American soldiers recuperating from wounds received in Iraq and Afghanistan were treated to a Santa’s bag of NHRA Drag Racing holiday cheer following a spirited offering from drag racing’s best.

Items were donated after a call from SFC Wayne Reed, President, Randall Shugart Chapter 64 of the Special Forces Association to GM Racing’s Fred Simmonds (a former U.S. Army Captain), which set the ball in motion for what resulted in an overwhelming and generous contribution from the NHRA and 22 drivers representing Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Bike, Pro Mod, Super Comp, Pro FWD, Pro RWD, and Super Stock.

Drivers that pitched in for the LRMC holiday gift-giving included Shirley Muldowney, Erica Enders, Warren Johnson, Kurt Johnson, Mark Pawuk, Mike Ferderer, Al Corda, Steve Johnson, Jeg Coughlin, Jason Line, Greg Anderson, Darrell Gwynn, Tommy Johnson Jr., Larry Dixon, Harold Martin, Nelson Hoyos, Matt Hartford, Mike Edwards, Jim Yates, Del Worsham, Cruz Pedregon and Tony Pedregon.

“Thank you doesn’t seem sufficient to express the gratitude extended to all of those who took the time and effort to send autograph cards, NHRA racing memorabilia, wearables, diecast models and other items to our combat wounded troops recovering in Germany,” Simmonds said. “The trip was a surprise visit to these wounded soldiers and was overwhelmingly received by both hospital staff and

SGT Michael Short is recuperating from wounds received during an artillery attack.

SGT Michael Short is recuperating from wounds received during an artillery attack.

Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, located just 10 minutes from Ramstein AFB in Germany, is the largest American hospital outside the United States and one of two special hospitals in Europe. There are specialists at LRMC in all areas of medical treatment, except for the rarest cases, which are treated at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C.

SFC Reed departed Dover AFB early Monday morning, Dec. 27, and arrived at Ramstein AFB later that evening. The troops they visited were at the Medical Transition Detachment, Kleber Kaserne, Germany, which is a part of the LRMC. Soldiers at the Kleber Kaserne complex are recuperating from wounds/injuries prior to traveling to the United States or returning to their combat unit.

“On behalf of the soldiers at Kleber Kaserne and our group, I want to thank the NHRA and the NHRA race teams and drivers for their support,” said Reed. “Without you, this trip would not have been successful in showing the troops how appreciative we are for all they are doing to insure the freedoms we enjoy.”

Reed and members of his chapter of the Special Forces Association are planning a return trip to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in mid-February. Those wishing to donate additional items for the February visit can ship them to SFC Wayne Reed, 90 Fosselman Lane, Newport, PA 17074.


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