Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Here's How NASCAR Makes The Military Feel Right At Home At Daytona
Retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark gave thousands of commands every day of his 38 years of military service.
He gave the most important command of any auto race when he served as the grand marshal of the Coke Zero 400. Clark, the former commander of NATO, ordered drivers to start their engines to complete one of the strongest military involvements in the history of NASCAR’s July race.
“I really appreciate NASCAR honoring our men and women who served,” he said during a news conference before the race. “It’s a tremendous thing they’re doing in honoring our veterans. They’re a volunteer force and they serve because they love this country and want to be a part of something larger than themselves. It’s wonderful that NASCAR honors then, especially on this weekend.”
In addition to Clark’s participation, Navy Band Southeast, based at NAS Jacksonville, performed the National Anthem. The grand marshal for the Xfinity race is chairman of the board for Greater Jacksonville USO, retired U.S. Navy Capt. Bob Buehn.
Sailors from the Navy Littoral Combat Ship crews 114 and 115, based at Naval Station Mayport, received special recognition.
NASCAR also honored three Medal of Honor winners and Vietnam veterans, Capt. Thomas Kelley (Navy), Sgt. Major Gary Littrell (Army) and Col. Walter Marm (Army).
“I don’t think you’ll find a sport more patriotic than NASCAR,” said car owner Richard Childress, who appeared at the news conference with Gen. Clark and his grandson and driver Austin Dillon. “We love our country and we love honoring those who had sacrificed greatly for this country.”
The flyover was conducted by two Navy F-5 CFC-111 Sundowner jets, based at NAS Key West.
Ragan hosts Shriners patient
For the second consecutive year, race driver David Ragan played host to a patient from Shriners Hospital for the entire weekend.
Riley Desin of Winter Garden has been through “dozens” of surgeries to repair bone spurs. But on Friday and Saturday, he was given complete access to the garage area and pit road.
“The best thing was meeting David and seeing these cars up front,” Desin said. “This has been incredible. I’ve been everywhere with David.”
Ragan took his guest to the drivers meeting, and Desin joined the driver during introductions.
Desin then watched the race from Ragan’s pit stall.
“I’m a Shriner, so this is important to me,” Ragan said. “I also have two children. It makes you appreciate the fact they’re healthy. And it makes me want to help other children feel that way, too.”
©2017 The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
A former Fort Bliss solider stood bruised and badly injured in court Thursday as he pleaded guilty to cutting the throat of another soldier during a 2017 drug robbery.
Zachary Johnston, who appeared in court in an orange jail jumpsuit and shackles around his ankles, pleaded guilty Thursday to a lesser count of murder as part of a plea agreement with state prosecutors.
He also appeared in court with two black eyes, bruises and cuts all over his face after he was involved in a jailhouse fight.
Johnston was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in connection with the brutal slaying of Tyler Kaden Croke, 23, on May 7, 2017, during a drug robbery at the Cantera Apartments in East El Paso. Croke, 23, was in the U.S. Army and served a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Saudi ambassador to the United States visited a U.S. naval air station in Florida on Thursday to extend her condolences for a shooting attack by a Saudi Air Force officer that killed three people last week, the Saudi embassy said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Thursday tested a conventionally configured ground-launched ballistic missile, a test that would have been prohibited under the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
The United States formally withdrew from the landmark 1987 INF pact with Russia in August after determining that Moscow was violating the treaty, an accusation the Kremlin has denied.
The Taliban may not have breached the walls of Bagram, but they damaged the hell out of its main passenger terminal
Blasts from Taliban car bombs outside of Bagram Airfield on Wednesday caused extensive damage to the base's passenger terminal, new pictures released by the 45th Expeditionary Wing show.
The pictures, which are part of a photo essay called "Bagram stands fast," were posted on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service's website on Thursday.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
A retired Navy SEAL running for Congress wore a U.S. Navy dress white uniform at a recent campaign event, Business Insider has learned.
Republican candidate Floyd McLendon of Texas spoke to an audience at his campaign kick-off event in November, wearing the Navy uniform adorned with numerous medals — including what appeared to be the Navy SEAL Trident, the insignia reserved for members of the elite community like McLendon.
The inaugural event in Dallas was held in the 30th congressional district, a different district than the one McLendon is running in. Political strategists in Texas described the venue's location as highly unusual for a House candidate.