Veteran’s epic ride honours the fallen
Since riding off from the Baldivis Totally and Partially Disabled Veterans of WA clubhouse in June last year, Meadow Springs Vietnam veteran Rob Eade has been on a mammoth journey around Australia in a bid to honour fallen diggers.
With trusty companion Ginge the red heeler by his side, Mr Eade has ridden across the country laying flags in honour of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in combat.
The 72-year-old has laid hundreds of flags at war memorials in towns where fallen diggers enlisted or were born, which by the time he has finished, will number more than 600.
Speaking to the Telegraph from Kempsey in New South Wales, Mr Eade said the past year had been a hectic one, covering close to 20,000km. “I’m getting round the country pretty well,” he said.
“I’ve had a few issues with my trike but that’s only maintenance — on the whole it has been really good and I’ve met some wonderful people.”
Mr Eade was inspired to do the journey after seeing American man Mike Ehredt run across the US, laying a flag every mile for each life lost in the Afghanistan conflict.
“I just hope I’m doing everybody proud,” Mr Eade said.
“Mike’s words ‘you don’t stop because you’re tired, you stop when you are finished’ are my added inspiration.”
NSW has been Mr Eade’s biggest stop so far, with 231 flags laid.
Queensland is next on his agenda, with about 6500km to be covered.
“The time-burning part of all this is the research and getting flags ready for presentation,” Mr Eade said.
“I’m not after money or anything like that; sometimes I just need help with planning areas I’ve got to place flags and to have someone there as well.”
Mr Eade’s trek has garnered media attention across the country, with one GWN7 News report in particular having a big impact on him.
“When I was in Kalgoorlie an elderly lady, about 85-years-old, came up to me and said she had seen me on the news from when I was in Albany,” he said.
“She came up to me, gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek and thanked me for what I was doing.
“It just knocked me off my socks, I broke down and started crying. It’s those things that really stick with me.”
To follow Mr Eades’ journey, visit the Remembrance Ride Oz page on Facebook.