I think it's safe to say that it's almost impossible—if not completely impossible—for someone to live in the United States and not know someone personally who is serving, or has served, in one of the branches of our Armed Forces. Now this doesn't have to be an immediate family member, but in a lot of cases it is. It could easily be someone like your uncle, a cousin or even your niece or nephew that is serving today. Or it could simply just be your neighbor who recently left his family behind to go serve overseas, which constantly reminds you there are brave men and women who sacrifice a lot to protect our freedoms.
This is a great country and I can’t thank those who serve enough; we’re truly fortunate. As a staff we felt a tribute to those who serve our country was well overdue, so we decided to dedicate our July issue to all of you fine service men and women. We picked this month because after all, this is the time of year when we celebrate America's birthday. Of course we all know and recognize that we shouldn't just be thinking about our great country and the freedoms we enjoy only one month out of the year; rather, we should always be thinking of our soldiers and praying for them to return home safely.
We got the idea to do the special “Salute the Troops” feature when we started noticing a trend or pattern in some of the emails and messages we were receiving. A number of the messages coming in were from soldiers who were looking for ideas about what they could do to modify their diesel trucks when they return home to the states. One soldier told me that copies of our magazine are constantly being passed around and he was thankful to us for providing a resource to inspire his own build ideas. We inspire him? Those words just didn’t seem right because it’s we who are safe in our homes who are inspired by their efforts.
This issue is dedicated to those currently serving who have boxes of parts waiting for them in their garage right now and are patiently waiting for their tour to be done so they can get started. And chances are good they’ll be calling up the guys they’re serving with right now to help them when the time comes.
This issue is also dedicated to those who have served our country in one way or another over the years. My grandfather, Roy Lynn Kay, served in the Navy and was proud to be an American and to be able to serve our country. He’s no longer with us, but his pride in representing the United States is something he carried with him his entire life and it’s something he successfully passed on to me. I have many other friends and relatives who have also served, which of course makes me proud to be related to them.
We received an overwhelming response when we went in search for those in the Armed Forces who also have a passion for diesel trucks. Making our final selection on which stories should be told wasn’t easy to the say the least. In some cases the soldier and his truck were just too good a story to be included in this section, so instead we made room for bigger features that we’ll be running later in the year.
We hope you enjoy this issue. Not every single article or feature is specifically tied to our military theme, but most of them are. If you like this dedicated issue or have ideas about how we can improve it next year, please drop me a line. Yes, that’s right. This is only the first annual “Salute the Troops” issue, as we’re already looking ahead to next year.
Special thanks to PowerTech Diesel (www.powertechdiesel.com) in Idaho Falls, Idaho, for providing trucks for our “Red, White and Blue” themed cover for our July issue.