|Rolling Thunder ® , Inc.
NY Chapter 5
Albany, New York
These two veterans discussed the more than 10,000 reported sightings of live Americans living in dismal
captivity. Intelligence reports of these sightings were generally ignored by the government and
mainstream press. These two veterans were Artie Muller and Ray Manzo.
THE FIRST ROLLING THUNDER DEMONSTRATION:
Artie and Ray were ordinary men who understood that they had a right to have their voices heard and
proceeded to lay down the plans for a Artie and Ray were ordinary men who understood that they had a
right to have their voices heard and proceeded to lay down the plans for a advocates to unify and form a
march and demonstration in the nations Capital. Their arrival would be announced by the roar of their Harley
, Hence, they would gathering in call themselves "Rolling Thunder" a title that would endure time and be
trademarked in 1990. Word spread quickly and by Memorial Day weekend in 1988, approximately 2,500
motorcycles from all over the country converged on Washington, D.C. to demand from our leaders a full
accounting of all POW/MIA's, and for the unity that was felt. This was Rolling Thunder's first demonstration.
Only until ALL POW/MIA's ARE ACCOUNTED FOR, it will not be their last. On that day, the foundation was laid
for the annual "Ride for Freedom" to the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall (also referred to as the "Ride to
ROLLING THUNDER TODAY:
The number of motorcycle participants in the Memorial Day weekend Ride for Freedom has grown from
2,500 to over hundreds of thousands; not to mention the tens of thousands pedestrian onlookers and
participants. These numbers have been brought increasing notoriety to our cause, but it has not been
without consequences. Since motorcycles have become synonymous with the Rolling Thunder name, it has
created a misconception of the organizations true objectives and purpose and has sometimes
overshadowed our many accomplishments and contributions to veterans and our local communities. It is
not a "motorcycle club". Rolling Thunder's Mission Statement vows its major function is to publicize the
POW/MIA issue: educate the public that many American Prisoners of War were left behind after all previous
wars, to help correct the past and protect future veterans from being left behind should they become
Prisoners of War/Missing in Action, and be committed to helping American veterans from all wars.
Rolling Thunder was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1995 and is headquartered in New Jersey.
Today, the organization has over 7,000 members throughout the United States, with a few in Canada. There
are over 80 chartered Rolling Thunder chapters in the continental United States and the numbers
continually grow. The chapters are strictly governed by the Constitution and By-Laws of the organization,
with committee members working on issues that include; Government Affairs for the POW/MIA issue, Gulf
War and Korean War Affairs, Veterans Community Assistance, School Education and Junior Members Youth
Rolling Thunder believes in the Army Ranger Creed that vows: "I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall
into the hands of the enemy..." Rolling Thunder will continue to grow and grow strength as long as even
one person remains unaccounted for.
SUPPORTING LOCAL VETERANS & COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Rolling Thunder has donated funds to send search teams in Southeast Asia to look for POW's/MIA's and
made a contribution to a POW family looking for their father in North Vietnam.
Chapters nation wide make monthly visits to their local VA hospital nursing homes and Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder (PTSD) Wards, are actively involved with the VA's Center of Recovery Empowerment
(CORE), as well as a homeless veteran program being promoted by Miss America 2000 Heather
On a monthly basis members donate cases of food to the local VA hospitals to help subsidize our nation's
poorly funded veteran's programs. Truckloads of clothing are donated to homeless veterans and VA
patients each year.
National has provided financial support to disabled veterans and their families not receiving full
compensation from the VA.
Each year, Rolling Thunder veterans speak to youths and their parents at local area schools, scouting
programs and other youth programs to educate them about the patriotism, freedom and human factor of war
and the reality of the POW/MIA crisis.
The organization regularly donates POW/MIA flags to local schools, various organizations and interest
groups and organizes flag raising ceremonies to promote public awareness.
Rolling Thunder greatly facilitated the publishing of a POW/MIA postage stamp through the U.S. Postal
Service that displayed dog tags with the declaration "POW & MIA - NEVER FORGOTTEN".
LAWS PASSED THROUGH ROLLING THUNDER ENDEAVORS
Missing Service Personnel Act of 1997
This bill guarantees that missing servicemen and women could not be arbitrarily "killed on paper" by the
U.S. Government without credible proof of death.
Bring Them Home Alive Act of 2000
The act provides for the granting of refugee status in the United States to national of certain foreign
countries in which American Vietnam POW/MIA's or American Korean War POW/MIA's are present, if those
nationals assist in returning POW/MIA's alive.
Displaying the POW/MIA Flag over Federal Buildings: Military Facilities
Rolling Thunder was highly instrumental in passing legislation requiring that federal building, the Vietnam
and Korean Memorials in Washington, D.C. and military facilities fly the POW/MIA flag on six national holidays.
POW/MIA Flag Flying Over War Memorials, S-1226
Passed November 15, 2002
Persian Gulf War POW/MIA Accountability Act
(Enacted October 29, 2002) (Speicher Bill)
Rolling Thunder legislative representatives again teamed up with Senator Ben "Nighthorse" Campbell to
amend the Bring Them Home Alive Act of 2000. This new law extends the granting of refugee status in the
united States to nationals of Iraq or the greater Middle East region. It provides for the International
Broadcasting Bureau, which includes the Voice of America, to broadcast information about the law in the
Middle East, In view of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on America, the bill now includes knowledge
of POW/MIA's of the war against terrorism.
As a direct result of the Bring Them Home Alive Act of 2000 and the Persian Gulf Act of 2002, live American
POW's were rescued in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In the fall of 1987, in a little diner, in Somerville, New Jersey, two Vietnam veterans
met to discuss their personal concerns about the prisoners of war (POW's) and
military service personnel missing in action (MIA's) from the Vietnam War. Having
honorably served their country, and having taken an oath to "support and defend
the Constitution of the United States against all enemies..." and to "bear true
faithand allegiance to same", they were deeply troubled by the abhorrent neglect of
attention given tothose who did not make it out with their lives or their freedom.
The Rolling Thunder Story