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Sailors, Recruits Pledge to Stay Navy on Speedway

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Stock Car Racing Topics:  Ford 200

Sailors, Recruits Pledge to Stay Navy on Speedway

Mike Jones, Naval Air Station Jacksonville Public Affairs
U.S. Navy
November 20, 2002

U.S. Navy Story NNS021120-25

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Twenty-nine recruits and Sailors pledged to renew and in many cases, begin naval service during a ceremony at the Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov. 15.

In the shadow of the Roush Racing Ford F-150 Navy truck, Commander, Navy Region Southeast Rear Adm. Annette E. Brown delivered the oath of enlistment to the group.

Roush Racing driver Jon Wood was also on hand to congratulate the group, sign autographs and pose for photos.

“This was really a great deal. I’ve brought my family, and we were really looking forward to this,” said Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West Air Facility Manager Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Kevin White.

During the ceremony, White reenlisted for four years. “I’m really enjoying my career right now,” he said. “I’m at the eight-year mark, and, at this point, I think I’m going to stay in.”

For many of the new recruits, the event marked an exciting beginning to their naval service.

“I feel very proud of myself. I never thought I would’ve made it this far,” said Miami, Fla., resident Maria Gutierrez. The many benefits, including college tuition assistance, influenced her decision to join the Navy. “I’d like to be a photographer,” said Gutierrez, who leaves for boot camp Feb. 19, 2003. “I’m also going to pursue my college education and work towards a law degree.”

The opportunity to reenlist at such a different location was a welcome change for NAS Key West’s Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) (AW) Randall Gale. With 18 years of service to his credit, he reenlisted for two years at the ceremony.

“It was fantastic. This is something different and exciting,” he said. “The Navy’s treated me and my family well.”

Those curious about the event were treated to a Navy information booth manned by Navy Recruiting District Miami’s Yeoman 2nd Class Hector Rodriguez.

“It’s a good experience coming out here. I’ve never been to an event like this,” he said. Rodriguez explained the Roush truck caught the eyes of many people at the track, giving him a chance to further explain career opportunities in the Navy. “It’s a good truck, and it gets the attention of a lot of young people here.”

Following the ceremony, the Sailors and recruits received complimentary tickets to the Ford 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race which featured the Navy Ford F-150.

Wood finished the race in 14th place.

For related news, visit the Naval Air Station Jacksonville Navy NewsStand page at http://www.news.navy.mil/local/nasjax/.

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