The 312th Engineer Company at Camp Arifjan United States Army installation welcomed the team with open arms and showed them around the yard, introducing them to heavy equipment like bulldozers and scrapers.
KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait – The mid-point of the meaningful and memorable troop-morale tour in the Middle East took Operation Appreciation drivers to Camp Arifjan, a United States Army installation. The team, consisting of Summit Racing Pro Stock drivers Greg Anderson and Jason Line, Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Pro Stock Motorcycle riders Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec, and Summit Racing BIGFOOT® 4×4 Monster Truck drivers Dan Runte and Larry Swim, was warmly received by the troops there and invited in for a behind-the-scenes look at some rather remarkable equipment.
Anderson has been a regular on the tour since 2011, but there is always a surprise or two over the course of the week. This time, it was running into someone who resides in the town where he grew up: Duluth, Minn. Anderson and Ssgt. Synnott crossed paths when the team visited the 312th Engineer Company at Arifjan, where heavy equipment is maintained and housed.
Anderson sat down at the conclusion of the day to recap the events.
“You would never even imagine you’d run into someone who lives in the town where you grew up. It isn’t very often that you meet people that come from Minnesota, let alone your hometown, but that sure happened today, and what a nice surprise. Ssgt. Synnott was really cool, and we spoke the same language. Heck, you could tell right away that he had a connection to Minnesota – the accent gave it away. It’s interesting to think that he left Minnesota and came here to where he is right in the middle of the action. It was a neat deal, especially when we go to 24 races on the NHRA circuit, crossing the country but rarely running into someone from home. You wouldn’t expect that you’d have to cross the world to find that.
Everyone in the company was so good to us, and they were pretty fired up to show us just what they do over there. It started out pretty low-key, but before you knew it, we were learning how to drive those bulldozers. I’ve watched a lot of those before and thought, man, it would sure be cool to get behind the wheel of one of those things. Nothing could stop you. I watched Dan Runte in the Summit Racing BIGFOOT Monster Truck the night before at Camp Beuhring, and I was thinking about how fun it would be to drive something that big and powerful. Then we come here and see this machinery and realize it could crush a Monster Truck with no problem at all. That’s pretty neat, and it just shows you that there is always something bigger and badder.
That D7 Cat is the biggest, most powerful thing I’ve ever sat in, and that’s pretty neat. That’s a lot of power at your fingertips. You know, we think we have a lot of power with our racecars, but this thing would make those look silly. It was a pretty neat opportunity today, and I have to thank all of those guys for welcoming us in and spending all of that time showing us just what they do. It was a pretty cool deal.
This whole trip has been one that I won’t ever forget. We have already met so many people and heard so many stories, and those are memories that stick with you. Then to have Dan out here with the BIGFOOT truck, well that just put a big smile on everyone’s face. Believe me, I was smiling just as big as the troops when we saw the BIGFOOT show. I’ve been here six years in a row with Dan, but I’ve never been able to see him crush cars and jump them with BIGFOOT firsthand in person. I’ve gotten to know him really well through these trips, and he’s a great guy, but to see him in action was pretty awesome. After the show, to see everyone excited and smiling, well that just reminded us why we’re here. Everyone really got into it, and the experience was priceless. Seeing how those soldiers reacted, how happy they were, that right there made the whole trip worthwhile.