KINGMAN – Cliff Romberger served in Vietnam from 1970 to 1971 and died in 2015 of a brain disease as a result of exposure to Agent Orange.
He was a lifelong horseman and never fulfilled his last bucket list item: to ride coast to coast on horseback. His son is now fulfilling that wish.
Colt Romberger, a U.S. Air Force and Iraq War veteran, is carrying his father’s ashes as part of Expedition Orange, a 3,000-mile ride to raise awareness and honor Vietnam veterans suffering from Agent Orange exposure. He’s also on a mission to get other Vietnam War veterans, and their families, to open up about how Agent Orange has affected their lives.
He made a stop in Kingman Friday before taking a three-week break for rest and repairs.
“Before my dad died he said ‘More for them, less for me,’” Romberger said. “I think what he meant by that was to raise awareness for everyone.”
He started the trek May 1 on Sunset Boulevard and the Pacific Coast Highway north of Santa Monica, California. He hooked up on Route 66 in Pasadena and followed the Mother Road all the way to the California and Nevada side of U.S. Highway 95, ultimately riding into Laughlin and on through Golden Valley.
Romberger, road foreman Kenny Reichel and Gus, his Steel Dust-bred quarter horse, stayed the night at the Mohave County Fairgrounds after a grueling three-day trek from Bullhead City to Golden Valley through the Black Mountains.
“I had to lead (Gus) 2 miles up a hill,” Romberger said. “I was literally holding him with one hand and climbing up a hill with the other.”