Baytown: Doug Herbert enjoys visits with US Marines

Herbert embraces Houston-based Marines fresh off the battlefield HOUSTON - A group of war-hardened, Houston-area Marines who returned from combat in Operation Iraqi Freedom just a few days ago on April 2 will receive a very special welcome home...

Herbert embraces Houston-based Marines fresh off the battlefield

HOUSTON - A group of war-hardened, Houston-area Marines who returned from combat in Operation Iraqi Freedom just a few days ago on April 2 will receive a very special welcome home from Top Fuel racer Doug Herbert.

Just as he's done at the first three races on the POWERade Drag Racing Series, Herbert will host this group of 10 Marines in his Snap-on Tools race pit as honorary crewman and special VIP guests. Each Marine will join Herbert Saturday during pro qualifying for the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals for a tour of the Pro pits, a front-row view of the action on the racetrack, special T-shirts and gifts from Snap-on Tools, and an in-depth visit behind the ropes of Herbert's 7,000-horsepower Top Fuel dragster. Herbert will also feed his guests in the Snap-on Tools VIP hospitality area.

"This whole deal has turned into such a positive, uplifting program for our entire team," Herbert said. "Last summer, through my buddy Rob Geiger with the NHRA, we welcomed home Major Phil Toretti from back-to-back war deployments in the Middle East. His return was so well received that we decided to extend the courtesy to as many Marines as possible.

"We've already had groups out to the first three races this year and they've had a blast. These men and women have been to hell and back so it's awesome to see them with big smiles on their faces."

Joining Herbert at Houston Raceway Park will be Sergeant E.M. Wilson of Houston, Lance Corporal T.W. Smith of Orange, Texas, Lance Corporal B.T. Aldape III of Houston, Lance Corporal Tom Chenault of Beaumont, Texas, Lance Corporal James Whitehead of Orange, Lance Corporal R. Torres of Houston, Lance Corporal S.W. Street of Cleveland, Texas, Lance Corporal L.J. Rawls of Pasadena, Texas, Lance Corporal L.D. Lindsey of Sour Lake, Texas, and Staff Sergeant John McInerney of Sunnyvale, Calif.

"All of these Marines have been serving in combat units in the Al Anbar Province in Iraq," said Major Toretti, who is now coordinating these visits for Herbert. "They were all deployed in early August and are literally still washing combat dirt out from behind their ears. I know they are thrilled for this chance. It will be a great welcome home for all of them."

Herbert hopes Houston fans will join him in welcoming home this group of America heroes. "I would like to invite everyone to come by our pit and thank these Marines personally," said Herbert, who covers all the expenses for this program out of his own pocket. "They're putting their lives on the line every day for us. Let's give them a big Texas welcome home."

-gs-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert