Marines, sailors take in NASCAR sights, sounds with Yellow Ribbon Team trip
By Lance Cpl. Alicia Small
| | March 02, 2007
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
Marines and sailors attended the NASCAR events at California Speedway Feb. 22-25.
The Yellow Ribbon Team, an organization made of members from the civilian and military communities, partnered with the San Diego Armed Services Young Men Christian Association to offer service members access to the events.
According to Doug Johnson, founder of the Yellow Ribbon Team, it was their way of saying thank you to those who serve this great country.
Service members who volunteered to work at the Yellow Ribbon tent set up behind the grandstands were given tickets to the events. The job of the volunteers was to get the NASCAR fans to take some time out of their day to write a short note of support to our troops in Iraq.
Tickets were also provided to nearly 250 Marines and their families and another 250 tickets to Navy personnel across California. A small group of Marines from the depot were able to take part in the festivities.
The depot Marines were present for the NASCAR Busch Series race Feb. 24 and the Nextel Cup Series race Feb. 25. For the majority of the depot Marines who attended the event, it was their first encounter with NASCAR or racing in general.
Receiving the tickets furnished the Marines the opportunity to experience something new and help them learn about a sport they didn’t know much about.
“It was incredible to hear the roar of the engines and feel the grandstands shake as the cars passed,” said Lance Cpl. Jose Villanueva, administration clerk, Support Bn. “I didn’t know much about racing and never understood what the big deal was about it. After being given the chance to experience a race in person, I fell in love with it.”
The Yellow Ribbon Team and the ASYMCA completed their mission, as everyone in attendance enjoyed their latest NASCAR experience.