Thursday, December 29, 2016

Modification list ...the To-Do-List

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and are ready for the New Year!

The Steed may not look much different to the naked eye, but a lot has happened since the first parts list blog post.  Several manufacturers have supported this effort by supplying me with their products and more have pledged their support in the near future.  Please visit the sponsor section next to this post, these companies are helping me make this trek possible.

It feels like the modifications list may go on to the time I lift the kickstand in North Carolina.  The list is smaller now that most of the major weaknesses of the KTM 690 are resolved;

- fuel capacity (thanks Rade Garage)
- lighting (thank you MotoMinded)
- exhaust
- sub-frame reinforcement
- off-road fuel dongle
- fuel filler neck
- large kickstand foot plate
- protection: disc guards, bash/skid plate
- wheels (two thumbs up to Warp9)
- rear luggage rack

At the end of January, I will take the Steed to the Nevada deserts for a weekend test ride to insure everything to date is working properly.  It looks like Laughlin, NV will be the first test ride.  Death Valley test ride will be mid-late February.

Current Modifications To-Do list:
- seat
- steering stabilizer
- enduro mirrors
- auto-chain oiling system
- anti-vibration handlebar
- hand-guards
- luggage
- tires


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wounded Warrior Project® Spotlight

Did you know to date, more than 52,000 service men and women have been physically wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Their active duty may be over, but the struggle is real!

Please donate through this blog. The money goes directly to help support all the wounded warriors. Join us in building awareness and by giving to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Seeing is believing.....

During the 5,000 mile adventure across America, there will be times when darkness falls before I can set up camp for the night.  There won't be street lights to illuminate this ride.  The stock/OEM headlight is about as effective as a candle in the wind, so I researched lighting alternatives.  Most of the time this means strapping lights to the motorcycle, usually on the forks.  During my research I found a company with the best solution for my problem, hands down.  The KTM Rally Kit Squadron Pro gives you power to light up any area while staying within the stock headlight fairing.  A clean look that won't be damaged in a side crash.

The company is MotoMinded and they have agreed to support my adventure as I travel across America on dirt to raise awareness and financial support for Wounded Warrior Project.  I will write a post for the installation and test ride on a future entry.

I want to thank MotoMinded and Chris Vestal for their support. I will think of you every time I'm riding in the dark, searching for a campsite!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Wounded Warrior Project® Spotlight-Help during the Christmas Holiday

Christmas is 4 days from today.  The Holidays can be especially difficult for those service members in need.  Please take the time to donate directly to the Wound Warrior Project TODAY.  100% of your donations go to the WWP by clicking on the 'Please Donate icon on the top right column of this blog.  YOU can make the difference in someone's life.

The Wounded Warrior Program has estimated as many as 400,000 service members live with the invisible wounds of war including combat-related stress, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Another 320,000 are believed to have experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI) while on deployment. 
The WWP is helping our service men and women have the support and care they need.

Monday, December 19, 2016

1,000 Followers and One AWESOME Exhaust

Prior to the trek across the Country, the blog is mainly focused on planning, outfitting the bike, etc. Over the weekend, the blog surpassed a milestone of 1,000 followers and financial donations are a little more than 5% of the total goal to date.  Not bad considering there is 6 months before the trek begins. Thank you for the support.

Ok, my inner motorcycle geek is coming out.  I enjoy outfitting adventure motorcycles, no surprise.  But after finishing the complete exhaust system tonight, wow!  Titanium and carbon fiber is the best combination.  There is an 8 lbs weight savings between the stock exhaust and header pipe.  So the auxiliary fuel tank with fuel weighs 1 lbs more than the exhaust weight savings.  Not a bad trade off.  The carbon fiber heat shields are awesome looking, hopefully I don't leave them in the Rocky Mountains after a crash.

Tomorrow I will install the rear rack and take a break for the holiday!  My operating room (aka garage), looks like a small nuclear device was detonated.  Time to tidy up the place.  After the holiday break, I should have a few more sponsors to announce.  Please take the time to visit the sponsor's websites and order what you need for your Steed.  You will find their logos on the right hand side of the blog.  Supporting the companies who support my trek with their products allows me to prepare the Steed and raise awareness and donations for the wounded heros who support our freedoms.  

Saturday, December 17, 2016

A hard days work....well not really...

Success!  After three hours of disassembling the Steed and reassembling it, the job is done!  It was a tight fit but Rade Garage used every last inch of available space to add the needed fuel.  The installation was straight forward.  ADVRider has several great forum threads with alternate instructions and short cuts.  Every KTM 690 owner needs this mod.  The other auxiliary options change the characteristics of the motorcycle and most alter the aesthetics too.

Thank you Rade for a producing a great product and THANK YOU for your support.

Now if the OEM parts arrive to finish the exhaust install, I'll be done for a couple weeks.  After the Christmas holiday, it will be time for a test ride!  Most likely Death Valley or Laughlin, NV.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

8" of fresh snow and it's still coming down.  Perfect weather for working on the Steed and snowboarding!

Last night I was able to change out the OEM sub-frame bolts.  The fuel tank is the rear frame of the bike, if the bolts fail, you're in for a long ride to the KTM dealer. There have been several reports of the OEM bolts failing under heavy use...which is exactly what I will be doing for 5,000 miles.

It is a simple installation once you remove the entire air intake assembly.

OEM bolts and location
New hardware

Where the airbox was....

OEM airbox removed
 Now that the air intake system has been removed, today I will install the auxiliary fuel tank from Rade Garage.  The install should take 2-3 hours.  Last night I test fit the tank.  It's a great design and well thought out and durable material.  This is by far the best option to add fuel to the KTM 690.

This is what it will look like when I'm finished.  Notice the new tank as well as an entirely new air intake system.

With a little luck I will rap up the auxiliary tank installation this weekend and finish the header pipe and exhaust install, after the parts arrive next week.  After that it is time for the Christmas holiday and a needed break from the real World.  Yes, that means time off in a warm climate....

Friday, December 16, 2016

Parts, parts and parts...

This weekend will be a major installation party...well a party of one at least.  It is currently raining in Salt Lake City, with a forecast of 2' of new snow in the mountains.  That's after 3' of fresh powder last weekend.  Sunday will be a snowboarding day at Snowbird!!!

While I'm waiting on the exhaust brackets to finish the installation of the header pipe and exhaust, I will replace the OEM fuel tank support bolts.  It has been reported that the OEM bolts fail under heavy use.  Yesterday the Rade Garage tank and foot pegs arrived. Excited to install the auxiliary fuel tank.  Rade Garage has the best solution for adding addition fuel to the Steed.  The lack of fuel capacity is a major weakness of the KTM 690.   During my ride, I need at least 180 mile fuel range between stops.  Rade's design allows the additional fuel capacity to be added without changing the characteristics of the KTM 690.  The Rade Garage tank sits within the frame, not bolted on the outside of the frame.

Rade Garage has been generous to support me on this trek by supplying me with a tank and pegs.  I will post pictures of the installation and test ride. Thank you Rade for the support.

Below are the latest pictures of the Steed.  Parts and tools are strewn out everywhere.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wounded Warrior Project® Spotlight - Serving those who have served our GREAT Country.

The goal of the Wounded Warrior Project® is to be serving 100,000 warriors and an additional 15,000 caregivers and family support members by 2017, and raise $500 million for our Long-Term Support Trust to care for the most severely wounded after their caregivers are no longer able to provide the necessary care. 

Please help provide the continued care these soldiers need by DONATING NOW through this blog. The money goes directly to the WWP and your donation is tax deductible.   

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Adventure Decal

It isn't an official adventure unless you have an ADV sticker for the trek.  My Rockstar Marketing Team is putting the final touches on the reflective ADV decal.  Everyone who donates $50 or greater will receive a decal.  Once the decal is finalized, I will send the details on how to claim your sticker.

Below is one of the latest revisions!

The ADV decal from this year's adventure to the Arctic Ocean and back....

Friday, December 9, 2016

Outfitting the Steed.

As the parts arrive I'm installing them.  Brake disc guards, bash plate, fuel dongle, fuel neck and cap are all installed.  The new Titanium full Akrapovic Exhaust arrived๐Ÿ˜ฒ....can't wait to install it!

The Rox handlebar risers are too tall and the rear sprocket is too big, so back to the drawing board. The 690 vibration is enough to shake your fillings out of your teeth.  My plan is to install a Flexxbar Handlebar with a Scott's Stabilizer.   This is just what the doctor ordered and a genuine life saver.  5,000 miles is a long way to ride with numb hands.  After fixing the vibration in the bars, next will be the seat, trying to decide what model.

Top choices:

1. Seat Concepts
2. Renazco
3. Touratech seat
4. Guts Racing
5. XPC Racking

The auxiliary fuel tank from Rade Garage, new air intake system and rear rack should arrive next week.๐Ÿ˜‹

Still working out the luggage system.  The big question is rack or no rack.  Weight is a major concern.  The main reason for riding the KTM 690 rather than my larger KTM 1190 is pounds.  Hauling the bike over obstacles on the trail, picking it up after a fall/crash fully packed will happen.  The Rocky Mountains and the sands of Southern Utah and Nevada will test the bike and me.

Fuel neck and cap
extended foot

Bash/skid plate
Front disc guard
Titanium Akrapovic Exhaust


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wounded Warrior Project® Spotlight-The High Cost of Freedom

We all have heard and repeated that freedom isn't free.  Some of our veterans have paid a very high price for our freedom and that is why I'm so passionate about raising awareness and donations for our wounded heroes. We, as Americans, owe them more than we can ever pay for what they've sacrificed for our Country. Please consider making a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project, you won't regret it.

The WWP 2015 Annual Alumni Survey captured the views of more than 23,000 injured service members, resulting in a 39.4 percent response rate, which makes these results the most statistically relevant and largest sample size of veterans who have been injured on or after 9/11. Some of the key findings include:
  • Nearly four out of every five warriors surveyed have a friend who was seriously wounded or killed in action
  • 75 percent report the memory of an upsetting military experience that has haunted them in the past month 
  • More than 42 percent report having a traumatic brain injury (TBI) 
  • The top five reported injuries and health problems experienced during post-9/11 service are:
    • post-traumatic stress disorder,
    • sleep conditions,
    • back, neck, and shoulder problems,
    • depression, and
    • anxiety

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Overland Expo West

It is exciting for me to announce that I will have a exhibitors booth at Overland Expo West  They have decided to sponsor my exhibit and attendance.  The past several years I attend the Overland Expo West, it is a great place to learn about new overlanding ideas, see new gear and talk to other overlanders.   It is the premier event of the year and a must do for anyone who enjoys the outdoors.  See you in Flagstaff!  I will be there in my booth, with my motorcycle on display.  This is the best event to raise awareness for Wounded Warrior Project and the Crossing America on Dirt trek.

Thank you Roseann and Jonathan.


Flagstaff, Arizona, USA – Overland Expo returns to the Grand Canyon state for its twelfth show at a brand new venue: the Fort Tuthill Fairgrounds, just a few minutes south of Flagstaff off Interstate 17. During the weekend over 10,000 people from around the globe will arrive at the Coconino County owned property, whose grounds include a historic Army fort. Surrounded by tall ponderosa pines, the venue offers all-weather access with plenty of pavement and parking, grandstands, a large stage and pavilion, a large building for our theater / social hours, and an organized campground with room for 1000 units, as well as access to unlimited camping in adjacent Coconino National Forest at 7,800 feet.

In addition, there are dozens of miles of mountain biking trails and an adventure course right in the venue. Highlights: • Our most dynamic and centrally located Camel Trophy Expedition Skills Area yet. • A challenging driving course hosted by Land Rover. • Tire testing track by BFGoodrich. • Flagstaff food trucks and hosted happy hours. • Free shuttle service to and from surrounding forest camping and Flagstaff hotels.

Overlanding is exploring the world by self-guided means, in your own vehicle or on your own motorcycle. The journey is the purpose in overlanding. The most cost-effective way to overland is to camp along the way, though many people alternate camping with hotels, hostels, or couch-surfing. Overland Expo 2017 WEST will feature the same dynamic event experience with a blend of professional trade show and educational opportunities that have made Overland Expo the most popular overlanding show in the Western Hemisphere, and most unique in the world. Its sister show, Overland Expo EAST, is held each October in North Carolina. This year BF Goodrich tires and Four Wheel Campers, along with Land Rover, 7P International, RawHyde Adventures, and BMW motorcycles, are the top sponsors, hosting an array of activities ranging from a custom instructional driving course built and staffed by the world-famous Land Rover driver team and an “Adventure Motorcycle Village” with a teaching arena and riding course.

Our 2016 WEST show grew by a whopping 40% and so we expect another bump this year. Numbers in 2016: • 255 exhibitors, authors, videographers and VIP travelers / feature vehicles • 190 classes, programs, films, demos • 462 session-hours of programming • 160 presenters, instructors, and VIPs • 95 staff & volunteers • 10,000+ total people on site from around the world during the weekend • 550 participants were Overland Experience package attendees • Attendees came from as far away as Australia, Denmark, Argentina, China, and South Africa. • Many U.S. states and nearly all Canadian provinces were represented Exhibitors this year will include Four Wheel Campers, BFGoodrich Tires, Sportsmobile, ARB-USA, Global Xpedition Vehicles, EarthRoamer, American Expedition Vehicles, Jeep and RAM, Equipt Expedition Outfitters, AT Overland, Overland Journal, OutdoorX4, American Adventurist, as well as dealers representing BMW, KTM, Triumph, Kawasaki, Honda, and Ural—250+ makers of equipment, camping gear, vehicles, as well as providers of services and travel resources and authors and filmmakers. Overland Expo is an annual event, founded in Arizona in 2009, that brings together overlanding enthusiasts and the rapidly growing industry that serves them.

This three-day weekend is designed to educate and inspire people to get out and explore their world—there are hundreds of session-hours of classes, workshops, and roundtable programs for four-wheel-drive and adventure motorcycle enthusiasts; a large trade exposition with exhibitors, vendors, authors, and filmmakers; and evening inspirational programs and music.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Around the World...power of the Internet, continued

Adding to the countries from the original post titled Around the World...power of the Internet, followers from Slovakia, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Israel and Sweden are viewing the blog.  Social media is the primary tool to get the word out about this trek and Wounded Warrior Project.  Although the trip is in the early stages with 6 months to go before the ride, donations have started and Wound Warrior Project is benefiting.  This is awesome!

Most of the weekend has been spent in the operating room (aka the garage) installing the first shipment of parts and researching additional parts needed for the Steed.  I will post pictures soon.  As often as UPS and FedEx are delivering parts, I should have them help sponsor the trek ๐Ÿ˜€ This week I've purchased parts from a few overlanders on  The wealth of knowledge is priceless as I research the best options to outfit my Steed.  Getting feedback from riders who have experience with my setup have helped me make better product choices, which will hopefully reduce my downtime in the middle of nowhere, broken down or stranded.  Thanks to everyone on the site for the guidance and product reviews.

Thank you for spreading the word about this trek and Wounded Warrior Project.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

First parts have arrived! Let the mods begin.

Mostly small hard parts, but it's a start.  The new Wings exhaust is from Slovenia and the auxiliary fuel tank is from the UK.  It may take a while before they arrive.  As I research better parts, I ordered the Rade Garage fuel tank rather than Rally Raid.  Better design and it doesn't alter the bike geometry.  More on the tank when it arrives.  Time to warm up the garage and get to work!

Wounded Warrior Project® Spotlight

Did you know tens of thousands of injured service members, their caregivers, and family members receive support each year through free Wounder Warrior Project programs and services that are uniquely structured to engage warriors, nurture their minds and bodies, and encourage economic empowerment. Donate and help us help them. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Monday, November 28, 2016

Winter Entertainment

Thanksgiving is behind us and winter is definitely here.  Saturday I met up with a good friend at Starbucks and we rode in the west desert, off-road.  It was 52 degrees and partly sunny.  We enjoyed a great lunch in Eureka, UT.  Highway 6 Diner. It may be the last ride of the season, at least in northern Utah.  During winter I read a lot of adventure ride reports, parts catalogs and dream of winter riding in southern areas.  The first parts delivery arrives tomorrow for the Crossing America Steed.  Work will begin installing ASAP.

The adventure book I'm currently reading is 'When the road ends" by Dylan Samarawickrama.  So far it is a great read about an incredible journey around the world on a motorcycle.  You can find it on Amazon.  Stay warm!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Operating Room

Like any surgical operation, an operating room and operating table are needed.  Last week during a snow storm I rearranged my garage by relocating my other motorcycles to make room for the operating table. The night of  November 23rd, during another snow storm my youngest son and I assembled the operating table, aka motorcycle lift.  Typically I construct a make shift set up to outfit a motorcycle, but this one is going to be a marathon.  Plus Harbor Freight had a HUGE blowout sale on this lift.

Most of the parts will start arriving in December.  After a few rides and more research, the parts list has grown significantly.  My order of priority is

1) Performance.   The air intake system and muffler choke down the true ability of the bike.  The suspension is soft.  
2) Fuel capacity.  This is a major concern.  I need an additional 3 gallons of fuel capacity to navigate between fuel stops.
3) Fitting.  The stock bike is setup for the average rider, I'm 6'3".   Bar risers, larger platform foot pegs and seat are a must.  The stock seat is a torture device at best.
4) Armor.  5,000 miles of mayhem is a lot for any motorcycle.  A quality bash plate (skid plate) is a must to protect the engine.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Being Thankful....

Happy Thanksgiving!  Like most of you I have a lot to be thankful for...  The love and support from my family means the World to me.  They put up with my crazy ideas, my wanderlust adventures and endless work schedule.

I also want to thank those who are supporting me on this trek across America to support the Wounded Warrior Project.  I may be the person riding the motorcycle, but there are numerous people helping me along the way.  Thank you for your support!

While we enjoy time with family, friends and loved ones, please don't forget the men and women in our armed forces who are away from their family, friends and loved ones during this holiday.  They serve our Country and insure we can enjoy the freedoms that make our Country great.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wednesday Wounded Warrior Project® Spotlight

The Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. 
It has three distinct purposes:
  1. To raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured servicemen and women;
  2. To help injured service members aid and assist each other; and
  3. To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs

It's not about the bike...Wednesday Wounded Warrior Project Spotlight.

Although I enjoy exploring on two wheels, this adventure means so much more. This adventure is focused on raising awareness and support for an organization that supports the men and women who have served our Country and returned home with a life altering injury.  It is our duty as American's to support those who serve our great Country.

Starting today, and every Wednesday going forward, the blog post will be dedicated to spotlighting Wound Warrior Project and highlight what they do to support our servicemen and women.  I hope you will make the time to find out more about WWP and support their efforts with your donations.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Around the World...power of the Internet.

A lot of my time is spent researching parts, ride reports from other ADV riders and planning fuel stops, camping areas and hotels (for the weekly shower ๐Ÿ˜Ž).  It is great to see people from around the World viewing the blog.  So far people from Canada, Alaska, Australia, India, Burma, Iraq, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal and Austria have viewed the blog.

A BIG thank you to those making donations from the blog.  Have a GREAT Friday.  

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Weekend entertainment....

Overnight, 4" of snow fell in Utah.  It is time to prep the garage for the adventure bike build and dream of adventures in warmer weather.  To put this trip in perspective and better understand my motorcycle selection, and other adventure decisions, watch the attached video.  A group of 3 conquered the coast to coast adventure.  It's a 20 minute video that captures what the trip will be like...

Most of the CO, UT and NV trails I've rode during previous adventures.  Timing the trip to traverse the Rocky Mountians after the trails open will be a moving target.  The snow is deep at 13,000 feet.


Coast to Coast Video

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Gathering support and Why we ride...

First I want to thank those who have financially donated to support Wounded Warrior Project via this blog.  THANK YOU!

Several people have contacted me regarding what's going on right now...?  In order for 100% of the financial donations to go direct to Wound Warrior Project, my adventure is self-funded. Currently I'm reaching out to motorcycle parts manufacturers who sell the products I need to outfit the motorcycle for the 5,000 mile ride.  The cost to outfit the motorcycle is nearly as much as the motorcycle.  The manufacturers will have the opportunity to provide in-kind support with their products and you will see their logos on the motorcycle and my gear.

The first organization/person to provide in-kind support for my WWP ride is Sam Correro.  Sam charted the off-road coast to coast route.  He studied reams of maps and surveyed thousands of miles to create the main route I will follow.  Sam will be providing me the GPS coordinates and maps to navigate my way across America.  THANK YOU Sam!

For those who wonder why I ride....below is a great explanation.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Veteran's Day!-Thank you and history....

This post is late, due to my travel and no internet access.  Freedom is not free and those who have served must be remembered.  Although I have not served in the armed forces my great grandfather fought in WWII, grandfather fought in Korea and father fought on the front lines in Vietnam.  My mother gave birth to me while my dad was in a foxhole, engaged in a firefight.  The news of my birth came over the military radio dispatch, then they passed it on by yelling to the next foxhole, until word reached my dad.  

I want to say THANK YOU to those who have served this great country and fought for the freedoms we enjoy today.  No matter who you voted for last week, you participated in one of the greatest freedoms we have, selecting the new leader of the nation.  

History of Veterans Day

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”
Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France.
Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities.  This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect
In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"
The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.
The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:
Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and
Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and
Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.
An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first "Veterans Day Proclamation" which stated: "In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible."
President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day. From left: Alvin J. King, Wayne Richards, Arthur J. Connell, John T. Nation, Edward Rees, Richard L. Trombla, Howard W. Watts 
On that same day, President Eisenhower sent a letter to the Honorable Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans' Affairs (VA), designating him as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee.
In 1958, the White House advised VA's General Counsel that the 1954 designation of the VA Administrator as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee applied to all subsequent VA Administrators. Since March 1989 when VA was elevated to a cabinet level department, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has served as the committee's chairman.
The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.
The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.
Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.