If you have followed NASCAR or just seen a few clips from a recent race, no doubt you have seen race cars sponsored by all the armed forces of the United States. The positive publicity and advertising not only helps in public relations, but also encourages recruitment.
The oldest of the armed services, the Army National Guard, won the Coca-Cola 600 this past week with driver Casey Mears in car number 25. It was his first NASCAR win. For the National Guard, this was a great day and brought a resounding cheer of HOOAH throughout the world by National Guardsmen.
In the past year, the National Guard has expanded its sponsorship and has become a key member of the FLW Pro-Bass Fishing Circuit. They have a six-member, professional bass fishing team that tours the country, fishing competitively and spends time promoting the National Guard at various events. The team members have their boats and vehicles wrapped with the colors of the National Guard as well as phone numbers and e-mail addresses that literally become a billboard on the waters and highways throughout the United States.
The six-member pro-team not only fish competitively, but also spends time making public appearances promoting the National Guard and the virtues of our great country. At each major tour event on the FLW circuit, there is a two-day, family-oriented Fun Zone where young and old alike can enjoy themselves and meet the pros.
When the pro-fishing team is in a tournament, our National Guard troops in Iraq and Afghanistan can watch the action by satellite communication, which can give them an extra link with home when they are in harm's way.
The pro bass fishing and NASCAR teams, sponsored by the Guard are very popular throughout the country at FLW tour events and at major racetracks.
Their visibility, when competing, has given the troops something to cheer about when they are defending our country a half a world away. Local bass fishing pro, Clifford Pirch, has been fortunate to be selected as one of the six-member pro bass team. He joins Tim Klinger, Scott Martin, Ramie Colson, Derek Jones and Jonathan Newton in representing the National Guard on the next tour event in Washington, D.C. on the Potomac River.
This weekend remember our troops and thank God and a veteran for our freedom.