I call them…black and white and in-between, male and female and in-between. Shades of glory.
They are vets of every stripe, many riding big comfy bikes these days. Many of them are aging Baby Boomers with creaky joints. Their numbers have grown in recent years as newer younger riders from other wars join them. They call themselves Rolling Thunder. And they are an awesome sight growing more awesome each year when they roll into town on Memorial Day.
I know some of them, I was a military dependent for 22 years…a waiting wife, first to a Marine, then a soldier. The soldier had two tours in Vietnam. We argued a lot. He drove his bike into a ditch trying to keep his Rob Roy from spilling. He was an OK guy, but we were incompatible. It happens.
The mission of Rolling Thunder began following the Vietnam War. They’re trying to bring attention to another plight of the US warrior, the return of the remains of the missing warriors. Every now and again, excavators find body and bring him home.