Rolling Thunder Founder Ray Manzo Highlights Speaker Lineup at C*A*M*M*O Tribute to Rolling Thunder XXV on May 26, 2012

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Ray Manzo, founding father of the original Rolling Thunder First Amendment Demonstration Run

Manzo returns to celebrate and honor the dream of 25 years ago.

Ray Manzo, founding father of the original Rolling Thunder First Amendment Demonstration Run in 1988, will be a featured speaker at the Center for American Military Music Opportunities’ (C*A*M*M*O) tribute to Rolling Thunder’s 25th anniversary, on Saturday, May 26, at a special stage set up at the intersection of Henry Bacon Drive and Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C. The program salutes Rolling Thunder’s annual Demonstration Run on May 27 for Prisoners of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIAs) and honors service members and veterans from all wars.
         After seeing his vision of national attention for the POW/MIA issue recognized, Manzo relinquished any role in Rolling Thunder in 1992 and quietly assumed a regular private life for the next 20 years. As Rolling Thunder looks toward its 25th anniversary, Manzo will return to the run to celebrate and honor the dream he first had 25 years ago.
The speaker lineup also includes representation from government, military, veterans and POW/MIA activists, including:

  •     Ted Shpak, President, Rolling Thunder Washington, DC
  •     Representative from Vietnam Commemorative Committee (to be announced)
  •     Col. Pat Blassie, sister of 1st Lt. Michael J. Blassie, USAF
  •     Colleen Shine, daughter of Lt. Col. Anthony Shine, USAF
  •     Pam Cain, daughter of Col. Oscar Mauterer, USAF, MIA Laos 2/15/66
  •     “Moe” Moyer, “The Ride Home,” plus a video clip entitled "PRISONERS OF WAR: Stolen Freedom"
  •     Adam Clampitt, (Lt., USNR) - Veterans Crisis Line

Additional speakers are being confirmed and will be announced later. The event also includes several musical acts, including Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band, and nationally recognized military and civilian entertainers. A highlight of the tribute will be the unveiling of five custom-made “tribute” motorcycles—one for each branch of military service—built especially to commemorate the Rolling Thunder XXV anniversary. Complete details of the program, as well as speaker and entertainer biographies, will be available soon in an online press room on C*A*M*M*O’s web site, on the Rolling Thunder Washington, D.C. web site, and a mobile app that will be available shortly.

C*A*M*M*O is a 501c(3) non-profit organization founded in 2009 by U.S. Navy veteran Cathie Lechareas and U.S. Army veteran Victor Hurtado that believes in the healing power of music. Run by veterans for veterans and active-duty service members, C*A*M*M*O develops military and veteran artists, technicians, writers and musicians at its C*A*M*M*O centers. Concurrently it is developing military-specific music therapy programs providing qualified music therapists who can assist past and present service members who are suffering neurological impairments such as traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder. For more information about C*A*M*M*O, visit

Rolling Thunder-Washington, D.C., is a 501c(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to make certain that we, as a nation, neither neglect our prisoners of war nor forget our missing in action. Founded in 1987 by four Vietnam veterans—Cpl. Ray Manzo, Sgt. Major John “Top” Holland, Staff Sgt. Ted Sampley, and 1st Sgt. Walt Sides, the organization’s most visible outward symbol is the annual Rolling Thunder First Amendment Demonstration Run through the nation’s capital every Memorial Day weekend. The rally began in 1988 with just a few hundred motorcycles and now attracts hundreds of thousands of participants from all over the world. A less visible, but equally important, expression of our mission is our legislative efforts. We strive to affect national policy in a way that will assist POW/MIAs. We wrote, got introduced and passed, the Missing Service Personnel Act of 1984. For more information, visit Rolling Thunder Washington, D.C., Inc.’s web site at

All media will need credentials to obtain access to the stage area; no media will be allowed backstage or in the green room area. Pre-registration is preferred; press badges will be prepared and available for pick up on Saturday, May 26 at the Media Tent beginning 10 a.m. To register for credentials, send the following information to Christine(at)cammomusic(dot)org. You will receive an email confirmation once registration has been confirmed:

Full name, date of birth, ID number (valid US driver’s license, US-government-issued
ID card, Passport, number, etc.), as well as company/media name and address,
contact phone number and email address, web site/blog address.

Questions about media credential applications should be e-mailed to Christine(at)cammomusic(dot)org.

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Cathie Lechareas

Christine M. Colborne, Media Relations

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