2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

US Army dropping sponsorship of NASCAR...NOT

***Had this scheduled to post today.  After I wrote it news broke that the house voted against the cuts....so NASCAR will continue to be supported by the Army as well as National Guard.  Story here.  Still, I wrote the damn post so its still here for you to ready my original thoughts on it. ***

...other horsemen of the apocalypse expected soon....

The Army is dropping its decade long, multi-million dollar support of its NASCAR racing team next year after congressional concerns that spending money to promote the service through sports marketing might be wasteful.  Full story from The Washington Post here..

Its no secret that NASCAR taps into one of the primary pools of new recruits for the military.  Just check out how many young men walking around military posts wear their favorite drivers hat while off duty or have his number on the back window of their POV (privately owned vehicle...their car).  Matter of fact, if you didn't already know it, NASCAR is HUGE, tapping into many different demographics across multiple age and economic classes.  I am not a huge fan of racing.  I have watched some of it and appreciate the skill the drivers have and the technology involved in getting those cars to go that fast, that long and within such tight tolerances under track conditions.  I also appreciate the fact that the "average" race fan seems to be more of less patriotic and the sport definitely does support warriors and their families through various programs and charities.
Some Army leaders are trying to push for a more
economical sponsorship of a  "smaller team"
The National Guard (my "alma matter" so to speak) is not dropping its support of its driver, Dale Earnhardt, JR.  He is the son of the late and legendary driver Dale Earnhardt, who died on the track and in so many ways personified the sport to many who otherwise would not have known about it.  I can look at this a couple of way.  First that the guard knows a good deal when it sees it in staying in the public foreground with people all across the country walking around with hats, shirts and jackets with National Guard all over them. Secondly, with the war in Iraq "over" and talk about the Afghanistan mission nearing an end, a decade long trend of voluntary service due to patriotism to "get in the fight" might be nearing an end with no fight in the future.  During this time, especially with the economy as it is, the active component still offers many a way to better themselves economically without much fear of "downsizing".  The guard and reserve on the other hand, often have to fight with not on the stigma of being a "second tier" service branch, but also not being able the same monetary incentives to joining that the active duty does.  I know that there have been a lot of folks in the guard that have "made out" due to the war on terror as the guard has been given financial resources since 9/11 that we could only dream about in years prior to that.  Much of that financial bounty will be gone when this conflict winds down, including some monies used to offer significant financial incentives to join.  It makes sense that you would keep a key marketing and promotional tool nearby to counter this possible threat on the horizon.

Me with one of the retired National Guard chassis outside the NASCAR Cafe at Universal Studios, Orlando, this past winter. 
My question is this, if this spending is so wasteful and non-productive, why has it taken a decade for anyone in congress to notice?

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