Wel­come woman tak­ing part in Rolling Thun­der in mem­ory of Viet­nam vet brother

An­nual motorcyclist event draws at­ten­tion to POWs, MIAs

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com

When Deb­bie Haw­ley of Wel­come takes part in the Rolling Thun­der run this Me­mo­rial Day, she’ll be do­ing it in mem­ory of her late brother, Bruce Winslow, a Viet­nam vet­eran who died in 2010.

“He al­ways wanted to do this for his fel­lows who didn’t make it back,” Haw­ley said. “It means the world to me to be able to do this.”

The Rolling Thun­der First Amend­ment De­mon­stra­tion Run is a gath­er­ing of mo­tor­cy­clists from across the na­tion who come to­gether yearly to visit the Viet­nam Me­mo­rial and other Washington, D.C., vet­er­ans me­mo­ri­als and to re­mem­ber and bring aware­ness to those Pris­on­ers of War (POWs) and Miss­ing in Ac­tion (MIAs) who never re­turned to the United States, ac­cord­ing to its web­site.

“It’s also to rec­og­nize our POWs and those who have not re­turned from our con­flicts over­seas and it’s ded­i­cated to bring­ing them back and hon­or­ing them,” said Jamie Zayas, vice direc­tor of the Amer­i­can Le­gion Riders of Harry White Wilmer Post 82 in La Plata.

Haw­ley said her brother served in the Viet­nam War in the 1960s where he was shot twice, with the sec­ond bul­let dam­ag­ing his spine. She said he never re­ally re­cov­ered from the phys­i­cal and emo­tional wounds cre­ated by the war.

“He had a lot of night­mares, all his life,” Haw­ley said. “When he came back, he was spit on, he was called a baby killer, and that was very trau­matic to him.”

Haw­ley said her brother al­ways wanted to take part in Rolling Thun­der, to re­mem­ber those left be­hind, but his inju-

ries pre­vented him from do­ing so.

Haw­ley’s brother died in 2010, from com­pli­ca­tions re­lated to his ser­vice.

“He meant the world to me, and I was with him the last two weeks of his life,” Haw­ley said.

Through her church, Pis­gah United Methodist Church, Haw­ley took part in a Vet­er­ans Stand Down at the Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 82, where she met Zayas.

“I asked him, ‘Is there any way I could ride with you for Rolling Thun­der in honor of my brother, who died in Viet­nam?’” Haw­ley re­called.

“I said, of course I’d of­fer my bike and be her rider,” Zayas re­called.

Haw­ley will bring a por­tion of her brother’s ashes on the trip, and will also have his pic­ture on the back of her vest.

“Who knows? There could be some­body there who was with him in Viet­nam, and might rec­og­nize the pic­ture,” Haw­ley said.

Haw­ley is very grate­ful for be­ing able to com­plete this ride in her brother’s mem­ory.

“I can’t tell you how ex­cited I am,” Haw­ley said. “It means so much that some­one has thought so much of my brother that we’re go­ing to be able to do this.”


Bruce Winslow, a Viet­nam War vet­eran, died in 2010. His sis­ter is tak­ing part in the an­nual Rolling Thun­der event in his mem­ory.

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