NASCAR Driver Visits Troops
Tue, 08/09/2022 - 2:25pm caleb
Brad Keselowski meets with troops and military officials during trip to Camp Grayling facilities on Friday, August 5
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski – a Michigan native – visited with troops at Camp Grayling facilities on Friday, August 5, as Northern Strike 22, “the Michigan National Guard’s signature exercise,” was set to begin.
“We are incredibly excited to welcome Brad Keselowski to Camp Grayling for a chance to experience all that Michigan does to support the readiness of our joint forces through the (National All-Domain Warfighting Center) and events like Northern Strike,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, adjutant general and director of Michigan’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “Beyond his awesome record representing Michigan on the NASCAR circuit, we also appreciate the outstanding work Mr. Keselowski does to support veterans and military families in a variety of ways.”
(The National All-Domain Warfighting Center includes Camp Grayling and the Alpena Combat Readiness Center.)
Keselowski – during an interview with 9&10 News and Up North Live at the Grayling Army Airfield on Friday – said he was able to visit with troops and drive a military vehicle and check out some weaponry during his time at the Camp Grayling facilities on Friday.
“We’re up here in Grayling on base, checking everything out,” Keselowski said. “Had a great opportunity to visit with a lot of different troops from all over, of course some people from here in Michigan and out of state as well, Alabama, Tennessee, and a whole bunch of other people, so got the opportunity to engage with them and say hello, thank them for what they’re doing and even join them in training with a little bit of practice on the M-2 – that was great – and even got to shoot the MK-19, which is a little grenade launcher, so all things that I feel like I’m living my eight-year-old boy dream, but we got to blow some things up and shake some hands and make some people happy and it’s been quite a day.”
“I got to do a little driving too, which was great with the little souped up humvee, which we put through its paces. I didn’t break anything, which was good, but had a lot of fun and got to drive,” Keselowski said.
Keselowski said he appreciates the efforts of the troops.
“I’m very fortunate to be a race car driver. I get to do a lot of great things and it’s not lost on me – and I think a lot of my contemporaries – on the fact that our privileges and freedoms come with others behind it that make them possible. This is a great example of those that serve and are looking out for us – even if maybe when we don’t see them – and prepare to do so on a moment’s notice,” Keselowski said. “I try once a year to get on a base and to go see different people and I’ve had great opportunities – never the opportunity to come here in Michigan to come on base, my home state, so that felt like a huge gap, so when I got the invite to come up here it was really a no-brainer to make it happen.”
On Friday, Keselowski was also getting ready to compete in a race at Michigan International Speedway over the weekend.
“This weekend, big race for personally, racing back in my home state here in Michigan. Big race weekend at MIS. This is going to be a huge challenge for us as a sport. It’s the first time where we’re taking NASCAR’s new race car, called Next Gen, on a track this big, this fast. Really don’t know what to expect but we’re going to all find out together on Sunday,” Keselowski said. “We’re coming off a streak of some really good runs, a couple really good finishes, and certainly on an upswing, and we want to keep that momentum going. We want to build on it.”
Keselowski said he enjoyed the trip to Camp Grayling, and military officials said the troops appreciated the visit from the NASCAR driver.
“Really glad to be here. Hospitality’s been really incredible and I’d like to thank everybody here on base for their hospitality,” Keselowski said. “I think operations like this are really important. I’ve got a number of initiatives with my foundation that we have to support our military but ultimately operations like this – operation Northern Strike – are the greatest deterrent in the world; showing our strength is how we keep peace in the world, and I’m glad to be able to support and cheer them on.”
“It really makes a difference to the troops,” Col. Scott Meyers, Camp Grayling Commander said.
“It was awesome,” Col. Meyers said in an interview with Up North Live following Keselowski’s visit to the Grayling Army Airfield. “The fact that they responded to our team to come out and meet the troops right before the race means a lot. The soldiers are training for those hard missions, they’re just kind of arriving, and just to see that level of community support from a NASCAR driver means a lot to the troops here.”
(Northern Strike 22 is scheduled for August 6-20, according to military officials.)