Motorcyclists ride across America in honor of Veterans

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Thousands of motorcyclists are making the trip from the West Coast all the way to Washington D.C. this week on the annual Run for the Wall.

Each year participants from 8 to 80 get on a bike and make their way across America, making stops at memorials, veteran's hospitals, and schools.

"It's not about the journey it's about the destination," said veteran Ken Pope, from Huntington Beach, California.

Pope is one of thousands of motorcyclists riding across America for those who can't.

"I road from Peblo, to California, now to D.C, and then home," said participant John Vigil. "I'm doing the Run for the Wall for my dad. He's a Vietnam veteran, Airborn Ranger, Purple Heart."

"I think a lot of the Vietnam veterans were overlooked. They weren't really recognized and I think this is something that raises attention to all veterans," said Pope.

The 10 day ride began in Ontario, California, ending at the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington D.C. promoting healing among all veterans and their families.

"(My friend) told me when he got home (from the war) he took his uniform off just so he could endure just being on a bus or a train, and that disgusted me as a young man," said Chuck Coe, from Temecula, California, who's providing water in his truck for all of the riders along the way.

Now in its 29th year, the 6,500 mile journey gains support from Americans on and off the road.

"Almost every bridge you go through, you got flags up in the air, people waving, every rest-stop people are giving us gas, or snacks," said Vigil.

Among those waving flags in Topeka, Commander of Post 421 Larry Warner.

"It's an unbelievable sight, words can't express the heart that goes out to them, the camaraderie," said Warner.

"Everyday is something different, and something inspiring, and something wonderful," said Coe.

A message of love, support, and patriotism, from sea to shining sea, and to The Wall.

"We looked at each other when we got to D.C. and said 'Let's do this again," said Coe.

Participants are riding three different routes, all ending Saturday on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

From there they'll walk as a group to the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial wall where they'll place a plaque to represent their mission complete.