Local Veterans Guests of Roush Fenway Racing

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Three local veterans were invited by Roush Fenway Racing in Concord to witness the initial uncovering of the design for the Memorial Day weekend with young upcoming 23 year old racing star Ryan Reed.  Many local veterans received invitations, however, only a few were able to take advantage of the opportunity.

Mint Hill Times writer Ed Berti, XFINITY driver Ryan Reed.

There were actually a dozen veterans who attended the event on Tuesday May 23rd at the company headquarters.  The veterans were able to visit the Roush Fenway Museum, take a photo shoot and video to be posted on Facebook with Ryan Reed.  Then we toured the shop facilities, experienced NASCAR XFINITY Series up close and personal with pit road team members, crew chief and technicians who were all professionally focused on getting the racing cars ready for this weekends XFINITY Series race on Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race cars were also being fine tuned for the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday.  Ryan Reed’s No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang was unveiled with the veterans on site in honor of NASCAR Salutes initiatives over the Memorial Day weekend.  It was a beautiful sight to all the veterans in attendance in bright orange camouflage.

Alan Burgess, XFINITY driver Ryan Reed.

Post 235 Commander Alan Burgess, a retired USAF Major and Mint Hill resident had his name selected to be shown on the passenger door side of XFINITY Roush Racing Car No. 16 driven by Ryan Reed a native of Bakersfield, California.  The Major’s name will be riding along with Reed Saturday afternoon around Charlotte Motor Speedway.  The other local veteran John Ellis who is the Post 235 historian, and a historian of American history including historical flags from 1700-1900’s of our nation from Matthews, North Carolina was also in attendance.  John is a USAF veteran and an American Legion Honor Guard.

Veterans Alan Burgess, John Ellis from American Legion Post 235.

The Mint Hill Madness Memorial Day Weekend Festival is coming this week and American Legion Post 235 in Matthews, North Carolina will be involved in the events activities along with having a booth site for folks to visit, meet and greet some of our local veterans.  Also, these heroes will be selling items such as hats, pins, etc., and all the proceeds will go directly to serving our area veterans who are in need of financial, medical, mental, or physical assistance.  They will also accept donations that will be used to assist other veterans.  These veterans are just helping their fellow veterans reenter civilian life, or encourage others who have not been as fortunate.  Post 235 supports local high school JROTC programs in our area serving our youth including American Legion baseball.  They are truly a “Band of Brothers” making a difference in our community.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
Ed can be reached at ed@minthilltimes.com, eberti7777@gmail.com and linkedin.com.