I recently got this wonderful story sent to me and I wanted to share it with my readers. As an Army Wife this story was particularly touching and I certainly understand what kiddos go through when mommy or daddy is deployed. Check out this touching story.
Last Thursday evening, before his race in the Talking Stick Resort 60 at the Phoenix International Raceway, NASCAR K&N Pro Series driver Griffin Steinfeld held an event for a very special group of Arizonans: military families. Griffin is a dedicated supporter of the charity Our Military Kids, which provides activity grants to children of deployed National Guard and Reserve service members and Wounded and Fallen Warriors. Thursday’s event brought out more than 20 families who were able to meet with Griffin and see his racecar. Griffin’s sister Hailee Steinfeld, Academy Award-nominated actress for True Grit, also stopped by the event to show her support.
A family from Surprise was among those who attended the event. Staff Sargent Christopher S. is currently deployed and expected home later this week. His wife, Erin, and their two children, four-year-old Wyatt and six-year-old Taylor were excited about meeting Griffin and sharing with him their love of NASCAR. While Wyatt asked to sit in Griffin’s car, Taylor had a more unique request. Taylor’s father had given her a bracelet when he deployed that features the American flag. Taylor asked Griffin if he would wear it in the race, and Griffin said he would be honored to do.
“Our Military Kids has come to mean so much to our family. The horseback riding lessons that they provided my daughter Taylor made her feel special and took her mind off of her dad’s deployment,” said Erin. “And Wyatt loved spending time with Griffin!”
Military K.I.D.S. (Kids of Injured or Deployed Service members) are 3-year-olds to high school seniors who have a deployed parent in the National Guard or Reserve or whose parent is a Wounded or Fallen Warrior from all branches and components of service. These children often live far from military installations and the resources and social safety net that they provide, such as on-base family support units and neighbors and classmates who understand what they’re going through. Additionally, when parents in the National Guard or Reserve deploy, they often face a pay decrease, which can make extracurricular activities unaffordable. To date, Our Military Kids has provided nearly 900 grants to families in Arizona alone.
Griffin has begun his quest to be named the 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year at this weekend’s K&N West Pro Series. He is a 19-year-old member of the RPM NASCAR Racing Team and was a four-sport high school athlete who began racing go-karts and off-road trucks at the age of 13. At 17 he was discovered by RPM and made his NASCAR debut shortly thereafter. The Our Military Kids logo appears on Steinfeld’s Ford Fusion racecar courtesy of an anonymous third-party.
To learn more about Our Military Kids and Griffin Steinfeld, visit www.ourmilitarykids.org and http://www.rpmraceteam.com/.