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DECORATED WAR HERO TO BE GUEST OF U.S. ARMY NASCAR TEAM AT DAYTONA 500

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing American Government Topics:  Ryan Newman, Daytona 500

DECORATED WAR HERO TO BE GUEST OF U.S. ARMY NASCAR TEAM AT DAYTONA 500

U.S. Army Racing
February 10, 2010

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 10, 2010) - Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Ragan, a decorated war hero from Sarasota, Fla., will be a guest of driver Ryan Newman and the U.S. Army NASCAR team for Sunday's Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

Ragan, a 1996 graduate of Sarasota High School, has served three deployments since joining the Army in 1999 - two in Iraq and one in Turkey.

He was awarded a Purple Heart in 2003 after suffering major injuries to his leg in Iraq when the vehicle he was riding in was struck with an improvised explosive device (IED). During his second lraq deployment in 2006, he was awarded a Bronze Star for meritorious service.

"Being a Florida native, I think it's going to be pretty cool to attend the Daytona 500," said Ragan. "I met Ryan (Newman) at the Army All American Bowl last month and look forward to seeing him again and meeting all of his crew members. NASCAR is a big deal to the Soldiers and to see it all firsthand is going to be really special.

"Ragan, 32, is currently stationed in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. He is studying business administration with online courses from the University of Maryland.

Ragan will also join Newman and other guest speakers at "Strength For The Future," a unique education program for local Florida students presented by the U.S. Army. The event is slated to take place on Friday morning (10:15-11 a.m.) at the Speedway hospitality area - behind the frontstretch grandstands.

See More Army NASCAR Racing News

The presence of any information identifying private companies or other non-federal entities does not constitute an endorsement by the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.



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