For the first time since being assigned in the Pikes Peak region my wife and I were able to attend this year’s Veteran’s Rally. I was extremely impressed with the patriotism demonstrated by all who attended this well organized event. The Veteran’s Rally is an event everyone should attend, as it helps to remind all what a privilege it is to live in America, the land of the free.
Col Walter E. Wininger USA NORTHCOM
As a career Air Force fighter pilot, Major General and former POW, I have had the privilege of participating often in this event, and speaking at both the banquet and the gazebo in the town’s center. What has impressed me most about this event is the number of veterans that attend from all over the country. I would not have known how many there were except that they recognized me from the stage and introduced themselves to me as I walked the streets afterward. This is truly a fantastic event wherein veterans from all eras can come together to honor our current active duty heroes in uniform, and lend their support to our country.I look forward to seeing you again this year for Colorado’s greatest testimony of patriotic support for our service men and women.
Bud Breckner, EX-POWMajor General, USAF, Retired
The Salute to American Veterans Rally is like a breath of fresh air. Here in the beautiful and spectacular mountains of Colorado, we find a group of simple American citizens coming together to honor those who have served our country to defend and preserve our freedoms. It is a time of comradeship and celebration to express patriotism and appreciation for all veterans. They honor the flag and embody the spirit of one nation united and proud. God bless them and our great country. Freedom is not free, and it is coming together for events such as this one, that re-news faith in and love for our country - and pays tribute to the men and women who have served.Tom Kirk, EX-POWColonel, USAF(Ret)========================================I attended the series of weekend events last year and thoroughly enjoyed myself. My father, who is a 30 year military veteran and served in World War II and Vietnam, accompanied me and had a great time and repeatedly commented on the wonderful outpouring of community support. You should know that I was privileged to represent Fort Carson and the 7th Infantry Division as your community honored the service of our great veterans. This event is simply amazing. Not only do you recognize the duty, honor and selfless service of America’s service members – past and present, but you also spotlight Cripple Creek’s reputation as supportive of our military.I look forward to this year’s event and thank you and your team for recognizing the service of America’s sons and daughters.
Terry A. WolffColonel, USA
I have participated in rides, rallies, patriotic displays and all manner of events where Americans gather to celebrate our freedom. These events have occurred in places as far-flung as Gary, Indiana, Western Kentucky and Washington DC. I have never seen a single one so well organized and so well orchestrated as the 2010 Cripple Creek Rally. Having worked closely with you in preparation for this event, I put this down to your personal attention and commitment, and extend the thanks of a grateful old soldier to you for what you accomplished.
PATRICK L. FETTERMAN COL, IN
Chief of Staff
Fort Carson, CO
My girlfriend and I attended the rally this year; great to have it back in Cripple Creek! Perfect weather, an amazing ride in, and a great time all in one package. I retired from the US Air Force after over 20 years on active duty just over 3 years ago. The ceremonies at the rally were extremely moving. From the guest speakers to the soldiers from Ft. Carson in the Wounded Warrior program to the remembrance of the Ft. Hood fallen, the program was much more than I expected. An amazing job by Pro Promotions and, specifically, Jim Wear for a respectful and touching job as emcee. Thank you for all you do, and, as a vet, I am proud to salute you. May God bless you in all your endeavors.
TSgt Steve Peeler
Thank you for your dedication to America’s Military, current and past, active and retired. The Salute to American Veterans Rally gives all that attend, both veteran and non-veteran, the opportunity to join together in an awesome atmosphere of American Patriotic Pride. Especially for the Vietnam Veterans that were ridiculed, condemned, called obscenities and spit on upon their returned from war. The Salute to America Veterans Rally is truly an important part of the healing process for Vietnam Veterans and all veterans that have experienced the horrors of combat. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the POW/MIA Remembrance Ceremony and thanks again to you and Pam for an “Awesome American Weekend”.
Colonel US Army, Retired
As a veteran I look forward to the “Salute to American Veterans” rally every single year in the great state of Colorado. Nowhere else have I found a venue of this proportion specifically dedicated to the men and women who have served their country and those who continue to serve. Not only does the rally bring old friends back together, but it provides numerous opportunities to make new ones. I feel privileged to have met so many men and women who have honorably served their country and who to me, epitomize what it is to be a hero!
Freddie R. Strickland
OIF/OEF Outreach Coordinator
U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs
Colorado Springs Vet Center
FROM A VIETNAM POW AND 37 YEAR VETERAN:
Good Morning Jim and Pam!!!!!
We are getting ready to depart the Denver area but, before we go, we want to express our most heartfelt thanks for making us a part of such a wonderful experience as the Veterans Rally. I know you receive many thanks and I don't suppose ours is more special than others but we want you to know from our hearts that we truly enjoyed ourselves, were impressed, and walked away with an elevated appreciation for our American Hero's.... the Veterans totally renewed our attitude!!!!
We know the weather threw you a curve and it caused havoc and created a tremendous amount of extra work for you both. We were totally impressed with your professionalism and ability to handle that curve ball!!!!! You both are wonderful dedicated people and do just a terriffic job.
We also can attest to all the hype you create and how you reach peoples hearts and soul. You are great Americans and provide a wonderful venue to thousands of people. This year the weather added a
little extra spice and I hope there were some true believers that realized that the troops have to press on no matter what the weather is, too!!!!
Thanks again for all that you do! We enjoyed being a part of it and will come back again when we can.
Rod Knutson - AMERICAN EX-POW
I just wanted to touch base with you about the Veterans Rally.
I want to thank you for your support in our big Harley give away. It really drove people to our casino. We had good numbers in coin-in and customer counts, compared to the same days in June and July.
All in all I feel like it puts Cripple Creek on the map in a positive manner.
Bronco Billy’s Casino
After performing greater than 1,000 Military Funeral Honors for our nation’s fallen heroes not many things bring tears to my eyes...
This year’s Veteran’s Rally in Cripple Creek, CO was the exception. The outpouring of support, camaraderie and fellowship between current Active Duty Military, Retirees, Veterans, bikers and friends was enough to move me to tears on more than one occasion. My team and I are simply honored to have been a part of it and thrilled to see its return to Cripple Creek. Jim and Pam Wear of Pro Promotions should be commended for the effort they put forth to show appreciation and thanks to our American Veterans and POW-MIA!
Edward C. Wise, MSgt, USAF
Superintendent, Mile High Honor Guard
“A Mile Above the Rest”
Pam thank you for all the work you and Jim did for this weekend. The ceremony was outstanding.
Sergeant Major Grade, Scott D
Site Sergeant Major
Marine Air Control Squadron 23
Marine Air Control Group 48
Fourth Marine Air Craft Wing FMF
Buckley Air Force Base
“It was a privilege for me to be able to speak to such a patriotic and committed group of American Veterans in Winter Park, Colorado at the Veterans Motorcycle Rally. Just when you begin to think that we are certainly a military at war but are not perhaps a “nation” at war, you come across thousands of American patriots that send the message that they not only care but support those who have gone into harms way. This was the case this summer in Winter Park. Some were veterans, others were currently serving, some had never served in uniform, yet all were there to not only show their appreciation for American patriots who have sacrificed so much over the years but also to confirm that love for and commitment to this great country is still alive and well. With the majestic backdrop of the Colorado mountains, a great summer snow, and a town earnestly committed to the ideals upon which this nation was built--Americans gathered, flags waved, and the unique sign of freedom resident in motorcycles and their riders rolling through the streets, all combined to confirm that this is still the greatest nation on earth and the American spirit is strong. I am honored to have witnessed and made a small contribution to this great event. Thanks Jim for taking this on, you my friend are a patriot of the highest order.”
CSM Daniel R. Wood
Command Sr. Enlisted Leader NORAD/USNORTHCOM
The Salute to American Veterans Rally is a veritable explosion of good old-fashioned patriotism. The Rally attendees welcomed every veteran of every war with equal enthusiasm and support. If you aren?t proud to be an American when you arrive, you will be when you leave. Thanks to everyone for the wonderful hospitality, a great program and for giving me a few thousand new friends!?
Joseph L. Galloway
co-author: We Were Soldiers Once... and Young & nationally syndicated military columnist
It was encouraging to see this display of the support American?s have for their fighting men and women at the 2006 Salute to American Veterans Rally. I felt humbled to see the heartfelt thanks I got from so many patriotic Americans. This is something every American should witness. That was such a great event. You ran it like clockwork. You did a great job putting all that together. It was great meeting you. I look forward to coming out there again! Thank you so much.?
Lt Col Gregg Lyon
United States Marine Corps
“This is a truly remarkable event that brings together veterans, families and friends from all of the services and all of our Nation’s wars. I was humbled by the patriotism, pride and fellowship I saw last year in Winter Park! And I know that our fellow countrymen and women support us, as our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines carry out their duties in over 80 countries worldwide.”
Norman H. Andersson
Deputy Commanding General
Division West, 1st Army
I am SSG Linda Sterling. I along with my husband SFC (R) William Sterling was Blessed to have had the opportunity to have the honor of participating in the events honoring our POWs and MIAs. I hope that you all remember us, we were the singing soldier husband and wife stationed at Fort Carson. I sang the National Anthem and he would do God Bless the USA.
Whatever the reason, the events that we partook in came to my mind and it is a very fond memory. The people, the friendships, and the bikes:). I can’t forget the bikes....I just wanted to reach out to you all to let you know that you all are thought of by me and William. At this time,I am deployed to Iraq and he is retired. We are now stationed at Fort Benning, GA.
In the future, I would love to come and participate again for old time sake. If you will have us. This event is not only moving, it leaves a mark on your soul for what it stands for.
I will return to the US in June 2010.
Take care and God Bless,
SSG Linda Sterling
My wife, Lynne, and I are very grateful for all the hard work and organization in putting this event together. We enjoyed ourselves immensely and hope this is a recurring event in Cripple Creek. We loved that Victor was included with “The Wall” on the ball field. This was a very enjoyable and emotional tribute to our Veterans.
Thanks and God Bless!
Russ and Lynne
What an honor it was for me to sing for the Veteran’s Rally again this year. It is something I would like to do again next year if you would want me to.
Thanks so much and again, you did a fantastic job organizing the event.
We are proud to say we were part of the POW-MIA Recognition Ride 2010 and loved every minute of it. We enjoyed the Rally - all three days and traveled to The Wall twice. Thanks for the hard work it took to pull it together - it showed. We particularly enjoyed the military speeches and wounded vet recognition. Thanks from the bottom of our Texas-Hearts for the tribute to the Fort Hood soldiers.
When you have time - I’d like to know the numbers so I can add that information to my Harley blog. I can’t begin to imagine how you would count heads at the rally. Attendance was phenomenal. Getting all the riders stacked up in Woodland Park registered for the Recognition Ride had to have been a challenge, but in our experience your people and volunteers were professional and industrious.
Winter Park was a great event last year but Cripple Creek is the best.
We will encourage our friends and family to ride up from Texas next year for the event. We can hardly wait for you to announce the dates 2011.
Vickie & Tim Downing
Fort Collins, CO
Thank You again for including me in your tribute to Veterans. You get an A++ again!...Your speech, the doves, ahhhhhhhhhhh~ Thank you for letting me walk around as I sang….
At the WALL, I got to sing for the opening ceremony, did the National Anthem twice, sang for a Wall Touching and the Sunday morning Service. I appreciate the opportunity. I got to see many Vets I’ve met in the past, and this year even met a classmate I hadn’t seen in decades…He lives in Colorado Springs, and I helped his wife find a Nebraska name on the Wall.
Please let me know if I can be part of your tribute again….
Over the past three years I have had the opportunity to participate as a Grand Marshall in the parade and speak as an active duty member of the Air Force at the remembrance celebration. The Cripple Creek tribute is a highlight of the summer and I have encountered men and women all over the United States in my travels that remember the weekend. Just this last year a young Marine still recovering from his Iraqi Freedom wounds was recognized during the formal tribute so well organized and conducted by Jim Wear and his team of volunteers. After my remarks I spoke with the young man’s father and realized we had met some many months ago on one of my visits to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC to see our wounded veterans and while his Marine was there recuperating. The Marine’s father was delighted to renew our acquaintance and see so many Americans of all walks of life gathered in Cripple Creek to remember the sacrifices of those who have served and those who are serving today. For me to be there for that father and his son and all the others was one of life’s golden moments. As a result, this weekend in August is permanently marked on my calendar.
Lance W. LordGeneral, USAF, Retired
I have had the honor and privilege to be at the head of the POW/MIA Recognition Ride with General Lance Lord for two years, and I have sat on the speaker’s stage with you and many others who were there to honor our veterans. There is nothing I have seen to compare with over 5,000 gleaming motorcycles proudly displaying our nations colors as they proceed down the highway into the fair city. Certainly there are many ways to honor those men and women who wear the cloth of our nation, but in a state which seems to cherish the free spirit of the west, I can think of no more fitting method. I look forward to seeing you on this years ride.
Steven MaasRear Admiral, USN
The POW/MIA Remembrance Ceremony and motorcycle ride to Cripple Creek highlights the duty, honor, and selfless service of our veterans and serving service members. The hard work that the city and rally committee put forth in making this event such a great success sets you and your community apart and is greatly appreciated by all veterans and those of us who continue to serve.
Ken KeenBrigadier General, USA
The Salute To American Veterans’ Rally-2009, was an event that every American should experience. I had the honor to perform at the Rally this year, and while it was very humbling, at the same time it filled my heart with tremendous pride for our great nation! There were thousands of heroes and warriors attending this event, a clear testimony that our America is alive and well. My career in music has revolved around our military and veterans, but I have never experienced the sheer numbers who gathered as one voice, one family, in Winter Park, Co. There were thousands in attendance, yet I did not meet one stranger. It was a gathering of the very best of America, heroes all, joined together with the sacred bond of Love of God and Country. Jim and Pam Wear of Pro Promotions in harmony with their entire staff and the great people of Winter Park and Fraser, Colorado made this Remembrance Rally about the sacrifices of the collective armed forces. Hosting this event in the same professional, generous, and legendary gallantry and heroic efforts that our unfailing, self-sacrificing military personnel have conducted themselves throughout the ages. When these brave, courageous men & women give their commitment they do it whole-heartedly and with the realization that each day is one the others never had. Their hard work and energy made this fantastic event the huge success it was, and I deeply appreciate having been a part of it with ALL my heart!
God Bless our Military and Veterans, and God Bless America!
Forever Grateful ~
Thanks so much for the wonderful Remembrance Ceremony Program yesterday in Winter Park. It was my first and I so enjoyed it. My dear friend, Peggy Mann, sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and I think she nailed it, bringing chills and pride in knowing her. Please keep Peggy in mind for other productions you may do in the future. Peggy also gives great house concerts and has super cds. She is loved by many and has a large following.
However, Jim, this email is really about you and your production company and staff of volunteers. I was greatly moved throughout the event yesterday and immediately went home to let all my friends know, via email, to attend the event next year in Winter Park. Bravo and job well done.
Thank you for including Lost Canyon Band in such an amazing and heartfelt event!! The Salute to American Veterans was a Top Class Rally, which wonderfully mirrored what our veterans and troops have and are still doing. I wish every American could see what I saw last weekend: honor, strength, bravery, sacrifice and humility. Pro Promotions sure knows how to put an experience not be forgotten!
I don’t know if you had an opportunity to hear Lost Canyon Band, as it was obvious you were extremely busy, but we sincerely would love to work with you again.
p.s. I sat next to an older gentlemen who was in World War II (he needed a little assistance in sitting and standing), and when I thanked him for all he had done, he said, “I didn’t do anything.” So wrong!! I told him he was a part of what has made our lives free today, and that EVERY one of our vets is such an important part of history.
The annual Salute to American Veterans Rally is a favorite venue for the VETERANS MUSIC MINISTRY. Hosts Jim Wear, Taz, The AVTT WALL crew, The City of Cripple Creek made my stay so welcoming. It is truly an honor to be sit onstage with so many heroes from all the wars, and to be able to sing to them is so heart felt. I get teary when I see the soldiers from Ft Carson. That is where my Dad trained in WWII for the 10th MTN Division. This year was extra special because I got to walk with the KS Patriot Guard with their flags from behind the stage to the top of the hill behind the chairs, where I got to present a PIONEER award to them representing the NE VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS MEMORIAL HIGHWAY 83. Many Veterans are bikers, and you host a clean production with respect, where they can be honored and gain one more stepping stone of healing, closure, and reconnection with others. Thank You for hosting the AVTT WALL, for including me again this year, the opportunity to give the BANDAID FOR THE HEART medals, and especially to belatedly THANK and WELCOME HOME the Nam/Era biker Veterans. The comment you made at the end of the ceremony was impressive. LET THEM NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.
Monica ‘little sis’ Harvey
I am always impressed with the caliber of people I meet at the “Salute to American Veterans” rally. I look forward to the event every year, where among thousands of other Veterans I feel a sense of camaraderie, brotherhood, and family. No other gathering brings Veterans together en masse like a motorcycle rally; and here in the great state of Colorado we are fortunate to have such an event dedicated solely to honoring the American Veteran. I am always honored and privileged to be in the presence of so many brave men and women who have sacrificed so much, to ensure our great Nation remains the land of the free. Thank you for another great year, thank you Jim and Pam, and I look forward seeing you all again next summer!
Iraq & Afghanistan Veteran Outreach
U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs ?Colorado Springs Vet Center
There is no more important duty as an American than to remember and recognize those who pay for our freedoms - often in blood, up to and including their very life - so we may awake safe.
The Salute to AmericanVeterans Rally is a pinnacle event to do exactly that.
“Colorado Supports the Troops” License plate creator
The Veterans Rally has really been a great experience for me. I met some great people that truly appreciate what each and every Veteran has done for this country, many of which are Veterans themselves! I cannot express how important it is to have the support that we have and I cannot believe that this support was not there for so many others before us. It makes me think how things could have been if I would not have had the support that I have received. I then wonder how many have taken the wrong path because this type of support was not there.
Thank you sincerely for all your hard work in Honoring us Veterans.
United States Army Ret.
“As a sponsor of the annual Salute to American Veterans Rally, I can’t tell you how happy I am to be involved. This event draws an incredible and dedicated crowd and more importantly, truly honors the veterans and active military that have fought and continue to fight for our freedom every day. I personally attend numerous vets related events every year, and I have never experienced even one that compares to the honest tribute to those who sacrifice for our country that the Salute to Veterans rally provides.
For those of us who were not around for Vietnam, and have not personally been directly affected by current day wars, this event not only touches you, but indeed teaches as well. It’s one that should be experienced by each and every one of us who call ourselves Americans. We live in a country that provides freedoms that are unparalleled in the world, and as unfortunate as it is, sometimes we have to fight for those freedoms. Those who protect our freedoms deserve far more than our government gives, and this rally is the closest thing I’ve seen to an actual “Thank you and welcome home” to all of the men and women, past and present, serving our country.
It’s not just a biker’s event-- this is more than just another rally. At this year’s event, I cried and laughed, felt incredibly sad and most of all incredibly proud to be an American. I am honored to have experienced all of it--from the deeply moving speeches, to the elaborate traveling Wall display, to shaking hands with veterans from all eras, this event provides an opportunity for the average American to personally thank our soldiers. It also provides an opportunity to teach the younger generations about what it means to be an American and how important our soldiers are to the way of life in which we have all become so accustomed. It helps define what true patriotism is, and no matter where I work, or what I do, I will make sure that I and those I know participate in and support the Salute to Veterans rally.”
Marketing Director, Law Tigers
The rally this year was an amazing experience! Despite the unfavorable weather on Friday and Saturday, there was a great turnout for the event. It was very moving to see so many veterans and patriotic people together at one event celebrating past, present and future military service to this great country. I was truly humbled to be in the presence of so many of this country’s true heroes. God bless America and may He protect those serving.
Ross Stadsklev – CPT, USA
American Veterans Traveling Tribute travels the USA annually attending sponsored events to promote patriotism and honor respect and remember those who served, and insure the same for those who are serving.
The Veterans Rally is a focus of celebration and remembering. It is our duty to never forget, yet Stand Up for America. If we falter, we diminish the commitment and sacrifice of all those who came before us.
We cannot chose the weather, but we can chose how and where we spend our time, and stand the line with a resolve of freedoms celebration. This happened in 2008. It will happen again in 2009.
Thank you for inviting AVTT to be part of your honoring celebration and rally. This event has become our signature destination the last 2 years.
A person is never gone, until the memories are. You keep memories alive and make memories.
You help to honor the past, celebrate the present, and educate the future.
Every state in this US of A should have an event like happens in Colorado. Our country needs this focus.
We are a blessed people who live in a blessed nation, we must never forget.
Thanks again, It has been an honor.
United States Army Retired
Throughout my 37 year career in the military and since, I have had many opportunities to witness or participate in some fantastic events including one at the White House. I was honored with the chance to participate in the 2008 Salute to American Veterans Rally in Winter Park, CO. Talk about a heart warming, fantastic, and memorable experience!!!! WOW!!!
Veterans have a special place in my heart. All veterans, no matter what their job or where they were stationed are truly important and deserve to be recognized and your Rally and the Winter Park/Fraser team did that with superb style. What a wonderful thing it is that you do! I was pleased and encouraged to meet people there from many parts of the country, not just Colorado. The Rally participants, a variety of tourists, and the towns-people themselves, were exhuberent, enthusiastic and truly sincere in their recognition of the sacrifices and dedication of our Veterans. Your honored guests were absolutely amazing to behold!
I was extremely PROUD to have been able to attend, let alone being asked to be one of the speakers at the ceremony and participate in the POW/MIA Ride. I mingled with a great number of Veterans and their wives and friends throughout the week end. It was truly a great experience and it made a tremendous impression on both me and my wife. We enjoyed every aspect of the event. The bad weather actually added something special to the event because it helped all who were there appreciate the fact that our troops have to endure no matter what the weather is.
I want to extend my personal thanks to you and Pam for the absolutely wonderful job you do at orchestrating this event and to all your sponsors and helpers who work so hard to make it happen. It is a great tribute to Veterans and much deserved. Far too many Veterans receive far too little recognition for their sacrifice and dedication. I am proud of you for your sincere devotion to this Rally.
Winter Park and Fraser, I am so proud of you also for hosting this event. I fully realize there are diverse and compelling priorities that impact your city government, police and fire departments, city employees and your individual communities tugging at your resources and time. However, you are sincerely commended for each and every effort you made to help make the 2008 Salute to American Veterans Rally happen. Thank you.
I look forward to coming back to the Rally and Winter Park/Fraser again in the future.
Best Regards and Good luck in the future,
Captain Rod Knutson USN Retired
Thompson Falls, Montana
Thank you so much for allowing us to participate in the Rally last week. It was an incredible experience and we were so glad to be a part.
Please keep us on the mailing list for next years event, or other similar events you organize.
Ride for Freedom Service Dogs
Hey it was a Great Rally in 2010! I Had a great time & will be coming back every year, To me this rally is extremely important, so much so, I broke down at the reading of the names in the park.
Thank you for your valuable time
Rev. P. J. Johnson aka “Preacher”
Formerly Sgt USAF
Hey Jim, Great job with Cripple Creek! I especially enjoyed the honors ceremony and the flyovers! So good to see so many people turn out! Thanks for getting out of Winter Park and back to where the rally belongs!
City Glass Co.