May 26, 2005
A local band donated their time and money to travel across the country with Rolling Thunder.
The band, Fletcher Bridge, traveled cross-country twice to support Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action, but nobody could predict all the hardships they would encounter.
"We got to Kentucky and the wheel almost fell-off our bus because five of the eight lug-nuts fell off and we were stuck there for 18 hours," Jamie Dean, the lead guitarist of the band said.
This was only the first problem to occur to their vehicle. They had to purchase the $8,000 bus because their sponsor backed out at the last minute. In Utah they were delayed two days because of a failed transmission.
"The guy that worked on our transmission for over 20 hours didn't want any money at all. We had to force him to take some money," said Dean.
But it didn't stop the band from renting a vehicle and making it to San Francisco in time to play with Nancy Sinatra. They finally piled back on the bus where a family member drove it over half a day to meet them.
"He spent so much money and time and effort to stay up all night just to make sure we got there," explained Dean.
Poor logistics and equipment failures could have ruined their trip, but instead, these hometown patriots focused on the good people they met.
"It just felt good to be around people like that . You knew that if you need something they would be there for you and they would do what they could, give you the shirt off their back so to speak," added drummer Mike Lumer.
Fletcher Bridge finished the tour, playing for Veterans and Hometown friends at the Harley Davidson Shop in Staunton, where they continued to pass the flame.
"Those guys are just fantastic and people really love them," said King Cavalier of Carry The Flame.
The band may have finished their part of the trip, but the bikers will continue to ride over the Memorial Bridge in Washington DC this weekend.