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I am blessed because I'm able to have fun in the Hollywood Hotel, do great work and have exciting times with the folks at FOX. All of my years in racing have been blessed, and my kids are healthy. A lot of people are not as fortunate. As we reflect on what Memorial Day and the 60th anniversary of D-Day are about -- the men and women who have sacrificed their lives -- we should slow down and think about some charities out there that need our help. I don't know how you put into words what the military means to this country. They still exemplify honor and loyalty in a very special way. Our television connection has afforded me the opportunity to spend a lot of time around so many military men and women the last few years, and it's been an eye-opening experience that has shown me what they really mean to us. On September 11, 2001, our country finally woke up a lot like it did on December 7, 1941, and now we truly appreciate what these men and women do for us on a daily basis. They are unique people, and we're very fortunate to have so many of them who are willing to do what sometimes turns out to be a thankless one. The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, or ESGR, plays a huge role in the defense of this country. If you are a member of the Guard or the Reserve, and you are called up, your employer will help you keep your position and subsidize the difference in salaries so families aren't left wanting. I think it's a great program to help these military men and women be able to defend our country whenever there's a need, and a lot of people don't realize it exists. Great companies like Tyson Foods, Miller Brewing Company, Lowe's Motor Speedway and numerous others support ESGR.
Speed Mail Jeff Hammond on Totally NASCAR
Can't find speed Mail
Last week, I attended several charity events, including one for the Speedway Children's Charities and one for autism awareness, and I've seen a lot of good come out of these recent events. As I've spent more time with these charities and the families struggling with these ailments, I've come to the conclusion that all of these charity events are about speeding up results for children who are helped by organizations such as the Victory Junction Gang Camp or St. Jude's. When you think about NASCAR, you think about high speeds and daring moves. Former car owner Banjo Matthews used to have a saying, "Money buys speed." Children's charities are another place where money buys speed. When I say speed, I mean the speed to develop better research and cure illnesses. I want to challenge anybody who reads this article to not lose site of how fortunate we are and ante up when we can support our favorite charities. FOX race analyst Jeff Hammond led Darrell Waltrip to two of DW's three Winston Cup championships as his crew chief. They also teamed to win the 1989 Daytona 500. For Jeff Hammond's "Real Men Work in the Pits" magnets, Hollywood Hotel hats and more, check out www.dwstore.com.

For photos and appearances, visit Jeff's web site www.jeffhammond.com.

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