Incorporated in 1995, Rolling Thunder®, Inc. is a class 501(c)(4) non-profit organization with over 88 chartered chapters throughout the United States and members abroad. While many members of Rolling Thunder are veterans, and many ride motorcycles, neither qualification is a prerequisite. Rolling Thunder members are old and young, men and women, veterans and non-veterans. All are united in the cause to bring full accountability for POWs and MIAs of all wars, reminding the government, the media and the public by our watchwords: “We Will Not Forget.” The name Rolling Thunder is derived from the constant bombing of North Vietnam in 1965 and was given the name, "Operation Rolling Thunder." No officers or members of Rolling Thunder®, Inc. receive compensation; we all donate our time.
THE ROLLING THUNDER STORY
In the fall of 1987, in a little diner, in Somerville, New Jersey, two Vietnam veterans met to discuss their personal concerns about the prisoners of war (POW) and missing in action (MIA) from the Vietnam War. Having honorably served their country, and having taken an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies..." and to "bear true faith and allegiance to same," they were deeply troubled by the abhorrent neglect of attention given to those who did not make it out with their lives or their freedom. These two veterans discussed the more than 10,000 reported sightings of live Americans living in dismal captivity. Intelligence reports of these sightings were generally ignored by the government and mainstream press. These two veterans were Artie Muller and Ray Manzo.
THE FIRST ROLLING THUNDER DEMONSTRATION
VETERAN & COMMUNITY SERVICE
House Resolution 111
In 2007/2008 we continue to lobby Congress with more than 270 co-sponsors to establish a Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. The Committee would conduct a full investigation of all unresolved matters relating to any United States POWs/MIAs unaccounted for from the Iraqi War, Afghanistan, Gulf War, Vietnam War, the Korean War, Cold War and WWII.
Encourage the designation of “Hire a Veteran Week”
Rolling Thunder, Inc. expressed support for the designation and goals of “Hire a Veteran Week” and encouraged the President to issue a proclamation supporting these goals. Passed the House under suspension of the rules by unanimous voice vote on July 24, 2006. On July 25, 2006 the bill was received by the Senate and the Senate concurred.
Respect for Fallen Heroes Act of 2006
Legislation to prohibit certain demonstrations at cemeteries under the control of the National Cemetery Administration at Arlington National Cemetery and for other purposes. On May 24, 2006 it passed the Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent. The House agreed to suspend the rules and agreed to the Senate amendment by voice vote on that same day. On May 29, 2006 the bill was signed by the President. Public Law 109-228
Veterans’ Housing Opportunity & Benefits Improvement Act of 2006
Legislation to amend title 38, United Stated Code, to provide adaptive housing assistance to disabled veterans residing temporarily in housing owned by the family member and to make direct housing loans to Native American veterans; make modifications to the Advisory Committee on Veterans Employment and Training within the Department of Labor; provide Life and Health Insurance coverage to certain veterans and their family members; and for other purposes.
Veterans Benefits, Health Care and Information Technology Act of 2006
(S.3421-PUBLIC LAW 109-461)
Sec. 502 Department of Veterans Affairs goals for participation by small businesses owned and controlled by Veterans in procurement contracts. Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that Members of the House should actively engage with employers and the American public, to encourage the hiring of members and former members of the Armed Forces who were wounded in service and facing transition to civilian life. H.R. 1070 (Bill Summary)
Veteran-Owned Small Business Promotion Act of 2005
Legislation to amend title 38, United States Code, to require that nine percent of procurement contracts entered into by the Department of Veterans Affairs be awarded to small business concerns owned by veterans, and for other purposes. Passed House on July 24, 2006 by unanimous voice.
Persian Gulf War POW/MIA Accountability Act of 2002
First introduced by Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colorado) in August 2, 2001, the legislation amends the Bring Them Home Alive Act of 2000 which was signed into law in November of 2001. That law provides for the granting of refugee status in the United States to nationals of certain foreign countries in which American Vietnam POW/MIAs or American Korean War POW/MIAs may be present, if those nationals assist in returning POW/MIAs alive. The new law extends the granting of refugee status in the United States to nationals of Iraq or the greater Middle East region. It provides for the International Broadcasting Bureau, which includes the Voice of America, to broadcast information about the law in the Middle East.
The POW/MIA Memorial Flag Act of 2001
This bill was signed into legislation by President George W. Bush in part due to Rolling Thunder’s lobbying efforts. The main force behind this bill was Senator Campbell and Congressman Dan Burton. Rolling Thunder, Inc. was highly instrumental in passing legislation to ensure that the POW/MIA flag will fly below the American Flag any day the American flag is flown in Washington, DC at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Korean Memorial and the WWII Memorial.
Displaying of the POW/MIA Flag over Federal Buildings and Military Facilities
Rolling Thunder, Inc. was highly instrumental in passing legislation requiring that Federal buildings, all Post Offices, the Vietnam and Korean Memorials in Washington, D.C. and military facilities fly the POW/MIA flag on all six National holidays.
Bring Them Home Alive Act of 2000
Senator Campbell sponsored and co-authored with Rolling Thunder, Inc. the Bring Them Home Alive Act of 2000. The Act provides for the granting of refugee status in the United States to nationals of certain foreign countries in which American Vietnam War POW/MIAs or American Korean War POWs/MIAs may be present, if those nationals assist in returning POWs/MIAs alive.
Missing Service Personnel Act of 1997
Since the mid-1980's, Rolling Thunder, Inc. has worked tirelessly on this bill that would guarantee missing servicemen or women could not be arbitrarily "killed on paper" by the U.S. government without credible proof of death. The bill was originally sponsored by Senator Campbell in 1993. Rolling Thunder's efforts helped facilitate passing of a majority of the resolutions, and efforts continue to restore the law as it was originally written.