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Thank You to Our Veterans!

Joe Gibbs Racing is proud and fortunate to have many military veterans on our team. Between them, all five branches of the Uniformed Services are represented. They have served in different capacities all over the world whether in conflict or peacetime. And even though they represent a wide range of ages and backgrounds, they all share a common bond of courage and sacrifice while serving and protecting our country.

On November 11, 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I. The following year President Woodrow Wilson commemorated November 11 as Armistice Day, a day set aside to honor the veterans of World War I. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to honor American veterans of all wars [1]. We took the opportunity to sit down with several JGR military veterans to hear about their unique experiences and the wisdom they have gained from them.

If you have the opportunity to spend time with a veteran, be sure to ask him or her about their time in basic training. “Very quickly in basic training you learn that it’s not about the individual, it’s about the team,” said Jamey, who served as a Navy medic. “I remember them punishing everyone for the mistakes of one person. It’s horrible at the time, but it’s all about uniformity and structure. I came into it as a kid who thought he could do anything he wanted to, but I ended up learning more about respect than I ever thought I would. It grows you up, for sure.”

Rick, who served in the Coast Guard, was thankful for the organizational skills instilled in him at boot camp noting that it gave him “the skills to succeed not only in the military, but in anything in life.”

Delbert, a Captain in the Army, remembered being part of a group in training who got lost on a compass test at night. “What did that teach me? Focus!” We heard similar things from Skippy, who was stationed aboard the USS Saratoga CV60 (an aircraft carrier). “Being out at sea required focus on everyone’s part, especially during things like landings, where the smallest mistake could cause major problems.”

Clearly, the experiences of all the veterans we spoke with provide insight into the things they were taught; things such as responsibility, discipline, focus, and loyalty. They learned from their experiences, but we learn from their examples. The veterans we spoke with are examples of humility, honor, and self-sacrifice; the same is true of all the veterans at JGR and around the country. That’s why, on Veteran’s Day and every day, they deserve our respect, recognition, and thanks.

“All the things we take for granted, day to day, came at a price. These people chose to make tremendous sacrifices for our freedoms, and that’s one thing I’d like to pass along to anyone who will listen,” Rick reminded us. “The best way to honor veterans: Just thank them. If you see a man or woman in the services, or the parents of one, just walk up and thank them. Just that acknowledgment, more than anything, carries more weight.”

So, today we take time out of an always-eventful racing season to thank those who make it possible to live, work, worship, (and race), in a free country. Specifically we thank those who work at JGR:

Greg M
Frank H
Dan H
Wayne B
Jamey S
Roger P
Chris H
Rich B
Mike B
Robert N
Ray T
Craig S
Darrell T
Rick B
Charles S
Delbert L
Gary B
Richard M
Mike H
Ivan B
Jim T
Tim D
Brian P
Mike J

Note from the author: I did my best to track down all of the veterans at JGR. If someone was left off please contact me and we’ll get them added to the list.

[1] United States Department of Veterans Affairs at http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp

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