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May 16, 2013 7:00 PM by Danielle Lerner

Local veterans join nationwide Run for the Wall

MARANA- Local veterans are embarking on a cross country motorcycle journey as a way to honor their fellow servicemen and women. They are joining thousands of other riders in this year's Run for the Wall, which starts in California and ends at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It's emotional, very impressive," said Green Valley Resident and Veteran Barry Lucas. "We're a very military background family and it means a lot to see all these people that care so much about veterans, and supporting veterans, and the nation."

One by one more than 450 motorcycles rumbled down a flag-lined street as veterans and non-veterans looked on with pride. Riders from across the country, coming together to make sure those who serve are never forgotten.

"Number one, I'm a vet," said Richard McIntosh, who lives in Florida. "Number two, I support the POWs and MIAs, bring them home."

"My sister Judy and I are riding for our brother Joe," said Mike Matejov, who lives in California.

Air Force Sgt. Joe Matejov is missing in action.

"He was shot down eight days after the Peace Agreement, in Laos," said Matejov. "They told us he was killed, five years later we found out he was in fact captured alive."

Mike Matejov says events like this give his family strength and hope. As they, like so many others, deal with the unknown on a daily basis.

"All gave some but some gave all," he said. "A lot of people didn't come back and even those that did come back, they should be honored, they should be respected, and they should be welcomed."

The 10-day trip ends in Washington, D.C. They will be at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.

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