Members of the Patriot 500 drag racing team visited the South Post Exchange with their “American Pride” Corvette and mobile lab, Friday.
The team also passed out free tickets to a weekend race at Rockingham Dragway, in Rockingham, North Carolina that honored service members and their Families.
AJ Myers, Patriot 500 driver and owner, said he wanted to reach out to service members because he was once in their shoes.
“I’m prior service, my daughter and son are both in the service … it’s the proudest thing I’ve ever done,” he explained.
Myers said he most enjoys talking to people, and the race car allows him to reach service members, their Families and youth, to engage in discussions about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
He links his experience racing cars with the math and science used to make Patriot 500 succeed, according to program materials.
Attendees at the meet-and-greet seemed to appreciate Myers’ efforts. Contreras Thomas, a Fort Bragg Soldier, said he was a fan of drag racing and spoke to Myers about the Patriot 500 car.
“I like the relationship that the car and the driver has,” he explained.
One young fan couldn’t keep his hands off the American flag-painted car.
“He loves cars so much. He’s not going to leave it alone,” said Maryjane Etsitty about her son, Matthias, 23 months.
Etsitty and her husband Luiz, an active-duty Soldier, said events like this are important for the Fort Bragg community.
“It shows their appreciation and support for the troops,” he explained. “I like it.”