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Jocks to GIs: Jeff Burton

5/20/2003

See previous e-mail between Jeff Burton and SSgt Robert Elom:
March 29-April 7 | April 8-April 18


From: Elom Robert C SSgt 376 EOSS/OSA

Sent: Monday May 19, 2003 10:35 PM
To: Jeff Burton
Subject: Hello from Texas!

Jeff,


Finally got to sit and watch a race this weekend (The Winston). You guys looked great. The car was amazing, the crew was outstanding, and you drove awesome. I was standing in my chair! What an exciting show. You did a heck of a job avoiding the crashes. Good show all around!


Well, I started back to work today after a couple weeks off. I could have taken some more leave, but I was getting bored, so I went on back to work. I had forgotten how busy my home station can be. We were really hopping today. It was hot as heck today too at 104 for high. It's a dry heat though! That's the local joke around here in West Texas.


How are those terrific kids doing? Great I hope. I sure wish I could have come over to meet them in their class before school let out for the Summer, that would have been something cool for them and me. I won't forget about them.


I imagine you guys have a lot to prepare for for the Coca-Cola 600 this weekend, so I'll keep this short. I'm looking forward to watching it. You guys will do well I know.


Tell your family, and the Citgo team that I said hello. Write when you have time. Have a good week!


Your friend Robert


From: Elom Robert C SSgt 376 EOSS/OSA

Sent: Monday May 12, 2003 8:23 AM
To: Jeff Burton
Subject: Home Sweet Home

Hello Jeff!


Well, I finally made it home. I got in about a week ago or so, and sure feels good to be back. I have visited with just nearly everyone on my family stump in the past week, and it was nice to see everybody, but now it's time to spend that quality time with my wife and kids.


I haven't had the chance to go fishing yet, it's been just too darn windy here in Abilene Texas, as it usually is in the spring. But that won't stop me for too much longer. I have the itch!


How's your family, and those wonderful kids in Paiges class? Good I hope. I think about them often. I printed out all of those emails to show my friends and family. My kids went nuts! They couldn hardly believe that I was in touch with our favorite driver. And my wife almost tears when she reads the letters from those children. That was a very touching thing for all of us. We really appreciate that you and those terrific youngsters went to the trouble to let us old GI's know that you're all behind us. My dad thanks you too, he being an old GI during the Vietnam war. That was a time when folks were far from ready to support our soldiers, so you can imagine his gratitude towards good patriots like you all.


I see the Citgo team finished in the top ten last week. That's outstanding! Where does that put you in the point standings? I thought that was nice of Nascar to observe Mothers day by taking a break, but I didn't know they were going to until I was sitting in front of the TV with my coffee, ready to watch the action for the first time since I've been back! My wife knew, but didn't tell me!


Well, I better get going for now. I promised I would take my daughter to school on my motorcycle, and she's standing behind me tapping her foot.


You guys take care, and write back when you have the time.


Your friend


Robert


From: Jeff Burton

Sent: Wednesday May 7, 2003 8:56 AM
To: Elom Robert C SSgt 376 EOSS/OSA
Subject: Home safely?

Hi Robert,

I hope you made it home safely. They tell me I'll still be able to reach you at this email
address for a while.

Thanks again for answering the kids letters, they loved it! I don't know if
you were able to watch the race in Richmond but the CITGO team did ok.
There were times I thought we had a winning car and there were times I
thought we had a top-10 car. All in all we had a pretty solid weekend. I
think the car was at it's worst on our last run but we are definitely headed
in the right direction.

Our next race is The Winston. We've got a special paint scheme for the
race. I will be in the No. 99 Velveeta Shells & Cheese Ford. It's actually
a pretty cool looking car. There is cheese dripping off the car and there
is cheese dripping off my firesuit. I will be racing in The Winston Open
first then hopefully on to The Winston. I think we have a pretty good shot
at racing in but we'll have to see what happens.

Well I better run. I hope all is well with you and your family. Have a
great Mother's Day weekend. I think the kids and I will probably cook
dinner for Kim or something. Take care and hope to hear from you soon.

Best regards,

Jeff


From: Elom Robert C SSgt 376 EOSS/OSA

Sent: Tuesday April 29, 2003 8:52 PM
To: Jeff Burton
Subject:Going home!

Jeff,


Show time is 0900, in about 3 hours. So I'll keep this kind of short. The family is pretty excited, and so am I as you can imagine. I'll write as soon as I walk in the door at home with a new email address, as this one will get cut off today.

I'm looking forward to catching the race this Sunday for the first time this season. Sorry to hear about that tire and the other issues you guys were having. I'm sure you'll have a better run this weekend. I imagine those guys are pretty good at working out bugs.

I better run, still gotta pack a few little things and go eat some chow. Take care and tell your family hello for me and to continue their prayers as we cross the big pond tonight.

Take care and God bless,
Robert


From: Jeff Burton

Sent: Tuesday April 29, 2003 2:58 PM
To: Elom Robert C SSgt 376 EOSS/OSA
Subject: Thank you!!

Robert,

Thanks so much for answering all the kids letters. They really enjoyed hearing from you.

That's great that you are going home, I bet your family is really excited! I'm so happy for you.

We raced in California this weekend and had a pretty good run going until we cut a tire about 2/3rds of the way into the race. Then we began battling handling problems and we had a problem on our last pit stop that cost us a lap so we finished 19th. We did move up to 15th in the overall point standings so at least we made some progress.

Well I need to run as I'm at a test right now. Have a safe trip home, enjoy your steak, and we'll talk to you soon.

Best regards,

Jeff


From: Elom Robert C SSgt 376 EOSS/OSA

Sent: April 25, 2003 11:42 AM
To: Jeff Burton
Subject:These kids are great!

Jeff,


I tell you these kids are terrific! It really makes my day to read these. I've read them over and over again.

Here I go ...

Dear Sarah, my name is Robert. I was very happy to get your letter! It has been very rainy here in this country also. I hope the sun comes out soon though. I'm glad to hear that your class is doing good this year. Sorry to hear it's almost over, but don't worry, the Summer will be over in a blink and you'll be back to school in no time! Thank you for your letter! Your friend Robert

Hi Liz! My name is Robert. You must be Paige's best friend. I knew that because she told me in her letter. I also like arts and crafts, and I have read tons of books. I also love to go fishing. The war is over and we won, so you don't have to worry about us anymore. Everything is ok now. Thank you for your letter Liz, and I hope you have a good Summer! Your friend Robert

Dear Nick, Hi there! I'm Robert. I hope you had a great school year, I know you look forward to Summer vacation. What kinds of games do you like to play? I like fishing and golf, and I like to race cars on Sony Playstation 2 with my kids. Well Nick, thank you for the letter you wrote. Be safe this Summer playing games and having fun! Your friend Robert

Hello Tyler, my name is Robert. To answer your question, I don't really have a sword, but I do have a knife just in case of bad guys. My favorite weapon is an A-10 Thunderbolt tank-buster, it's a really cool fighter jet with a really big machine gun! My favorite part about the war is that we won and nobody can get hurt anymore. I don't know if there are any snakes around here, I sure hope not because I sure don't like snakes! Well Tyler I hope I answered all of your questions. thank you for writing to me! Your friend Robert
- Hi Jack! My name is Robert. I'm glad you like to help animals. Maybe someday you'll become a veterinarian. That's a doctor for sick animals. I bet you would be pretty good at it. Well Jack all is well here and everyone is safe. Thank you for your letter, and maybe someday I can meet you and your classmates.

Your friend Robert

Dear Mary, Hi! My name is Robert. My favorite color is green I think, but I like purple too, just like you do. I also like to read, I have read lots of books here. My home is in Abilene, Texas. I'm glad that you like school. School can really be fun. Are you looking forward to Summer? I am because I'll get to go fishing more. I love to fish. Thank you for your letter Mary, I really liked it allot. Be safe during Summer vacation, and have lots of fun! Your friend Robert

Dear Drew, My name is Robert. What kind of animals do you like to catch? Last night when I was on duty, I almost caught a baby fox. He was very tiny, but boy was he fast! He was too fast for me and he got away. Thank you for writing to me Drew. I enjoyed your letter lots. Have fun this Summer, and be safe! Your friend Robert

Well I hope these kids like these letters ok. I sure have enjoyed corresponding with them. They say the darnedest things sometimes!

How was Easter for you and your family? It kind of came and went without notice here, as most holidays tend to do. Today is my sister's birthday and I plum forgot about it until my wife emailed me and reminded me. Hopefully I'll be home soon to apologize in person. If all goes well, and the Lord's willing, I'll be eating a nice thick rib-eye steak at Ronnie Engel's steakhouse in Abilene, TX on the night of May 1st! Just 5 more days and a wake up call.

You guys have fun on the track this weekend, and be safe. I have a feeling the Citgo team will be leading the pack this time. Thank you for those letters from Paige and her classmates. That was a wonderful opportunity for me and I really had a ball.

Take care and God bless,
Your friend Robert


From: Jeff Burton

Sent: Wednesday April 23, 2003 3:16 PM
To: Elom Robert C SSgt 376 EOSS/OSA
Subject: More letters from Paige's class

Hi Robert,

Well, we head to California tomorrow. We're really hoping to do some good things out there, I'm looking forward to getting back on the track after the off weekend.

I wanted to email you the remainder of the letters from Paige's class. The kids were so excited when they heard back from you and of course the rest want to hear back. There are eight total so I'll get to writing, same thing, I'm copying them verbatim, I really don't spell that bad.
"Hi my name is Sarah Fink. I am 7 years old. Today is April 10th. It is very rainy this week. I am in first grade. I hope you win the war to. Class is very good this year. But the sad thing is the year is almost over and I love school."

"Hi, my name is Liz. I'm in first grade. I like to do arts and crafts. I also like to read lots of books. What do you like to do? I hope you are rely good at war. Paige is your best friend's doughter and i'm her best friend. I hope you have lots of friends at war. I also hope you win. friend Liz."

"Hi my name is Nick. I like to do all cides of thing's. I like to play games. My class is good. I'm glad you'r coming. I hope you win the war. paige is in my class. I hope your good at war now. Tell us about you when you get here. By Nicholas."

"Hellyo my name is Tyler how are you doing wat is your fevrite whepen wat is your fevrete part ubout the wor do you have to sharpin your surd. Do sometimes you have to fite in the rain do you have a bunch of snakes around they're be carefool."
"Hi my name is Jack. My faveorite thing to do is helping animals. I reely want to meet you. Hope you are safe."

"Andrew. Hi I hope you till good. I would cry if you die. I hope you are having fun there."
"Hi my name is Mary Margaret Campbell. I am six years old. I hope you win the war. My favoite color is puple. I live in concord. I hope your okay. My favrite thing to do is read. I have one brother and one sister. School is fun. I am in first grade. My brother is 11 years old. My sister is 13 years old."
"Hi my name is Drew. I would like to know what your name is. I would like to meet you. My favrite thing to do is catch animals. I hopy you will be carfall."

I think that about wraps it up. Good thing she's in a small class or else it might take days to write everything.
Well I hope all is well with you and your family. How was Easter over in Kyrgyzstan? Did you have any type of celebration on the base? Any idea of when you are coming back to the states?

Well I need to run into a meeting but I'll write you back later. Have a great day (I think your heading into Thursday if I did my time change math right)!

Best regards,
Jeff