The Patriots, God and Country Tour -- a 5,000-mile trip ending in Washington, D.C., on election day with firetrucks wrapped to commemorate different facets of the United States -- stopped in Bella Vista last Wednesday, Oct. 7.
The stop featured decorated vehicles and a presentation with patriotic music and local speakers, including Veterans Council president Ray Brust, Mayor Peter Christie and Sheepdog Impact Assistance founder Sgt. Major Lance Nutt (Ret.).
The tour's organizer, Dave Graybill, said that this tour's goal is to help rebuild a positive image of the United States.
"Sixty-five, sixty-six days ago this was an idea," he said.
Graybill explained that he was able to go out on social media and get donations that bought a handful of firetrucks and get them wrapped in Phoenix, Ariz., where the tour started.
There were 28 planned stops, he said, and the goal is to be in Washington, D.C., on election day.
The tour includes vehicles decorated to commemorate police and military service, as well as the flag and constitution, freedom of religion and the second amendment.
Graybill said he believes celebrating what makes this country great can cure a lot of its current problems and he doesn't believe someone could do this anywhere else in the world.
The decorated vehicles on the tour are piloted by current and retired emergency workers, including two locals -- former police criminal investigative division Lt. Barbara Shrum and Bella Vista Fire Department Capt. Seth Kallick.
Kallick said he's also involved with Pink Heals, another project Graybill founded, and he's impressed that this tour was able to get funding within 65 days.
"It's all based out of our pockets," he said.
The 38-day trip was a good chance to celebrate veterans and law enforcement, he added.
"I believe in this," Kallick said. "Celebrate veterans, celebrate our law enforcement across the country."
Additional information on the tour can be found on its website, https://www.patriotsgodandcountry.com.