Memorial motorcycle ride honors local heroes during pitstop in Caldwell

Posted: 10:41 PM, Jul 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-20 00:41:17-04

Navy Lieutenant Commander Ronald Vauk of Nampa was one of the fallen soldiers honored at the Memorial Torch Motorcycle Ride ceremony in Caldwell Thursday.

"He liked being in the limelight. He would have enjoyed it," said Dorothy Vauk, his 98-year-old mother.

The annual motorcycle ride made a one-night stop at Elks Lodge for complimentary housing, meals, and prayers. The attendees paid tribute to all veterans.

Judging by the number of family members who showed up in his honor, Vauk's memory was far from forgotten. "He had to spend 2 weeks on active duty, and his wife-- my sister-in-law-- was expecting a baby in November. And he switched with someone. So he was there in September."

And not just any September...September of 2001. The 37-year-old Nampa High School graduate was killed when a plane hit the Pentagon

"We gather today to remember those brave men and women. We acknowledge that their services enable us to walk free," said a public speaker at the event.

The group of more than thirty motorcyclists are on day 4 of their 3,500 mile, 19-day voyage.

They're riding from Eugene to Washington D.C.-- stopping in communities like ours who help to honor their efforts along the way.

"I just was really surprised. It's really a great honor to honor Ron," said Vauk.

And in each speech given, the general sentiment was clear: "May each of our veterans be honored, not just today, but every day."