The Vietnam War officially ended April 30, 1975. With the Fall of Saigon, the last United States diplomatic and military personnel were removed. The end of the war did not mean that all business was finished. The ignominious ways in which the U. S. government officials abandoned the military and some U.S. citizens turned their backs or were outright hostile to our military personnel left lasting wounds.
Rolling Thunder®, Inc. is a 501(c)(4) not-for-profit organization whose mission is publicize POW/MIA issues, to educate the public about prisoners of war and those missing in action. Rolling Thunder®. Inc. also organizes for POW/MIA legislation and works with other veterans groups.
The Rolling Thunder®, Inc, motto is “We will not forget.” And, although the group was founded in anger and frustration over the the fate of those Missing in Action and unaccounted for Prisoners of War from Vietnam, Rolling Thunder®,Inc. is concerned with all of the still unaccounted for from every conflict that the military personnel of the United States of America.
The organization, which has more than 90 chapters, is named for Operation Rolling Thunder, a U.S. led bombing campaign which crippled the ability of the North Vietnamese government to wage war against the U.S. supported South Vietnamese government. There is no requirement to be a veteran or to own a motorcycle to join Rolling Thunder®, Inc. The most important requirement is to have a heart for those who served and are still unaccounted for.
The Knoxville chapter of Rolling Thunder®, Inc. is TN3. Meeting are held the fourth Monday of each month at the Moose Lodge on Mundal Road. Dues are $30 annually.
The local Knoxville chapter is very active and very committed. If veterans are involved, you will find a Rolling Thunder®. Inc. TN3 representative in attendance. Rolling Thunder®. Inc. members ride at veterans’ funerals, hold flag lines for honor flights, support Gold Star Family events and each other. They hold a chili fundraiser every year called “Chili Chili Bang Bang” and it is tons of fun and good food.
Rolling Thunder®. Inc. TN3 also does a Missing Man Table ceremony at many events. If you have never witnessed this ceremony in person, you should.
The local officers and members of Rolling Thunder®, Inc. TN3 are humble and hardworking veterans, civilians and military family members. If you are interested in joining Rolling Thunder®. Inc. TN3, please check out their Facebook page.