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NASCAR Celebrities To Visit Troops Overseas

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Department of Defense announced Monday that a group of NASCAR celebrities, team owners, track owners and civilian employers of National Guard and Reserve members will visit U.S. military installations in Germany, Bosnia, Italy, and England this week.

The visit is being coordinated by the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, an agency of the Department of Defense.

Among the NASCAR celebrities participating in the tour are drivers Ernie Irvan, Brendan Gaughan, Rick Crawford, Dan Green, David Starr, Mike Wallace and Chad Little.

NASCAR teams are also well-represented, with Richard Childress of Richard Childress Racing, Sam Belnavis of Belcar Racing, and Ashton Lewis, Sr., of Lewis Motorsports.

Also included in the tour are representatives from companies and civic organizations that have distinguished themselves through their support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. These organizations include Southwest Airlines, CSX Transportation, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Public Service Company of New Hampshire, Denso Manufacturing, Ruckel Properties, Inc., and the Knoxville Police Department.

The tour will touch down at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and move on to visit U.S. bases in Bosnia, Italy and England.

Tour participants will visit several thousand U.S. service members during the course of the tour, speaking to gatherings of troops, signing autographs and seeing first-hand the vital missions U.S. reserve forces are performing overseas.

Air transportation will be provided by the 134th Air Refueling Wing, Tennessee Air National Guard, Knoxville, Tenn.

The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is a DoD chartered organization formed in 1972.

ESGR's mission is to gain and maintain active support from all public and private employers for the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve. ESGR has 55 volunteer committees, one in each state, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Europe.

A network of 4,200 volunteers supports ESGR services and programs.

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