MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Hundreds of bikers participating in Run for the Wall spent the night in Meridian before rolling out early Tuesday, Day 7, to continue the 10-day journey to Washington, D.C.
Bikers are traveling across the U.S. to show support for veterans and their families.
"Every morning we have a riders' meeting. There's a moment where we discussed why we ride," Kris Wood, who does public relations for Run for the Wall. "We ride for POWs and MIAs and our military. Every morning, a story is shared of someone that is still missing in action or someone that was a POW that's been repatriated. It's very emotional."
Cold War veteran, Travis Handleson, says the reason he rides is because he found what he has lost over the years and that is brotherhood.
"I’ve been out for almost 29 years. I never had that type of brotherhood again and I found it here with these people," said Handleson. "I encourage people to find that again."
The goal of this bike ride is to honor and remember all U.S. veterans and to promote healing for their families. Many bike riders say the ride is emotional.
"Most of the Vietnam veterans on this run are getting a welcome home that they never had. We get to visit the veterans that are in the hospitals that have been forgotten. People forget that they are in the hospital and they forget to visit them. The only time veterans get to see anybody in these VA hospitals is when we stop, and that's once a year," said veteran Roger Mead.
Mead joined the ride in 1989 and took his last one in 2002. He says he is thankful for all the love and support that people give to veterans.
"Our people out there love us veterans and they show it when we come through," says Mead.
Riders are heading next to Tuskegee VA Hospital to visit and spend time with veterans there. The ride ends Saturday in Washington.