AVTT WALL
2018 Accolades & Testimonials

Once again, the 2018 Salute to American Veteran’s Rally did not disappoint - great people, great time, and great town. Having retired from the military a few years ago I often reflect back on the friends and camaraderie that came with being in a unit. Coming to Cripple Creek each August provides that same sense of camaraderie and fellowship with those who have and continue to serve our nation. And this year was even more special with the recognition of the 4th Infantry Division during the opening ceremony. While there are many motorcycle events we can attend, the Salute to American Veteran’s Rally is the only event which focuses on the single purpose of recognizing the men and women who currently serve our country, the veterans who have honorably served, and the families and friends who support them. Thanks to all those who worked so hard to make this year’s rally a great experience, and I look forward to next year.

Regards,
Mike Kasales

 

John-Wear-125

My day at the Veterans Rally was a humbling experience.  The heartwarming hand shakes with my comrades in arms and the phrase "Welcome Home Brother" touched my heart.  This was my first visit to the Rally, totally surprising me by the Veterans on Motorcycles and the touching ceremony in the park. I am so grateful to Jim Wear and his committee for allowing me to help honor the men and women in our armed forces, those who returned unharmed from war, and those who didn't return, especially my Korean comrades many of whose remains were recently recovered from the North Koreans and those who returned with mental and physical disabilities. The Mayor, his Council and my favorite city of Cripple Creek are to be congratulated for hosting this event each year. It is my hope that our future will allow peace and love to encompass our great country, making war much less a part of our lives.

Cpl Keith R. Dearborn

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John-Wear-125

It has been my honor to participate in the Salute to American Veterans Rally for over a decade. The Rally is produced with precision, decorum, sincerity, and Pride of America. It is humbling to be greeted by the Sons of Silence hugs when I arrive; to witness the hundreds of motorcycles winding down the mountain and hear them ride under that huge flag near the Veterans Park; to experience my heart beat as the KS ALR/Original Patriot Guard walk in and surround the park to Ray Charles singing AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL; receiving hand shakes and hugs as I walk through the biker/vets, singing a 'Welcome Home' Tribute; see the appreciative faces of those heroes surrounding the Gazebo; watching plaques being dedicated; new 'wheels' being presented to wounded warriors; to sit and fellowship with the honored POW and POW widows and speakers. The 'golden nuggets' of wisdom Jim Wear shares at the conclusion of each Ceremony are 'priceless'. And, the opportunity to sit with the American Veterans Traveling Tribute Wall with overseer, Roy Box and his 'crew', is an extra bonus. This annual Cripple Creek event is a highlight of my year, and these volunteers have become my 'Mountain Therapy' family. WELL DONE!

Monica 'little sis' Harvey
Veterans Music Ministry
Traveling Vietnam Wall Chaplain

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 The 2018 Salute to American Veterans Rally was a unique opportunity for me to be selected to give the Invocation and the Benediction. I assure you that my heart is still touched by your confidence in me to pray over the rally/honored guests and rally participants. I offer you, Pam, and all of your team my most sincere congratulations for recognizing and honoring our amazing men and women who have or are serving in our military forces. My best wishes and continued support for the success for future rallies!

Sincerely,
Connie Dodrill
Cripple Creek Parks and Recreation Director.

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It is and will always be an Honor to participate in this amazing event - The Salute to American Veterans Rally. I truly believe this event brings Veterans together to reminisce and support each other, to be with old friends and to meet new friends.
I belong to Rolling Thunder Chapter 1 CO based in Denver, Co. and have had the distinct pleasure of not only performing in the Missing Man Table Ceremony but have also been selected to narrate the Missing Man Table Ceremony the past couple years. We have been performing this Ceremony for the past 5 years at this Rally and hope to keep coming back year after year!
I love this event as there is so much enthusiasm and respect amongst all who attend, I can't wait until 2019!
Thank you again for allowing me the Honor of being a part of this Rally.
God Bless you Jim for all the hard work you, your team and the town of Cripple Creek put into this event.
God Bless our Vets and God Bless America!!

Sincerely,
Terry Newkirk
Vice President/Treasurer
Rolling Thunder Chapter 1 CO

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On behalf of Commander Tom Litherland and members of the Victor-Cripple Creek American Legion Post 171, we gratefully acknowledge, accept, and appreciate your generous support over the years. Your teamwork during the Salute to American Veterans Rally and POW/MIA Recognition Ride during 16-19 August 2018 made it possible for us to make homemade ice cream and collect money for the portable oxygen concentrator for Chip Huffman. Your support helps us serve veterans, support youth programs, promote Americanism, and advocate for a strong national defense. Thank you!!

Sincerely,
Richard R. Ingold, Adjutant
Victor-Cripple Creek American Legion Post 171

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I wanted to let you know what an honor it was for me to perform Taps at the 2018 Salute to American Veterans Rally! I had an awesome experience; I was very impressed by the fluid pace as well as being deeply touched throughout the ceremony by the guess speakers. Great job by all and I look forward to attending again next year.

Sincerely,
Tim Park
U.S. Naval Reserves 1979-1985
Sons of the American Legion, Commander Squadron 1976
Colorado State Director, Bugles Across America

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I have worked it and rode the POW/MIA run, it’s always been a great event and I am glad they kept it in Cripple Creek.

Denise Williams

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What a great way to honor our veterans. Thank you vets for your service. Thank you Cripple Creek for hosting this event.

Terri Wallert

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Amazing event that acknowledges our local heroes! Never forget their sacrifices made for our freedom today!

Holli Harwell

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Just an amazing event. Very moving. Thank you to everyone who made the weekend possible.

Guns Indians

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John-Wear-125

As a US Marine Vietnam veteran and as an American, I have been almost continuously and deeply concerned about the current political divisiveness and social turmoil that our nation seems to be facing on a daily basis.  But this past weekend in Cripple Creek, Colorado, based on the massive outpouring of patriotism and the love for our wonderful country that the visitors and participants of the "Salute to Veterans Rally" displayed, my concerns were greatly abated.  The 2018 event was only my second time that I was able to witness but it was as good, or even better, than last year's event.  Thank you Jim and Pro Promotions for the Herculean effort that it takes to put on such a wonderful display of American pride and cohesiveness.  I have already made provisions to attend the 2019 event ... God willing and the creek don't rise.

Semper Fidelis,
John Wear
President USMC Vietnam Tankers Association

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John-Wear-125

I was completely BLOWN AWAY by the 2018 Salute to American Veterans Rally. This was my very first year and I honestly had no idea what to expect. It has definitely been one of the most incredible and liberating experiences of my life. I was deeply humbled and honored to speak on behalf of Mr. Newt Heisley and present the plaque dedicated to him. Standing in front of and having the privilege, and it was an IMMENSE privilege, to speak to actual POW's and widows of MIA's, is something I never thought I would have the opportunity to do and I will never forget. Mr. Heisley is absolutely right, they are the REAL heroes. I have never been more proud to be an American than that moment. It was emotional and just a simply beautiful experience, one that I will forever hold near and dear to my heart. On behalf of myself and the entire American Legion Post 38 Family, thank you for everything you do to honor our Veterans, POW's and MIA's. The work you and all of your volunteers do every year to ensure this weekend is a success is something that definitely deserves recognition and praise. This was a life changing experience and I am so proud to have been a part of it. Thank you for the opportunity to speak and I truly look forward to next year!

God Bless America
Desiree Guerra
Commander
American Legion Post 38

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The Cripple Creek Rally is the best Veterans Rally I have ever attended. The Combat Hero Bike Build team enjoyed their stay and our numbers increased over last year. We had folks from Ohio, TX, Florida, California just to name a few. These new comers all said the same thing, Best Veterans Rally. We will be back next year to unveil another bike to a Double amputee veteran. This is our favorite location to reveal the bikes. Congrats to the rally team for all their hard work.

John "Hard Charger" Barker
President/Chairman
Combat Hero Bike Build

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For too many years, we have forgotten to pay our respects to the people who have given so much to ensure our freedom and way of life. It is a worthy cause and takes the extraordinary efforts of people like yourself to make this event happen. It makes me proud to be part of this community when I see how much the effort the community put in to recognizing our veterans. Thanks for all you and your team has done to make this event possible and I look forward to future events.

Mike Schnaffer
General Manager
Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mine
Newmont Corporation

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Amazing event to celebrate so many great people, past, present, and future! Thank you to each and every man and woman who fights and sacrifices for the country we all love. Without all of you we wouldn’t have the freedoms we do.

Dachell Brunke

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Excellent event that is well organized, well thought out and a model of how to honor America’s Veterans! It’s what every community should have and every child should see. Congratulations on 25+ years of setting the standard for American patriotism!

Jodie Butler

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Every year the event gets better. The stories of the keynote speakers show the true nature of veterans: a group willing to come together as a whole to help the country because they believe in service. This event is a perfect way to say “Thank You” to the ones who really put themselves in harm’s way to protect the masses.

Keith B. LaMee Jr.

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Family is the one word that comes to my mind for the 2018 rally. Jim Wear his lovely wife. The amazing people that come together to work the event. The group of Veterans that are honored. There are very few there that I wouldn't trust with my broken heart after losing my DJ. I come home refreshed knowing I can call on pretty much anyone there and they would be there to answer my call. This event is cherished and needed because it keeps us all humbled and honored fir the fredoms we have in this beautiful country we call home. America the home of the free because of the brave who serve to keep it that way.

Much Love Always,
Mama Dietz
Proud Gold Star Mother of Navy SEAL Danny P. Dietz Jr.
Operation Red Wings KIA 6/28/05

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It was amazing to see all this support for our American veterans.

Jessica Cruz

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John-Wear-125

I am overwhelmed and appreciative of the 2018 Salute to American Veterans Rally and Jim Wear. You continue to help heal to old wounds of our Vietnam vets to boosting the moral and commitment of our current warriors of today. The Veterans Rally honored every man and woman who’s ever worn the uniform of our nation—those who’ve selflessly secured America’s promise throughout our history along with honoring the brave men and women of the 4th Infantry Division. As a veteran myself, I felt proud to have worn the cloth of our Nation for 30 plus years. Thank you Jim for your continued support of our brave men and women who risk everything to defend our freedoms today.

Terrance McWilliams
Command Sergeant Major, US Army, Retired

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Once again, we had an extraordinary day at the Salute to American Veterans Rally. We cherish the opportunity to be among so many patriots who value the importance of honoring our veterans. It is a privilege to be able to share the Honor Bell's mission and to toll in recognition at this event. We look forward to next year.

Michelle Mallin
Executive Director and Co-Founder, Honor Bell Foundation

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This year (2018) was the BEST year at the Cripple Creek Rally I have attended. As always enjoyed the bikes and riders, watching veterans healing from issues that may have plagued them for years. Please keep up this VERY SPECIAL program. The Presentation from Legion Post 38 for Newt Heisley was wonderful. Team keep up the great work. Hugs to all.

Carol Kennedy, LTC (ret,) USAF Nurse Corps
American Legion Dept. of CO Commander 2013-2014

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As always, the ceremony in the park was very moving. I think that the ceremony is probably the best part of the entire event. It is the heart of what the Salute to American Veterans Rally is and is all about. For me personally, it was such an honor to be asked to sit in the gazebo with our military men and woman! One thing in particular really stirred me this year. In all the time that I have known Bill McPherson, I never really knew much about his tours in Nam. I don't think very many have. To listen to him open up and describe his last flight and then the return to Vietnam 44 years later to honor his co-pilot just hit me...I don't quite know how to put the feelings into words... It's hard for me to put a lot of my feelings about the weekend into words. Every year I am reminded over and over just how many men, woman and animals have given of themselves so that my family and I can enjoy the freedoms and opportunities that we do. I am truly humbled and eternally grateful to each and everyone.
I again want to express my deep gratitude to you for bringing this event to Cripple Creek year after year so that for a brief moment in our busy lives we can all take a moment to reflect and honor all those who served and all those who paid the ultimate price.

Humbly,
Melissa "Missie" Trenary
Cripple Creek City Council

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I attended the 31st Annual Salute to Veterans Rally in Cripple Creek, CO and had a great time as usual. I got to meet old friends and make a few new ones too. Each year that I attend there is something new and this year was no different. I especially want to thank both Pro-Promotions and the Salute to Veterans Committee for their very generous donation to the Colorado Springs Vets for Vets organization to assist in their fundraising efforts preparing for the Homeless Veterans Stand Down coming up in October. I personally am in awe with the amount of support to our local veteran’s community that this event provides each year, both seen and unseen. Each year the committee provides a great ceremony honoring each veteran group with especially stirring speakers who give us all a brief glimpse to their experiences. One only has to go to Cripple Creek’s city park and read the plaques mounted on the POW-MIA wall to note the honors rendered each year. I appreciate the huge amount of coordination that goes into this event from getting the Vietnam Moving Wall to return, managing assistance from the various veteran groups, herding the multitude of vendors and negotiating with the city council for their continued support. A simple thanks to the committee doesn’t seem like enough, but Thank you, again.

Andy Tyler

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The 2018 Salute to American Veterans Rally was an extremely professional and patriotic event. It not only made me proud to be a Veteran, but more importantly an American! I salute Cripple Creek and the Rally Committee for their dedication to the men and women that have sacrificed so much in the name of this great nation. Semper Fidelis!

Colonel Matt Palma, USMC

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FANTASTIC weekend, as every year. It’s my main event each year. Great time with brothers and a chance to pay respect to those who have fought, been held captive, and/or died for our country. If you have not been, get your ass there next year – usually a weekend in mid August.

Wade Eppler

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An awesome event to honor awesome men and women! Thank you to all our vets and active duty military!

Alvina Kemper

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It’s the BEST! The happy, proud feelings for our veterans, the displays of affection to the military from the community, the gorgeous ride from Colorado Springs, to Cripple Creek, the HUGE beautiful brightly lit colored flag flying in the bright sunshine, a little fun in the casinos, and so much more!

Patricia Calloway

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