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This article needs references that appear in reliable third-party publications. Primary sources or sources affiliated with the subject are generally not sufficient for a Wikipedia article. Please add more appropriate citations from reliable sources. (October 2010) The Rolling Thunder ride as it crosses the Arlington Memorial Bridge in 2009. Rolling Thunder Inc. is a class 501(c)(4) non-profit organization which is dedicated to the search for American soldiers who are prisoners of war “POW”/missing in action “MIA”.[1] Rolling Thunder was established in 1987 and incorporated in 1995. All Rolling Thunder members are non-paid including its officers, board members and even its founder/executive director Artie “dictator” Muller. The organization named itself after the continuous bombing campaign of North Vietnam in 1965 which was known as Operation Rolling Thunder.[2] They are known[who?] for their annual motorcycle rides in Washington, D.C. on Memorial Day. Contents 1 History 2 Charities 3 Legislation 4 References 5 External links // History In 1987 Rolling Thunder made its first ride to the Vietnam War Memorial.[3] Ray Manzo, a former United States Marine Corps Corporal, Army Sergeant Major John Holland (Ret.), and Marine First Sergeant Walt Sides (Ret.) are the three men that are credited with starting Rolling Thunder. On Memorial Day 1988 Cpl. Manzo, with the help of former Army Sergeant Artie Muller, recruited 2,500 men and women to attend Rolling Thunder I. Artie Muller would go on to lead Rolling Thunder in 1991 and has moved up the ranks to become the executive director.[4] The Rolling Thunder riding on Constitution Avenue in 2010. Beginning in 1987 and continuing through the present, Rolling Thunder has conducted the “Rolling Thunder Run” on Memorial Day Weekend which all of its members attend. Since 1987 the members of Rolling Thunder have converged on Washington, D.C to show their continued support for the efforts to find lost service men and women of past conflicts.[5] In May 2001 the estimated number of motorcycles involved in this rally was 200,000;[6] by May 2008 that number had risen to more than 350,000.[7] During the weekend event Rolling Thunder is involved in many speeches given by military official as well as many politicians. Rolling Thunder also makes the “Ride for Freedom” which leaves the Pentagon, crosses the Memorial Bridge, and ends at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.[8] Rolling Thunder has 88 chapters covering 29 states all of which are governed by the same constitution and bylaws. Many of Rolling Thunder's members are veterans; however, that is not a requirement for membership. Also, Rolling Thunder is often referred to as a “motorcycle group”, but owning a motorcycle is not required either.[9] Rolling Thunder also allows for the formation of new chapters worldwide. Persons wishing to start a new chapter must contact the national headquarters which is located in New Jersey. All chapters of Rolling Thunder have their own president and board members and are accountable for fund raising proceeds and tax information. New Rolling Thunder chapters also must have a minimum of 20 members to include the president and board members. Each Rolling Thunder chapter is required to have a unique patch specific to only that chapter with no resemblance to another, and without infringing on any trade marks.[10] Charities Rolling Thunder has expanded its operations to include Rolling Thunder Charities as of 2007, a class 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. This part of the organization adheres to the same laws that govern its parent cooperation. Rolling Thunder Charities was designed to help members as well as U.S. Military troops and their families that are in need of financial help. Rolling Thunder Charities are involved with the selling of Rolling Thunder memorabilia as well as other fundraising opportunities.[11] Legislation Rolling Thunder was critical to the passing of the Missing Service Personnel Act of 1993. The bill states that a Service member cannot be listed as Killed in Action (KIA) without substantial evidence.[citation needed] Rolling Thunder co-sponsored this bill with 390 signatures making it the first of many accomplishments. Then in 1995 Rolling Thunder won approval from the United States Government for a POW/MIA postage stamp to be put in circulation. Rolling Thunder continues to work with the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on new bills for the return and information of servicemen and women. Rolling Thunder co-authored the 2006 Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act which keeps protesting from taking place at funeral proceedings of fallen military personnel. As of 2007, Rolling Thunder's main agenda is the passing of House Bill:111, which calls for the immediate formation of a committee to oversee and investigate the whereabouts of all missing POW/MIA from all current and past wars.[citation needed] References ^ Rolling Thunder - National Organization Headquarters ^ Rolling Thunder - National Organization Headquarters ^ The History of Rolling Thunder's "Run to the Wall" ^ The History of Rolling Thunder's "Run to the Wall" ^ Fox News ^ [1] ^ Fox News ^ Rolling Thunder - Florida ^ Rolling Thunder - National Organization Headquarters ^ Rolling Thunder - National Organization Headquarters ^ Rolling Thunder - National Organization Headquarters External links Rolling Thunder official site Rolling Thunder Photo Gallery