May 27, 2011 - 1:45 pm
With the Indy 500, Coca-Cola 600, Formula 1 in Monaco and two racing events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway it is easy to fall prey to thinking this holiday weekend is devoted to racing.
This is Memorial Day Weekend and a time to think of our American brothers and sisters — and their families — that have given lives, limbs and years to defend our country.
A close friend and Vietnam Veteran shared that while Memorial Day is intended to reflect on contributions made by men and women in uniform, it also can be the most difficult day of the year for Vets because of memories that resurface at this time.
(I am capitalizing the “V” in Veteran and Vet because they deserve that respect.)
PTSD is not a racing category; it’s post-traumatic stress disorder that for too many Veterans means wars never end.
The Armed Forces will be saluted Sunday before the Indy 500 and later at Charlotte Motor Speedway before the Sprint Cup race that night. The festivities will be done with he best intentions.
There should be similar honors for American Vets before the F1 race because if it weren’t for American soldiers those in Monaco likely would be speaking German.
I hope each TV network that shows the military salutes devotes time to run public service announcements about PTSD and what can be done to help homeless Vets.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway is making a halfhearted effort to honor active military. Something is better than nothing, I guess.
Active-duty military that show up in uniform get into Friday’s Rockabilly Rod Reunion for free. They are invited to be in a photo shoot at 7 p.m. that likely will be used to show how patriotic the track is. Then they get in free on Sunday and don’t have to wear uniforms.
But Saturday, there are no “thank yous” for troops unless they buy a discounted ticket for $6.
At the Bullring Saturday night, active-duty military personnel with military ID can pay $6 to get into the Bullring races. Heck, a regular ticket is $10 for military so that deal isn’t worth much.
The speedway would have deserved a big slap on the back had they admitted active military and all who have served our country in for free this weekend.
And why not make that an annual tradition?
Active military and Veterans at least deserve that.