WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — McGuire VA Hospital as it is known locally, was especially lively Thursday September 10th; as wounded and retired veterans, their loved ones, and staff members gathered in the hospital’s entry courtyard for the popular monthly dinner sponsored by the Armed Forces Foundation (AFF), a 501(c) 3 non-profit that supports our nation’s service members and their families. The crowd’s premature assembly fueled anticipation and discussion about not only the pork chops, but AFF’s guests that would be serving them: Professional NASCAR Drivers from the Aaron’s Rents Inc. Team, David Reutimann and Trevor Bayne.
Established on a former racetrack after WWII, the hospital seemed an ideal location for a pit stop as the driver’s made their way to Richmond International Speedway, for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 and the Virginia 529 College Savings 250. David Reutimann who placed 5th after starting 15th in the Virginia 529, remarked that his trip to McGuire VA Hospital was a “truly remarkable start to my weekend…it forces you to put things in perspective.”
While visiting with patients both drivers seemed surprised to learn so many of the veterans were avid NASCAR fans. One young, charismatic Marine Corporal was particularly excited to meet David Reutimann, the driver of the Aaron’s No. 00 Dream Machine for Michael Waltrip Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He also maintains a partial schedule for Braun Racing in the Nationwide Series, driving the Dollar General, No. 32 Toyota. After the two joked around for over an hour, the Cpl presented Reutimann with a prized possession of his own, a commemorative Marine Knife and two honorable Marine Coins.
“I have never felt so privileged and humbled as I did in that moment,” said Reutimann after the Corporal asked if he would drive with his cherished possessions for luck in the upcoming races, to which Reutimann replied, “I’d be honored.”
“It was really an eye-opening experience. Many of the veterans I talked to were just a few years older than me,” said Trevor Bayne; who at eighteen is currently the youngest professional NASCAR Driver on the track.
Asked about Aaron’s involvement with the Armed Forces Foundation, President and Executive Director of AFF Patricia Driscoll replied, “The Aaron’s corporation is a huge supporter of our troops and the Armed Forces Foundation. Their support has been steadfast despite the economic downturn. From improving the rooms at the hospitals where our veterans are treated, to sending their Drivers to lift the spirits of our wounded, the Aaron’s family is composed of admirable and generous patriots.”
In the spring Aaron’s devoted two thousand Aaron’s associates, invested 5,600 hours, and $500,000 in product and service donations to renovate rooms at H.H. McGuire, Bethesda National Naval Medical Center, and held a family fun day at Walter Reed. The renovations that were completed have gone a long way in making the families staying with their loved ones feel more at home. This initiative was in support of the Armed Forces Foundation’s continuing efforts to boost the morale and welfare of our nation’s service members and their families.
About The Armed Forces Foundation:
In 2001 the Armed Forces Foundation (AFF) was established as a 501(c) 3 organization under the U.S. Department of Defense’s America Supports You program. AFF offers vital assistance to active-duty and retired personnel, National Guard, Reserve Components and military families as they cope with difficult circumstances. Through a multitude of programs the Armed Forces Foundation assists military families with utilities and rent; hotel and travel costs; holiday gifts for military children; and therapeutic recreational activities. The Armed Forces Foundation has been recognized by the President of the United States, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Education and the Department of Energy for its dedication to America’s Service Members. For more information on our Foundation or to aid us in our mission please visit us at our website www.armedforcesfoundation.org.
About Michael Waltrip Racing and Aaron’s Rents, Inc.:
Michael Waltrip Racing and Aaron Rents, Inc. hold one of the longest sponsor and owner relationships in NASCAR. Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership, the largest division of Aaron Rents, Inc., is the sponsor of the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine with driver David Reutimann, for 18 select Cup Series races. Aaron’s is also the sponsor for the No. 99 Aaron’s Dream Machine, for 10 select Nationwide races with both Reutimann and Michael Waltrip splitting time behind the wheel during 2009. The 2009 season will mark the 10th year that Waltrip has been
About Aaron’s, Inc.:
Aaron’s, Inc. was founded by R. Charles Loudermilk, Sr. who has held the position of Chairman since it’s inception. In 1955 Mr. Loudermilk and a partner borrowed $500 to purchase three hundred chairs and rented each of them out for 10 cents per day to auction houses. From these modest beginnings Mr. Loudermilk developed Aaron’s, Inc. into a publicly traded company (RNT and RNTA symbols on the New York Stock Exchange) that today has more than 1500 company operated and franchised stores in the United States and Canada. Aaron’s operates under the names Aaron’s Sales and Lease Ownership, Rimco Custom Wheels Tires Accessories and More, Aaron’s Office Furniture and has 16 Fulfillment Centers and 11 manufacturing plants known as MacTavish Furniture Industries.
Aaron Rents has recently re-branded to Aaron’s, Inc to bring in line the same name that all our stores operate under. Over 55 million households across North America know and trust the Aaron’s name. Aaron’s, Inc. New York Stock Exchange ticker symbols are AAN and AANA.
Aaron’s is the industry leader in serving the moderate-income customer, offering affordable payment plans, quality merchandise and superior service. Aaron’s has been responsible for many of the industry’s most successful and innovative marketing, operational and manufacturing programs.
SOURCE Armed Forces Foundation