Sunday, May 27, 2007

Indy 500 Festivities Include Military Tributes

By Samantha L. Quigley / American Forces Press Service

Indy 500 fans hold America Supports You cards to let servicemembers attending the race know that the country is behind them. Several thousand cards were available for fans to display at the Indianapolis 500 on May 28. Photo by Samantha L. Quigley

INDIANAPOLIS, May 28, 2006 - Today's opening ceremonies for the 90th Indianapolis 500 carried a special message for servicemembers and their families: America Supports You.
Troops were greeted with thunderous applause and cheering when they rode around the two-and-a-half mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway track as part of the speedway's Military Recognition March. Just before they reached the only bricks remaining of the original track, 6,000 fans flashed placards bearing the America Supports You logo. The red heart and blue ribbon logo has become synonymous with the program's message of support for America's military men and women. "It feels good to know that we've got people behind us," Army Spec. Robert Houston, with the 433rd Personnel Division here, said. Also during the days events, five servicemembers representing each service performed the National Anthem, while a color guard presented the U.S. and Indiana flags. Later the color guard presented the colors as an Army bugler played "Taps."
Army Gen. Richard Cody, Army vice chief of staff, also addressed the crowd. "You look around to the left and right and in front of you, and you see over 300,000 great American fans getting ready to watch one of our greatest sports," Cody said. "That's the same number of soldiers we have deployed in 120 countries today defending you and I. "Thank you for your support of all our servicemen and women," he added.

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