Group makes local stop in ‘Run for the Wall’

Close to 300 motorcyclists made their way across Tennessee on Monday on their way to Washington, D.C. as part of the “Run for the Wall.”
May 22, 2014
(Kimberly Jordan • Lebanon Democrat) The group of Run for the Wall participants prepare to continue their journey to Washington, D.C. after a stop at the Ward Ag Center on Monday. The riders are scheduled to arrive in the Capitol on Friday.

 

Close to 300 motorcyclists made their way across Tennessee on Monday on their way to Washington, D.C. as part of the “Run for the Wall.”

Run for the Wall is an annual trip to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the nation’s capitol to “promote the healing of Vietnam vets and welcome them home and to bring awareness that we have missing soldiers and Prisoners of War that have not been accounted for,” according to a spokesman for the event.

A small group of bikers broke off from the main ride to make a pit stop at the Ward Ag Center Monday afternoon. The bikers met with two families who are still searching for family members who went missing in Vietnam.

Debbie Burkhart Fisher and her brother, Bill Burkhart, who is a Lebanon resident, are still trying to find any information they can concerning their father, Col. Charles W. Burhart Jr.

Burkhart went missing June 13, 1966 while flying a mission in Laos, and Fisher said he was scheduled to return home two days later.

“There was speculation that bad weather was a factor, but we really have no information,” Fisher said. Her family attended a ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery last year, where her father was given full military honors, and she said “it was a beautiful ceremony.” But she and her brother are still searching for any clues as to what their father’s fate may be.

“We just want something to be able to have closure. We have no information.”

Also in attendance was Cindy Stonebraker of Hopkinsville, Ky. whose father, Lt. Col. Kenneth Stonebraker, went missing Oct. 28, 1968. He was flying a night recognizance mission in North Vietnam the last anyone heard of him. She too is hoping for any sort of information that she can find to gain some sort of closure in her situation.

The riders continued on Monday afternoon headed toward Chattanooga before making their way to Washington, D.C. The group plans to arrive at the wall on Friday.

 

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