By MELINDA WILLIAMS
When motorcycles rolled through Washington, D.C. for this year’s Rolling Thunder event, two members of Faith Ryders Motorcycle Ministry joined in, flying 12 flags to honor area veterans.
Elder Eddie Wright said he and Bobby McPeak displayed 10 POW-MIA (Prisoner of War-Missing in Action) flags and two American flags on their motorcycles as they rode through the nation’s capital as part of the annual Ride for Freedom POW-MIA demonstration.
Wright is founder of Faith Ryders and captain of Patriot Guard Riders District 2. McPeak is a member of both groups. The purpose of Rolling Thunder and the Ride for Freedom is to draw government representatives’ attention to the plight of the U.S. military’s war prisoners and soldiers who remain missing in action.
Upon returning home, Wright prepared bags for each veteran who was honored. In addition to the flag flown in the veteran’s honor, each bag contained a 2014 Rolling Thunder pin, patch, t-shirt and small flag, a military Christian cross and other items. Vietnam War veterans also received a 50th anniversary Vietnam War pin.
Veterans honored this year were:
•Stanley Hurt, 92, of the Brooklyn community in Fairlawn. An Army veteran, he received the Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts and many other medals while serving in World War II. He also was a POW in Germany. “If not for men like Stanley, we all would be speaking German,” said Wright.
•Jimmy Sims of Radford, a Vietnam combat veteran.
•John Kinney of Narrows, who served in the Army after WWII.
•Steve Dripps of Newbern, a special forces Vietnam combat veteran.
•Lee Wright of Dublin, a Vietnam combat veteran.
•Joe Davis Jr., an Army veteran from Pulaski County.
•Bobby Adkins of China Grove, N.C., who served in the Army and lost a battle with cancer in January. The flag flown in his honor was given to his family in Pulaski County.
•Hoyt Parris Sr. of Fairlawn, a Navy submariner.
•Sam Lewis of Dublin, an Air Force combat veteran in Vietnam.
•Alex Rygas of Pulaski, a lieutenant and Vietnam combat veteran.
•Willard Mills of Brooklyn community, a Vietnam combat veteran.
•Wayne Haynes of Fairlawn, who served in the Army after WWII.
•Carl Anderson of Little Creek, a Marine and Vietnam combat veteran.