October 4, 2006

Positivity: Cards of Thanks to Injured Troops

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:01 am

An outpouring of support, actually more like an avalanche:

8,745 Cards of Thanks Destined for Troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center

Sometimes a child walked up to an Air Force Reserve Recruiter and asked for a card to sign. Sometimes families passed a card around, each member writing a note. Sometimes the writer was the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong, or Indy champ, Bobby Unser, or several members of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, who fought as a unit during World War II. At the end of the eleven-and-a-half week journey across the United States, 8,745 cards of thanks and good wishes are ready for the Air Force Reserve Jet Car Team to deliver to Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Wednesday, October 11, 2006, as a tribute to the Dedication of the Air Force Memorial on October 14.
“The outpouring has been incredible,” said Bill Braack, Jet Car Driver. “The response we’ve received from the public — it says we’re doing the right thing.”

The Jet Car Team will participate in the dedication ceremonies at the Pentagon, and wanted to include as many Americans as possible in this event. The idea was to ask people at air shows across the country to fill out cards of good wishes and thanks for the troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. At each stop, the local media pitched in and got the word out about the signing project.

The first stop was Dayton, Ohio, where Bill Braack, threw out the first pitch at a Dayton Dragons Baseball Game, then it was on to the Dayton International Air Show. Total cards: 1739.

Next, the Air Force Reserve Jet Car went to St. Louis, Missouri, appearing at the St. Louis Science Center before going to the Scott Air Force Base Air Show. Total: 1674.

The third stop was at Exploration Place, the science center in Wichita, Kansas, before the McConnell Air Force Base Air Show. Total: 1004. Then came the National Air Championship Races at Reno, Nevada, where air race enthusiasts from around the world signed 2,706 cards. The last stop was the California International Air Show at Salinas, with a preliminary stop at the Harden Ranch Plaza. That total was 275.

Drifting fans from each coast participated as well. Those attending the D1 VS NASCAR event at Irwindale Speedway, in Irwindale, California, on August 31 and the Formula D Championship series at the Wall Township Speedway, in Wall, New Jersey, on September 9, filled out 548 and 576 cards respectively.

Bill Braack’s home town of Longview, Washington, wanted to get involved and hosted an event on September 20, coming up with 224 cards. The Air Force Reserve Jet Car, which rockets from zero to 400 mph in about eight seconds, appears at air shows round the country. The Jet Car was invented by Scott Hammack and is driven by Bill Braack.


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