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Jocks to GIs: Jeff Burton

4/15/2003

b>From: Jeff Burton

Sent: Monday, April 7, 2003 11:04 AM
To: Robert Elom
Subject: Hi

Robert,

Good morning, sorry it's taken a few days to get back to you but last week got a little busy for me. We just returned from Talladega and a not so great weekend for the CITGO team. On lap three we unfortunately got caught in the "big one" and spent 80 laps making repairs to the car. We did finish the race in 35th with more damage than you can imagine. I guess Ryan Newman cut a tire and got into Mark Martin. In typical restrictor plate fashion, from there it just went downhill. I think when it was all said and done 27 cars were damaged. More than half of those either went behind the wall for repairs or were loaded onto their respective transporters. The good news is everyone was ok. I was really glad to see Ryan get out of the car because he took a wild ride!


I want to tell you that while we were in Talladega it was amazing how many people were flying American Flags and posting signs and banners in support of you and the rest of our troops overseas. Again I want to tell you that the few voices who are in oposition to America's efforts are just that ... a few voices. The majority of people over here are behind you 100% and we couldn't be more proud so keep up the great work!


Sounds like your job is very interesting and important. It's similar to what I do on a weekly basis. Gathering a lot of information from many different people and making sense of it all so you can reach an ultimate goal. What type of schedule do you normally keep? Are you working seven days a week?


Well tonight is the final game of the NCAA Championship and my prediction of an all Kentucky final did not come true. Kansas will meet Syracuse, who would have thought? Kansas beat the snot out of Marquette the other night while the Texas and Syracuse game was close but Syracuse won by like 10 points. I think Kansas will come away with the victory tonight but then again my picks haven't quite worked out so I might just stay neutral on this outcome.


Well I better get over to the shop for my weekly Monday meetings. Please keep in touch and let me know how things are going for you. Take care and we'll talk to you soon.


Best regards,


Jeff


From: Elom Robert C SSgt 376 EOSS/OSA

Sent: Monday, March 31, 2003 3:17 PM
To: Jeff Burton
Subject: RE: Hello

Jeff,


I know exactly how you feel on being new to computers. I was hoping to avoid them if I could, but they're everywhere, and now days you can't hardly get anything done without one! And they're always coming out with new stuff for them, and you have to learn it all over again seems like!


Unfortunately I'm not a pilot, my grades in school wouldn't allow for it. Those guys pretty much have their stuff together at a very early age, so they were more apt to pay attention in school, and make excellent grades throughout. Me, I was a country boy with hunting and fishing on the brain, and playing guitars as well. Plus I had my share of chores to do, then came high school where girls were more important! But enough about that.


My specialty is Airfield Management. We are the bosses of the military airfields. We do everything from flight plans, to in-flight and ground emergency response. It's a fun job sometimes, and other times it's boring. But it has to be done. When I took that picture, I was inspecting the airfield pavements when I passed an engine test pad where some of our Norwegian allies were working on the F-16, and they were nice enough to allow me to climb aboard. Two things I want to do before I leave this world is ride in a fighter, and go a few laps in one of those stock cars!


Well Jeff, good luck at Talladega. Ya'll get that Citgo Ford out front if you can, I'll be rooting for you! If you don't, oh well, we'll get it next time, and like always I'll be cheering you on. My wife and children say to tell you hello for them!
Thank you again for this opportunity, and for the time you took to write back. I know it was late when you got around to it and you must've been tired. I appreciate it.


Thank you and all the rest of the guys and gals at NASCAR for your support for us. We need it, and without you and your patriotism, there isn't much to fight for. So again thank you for being there for us.


Your friend,
Robert


From: Jeff Burton

Sent: Monday, March 31, 2003 2:17 PM
To: Robert Elom
Subject: RE: Hello

Dear SSgt Elom,

Good to hear from you. I just returned from Texas late last night (Sunday night). We didn't have a great run as we finished 20th but we continue to work hard and we're improving everyday. This week the CITGO team is off to Talladega.


A little about myself, I was born and raised in South Boston, VA and currently reside in Huntersville, NC. I'm married to Kim and have two children Paige (7) and Harrison (2). I've been racing since I was seven but when I do have free time I enjoy boating and fishing. As of late I've been occupied with the NCAA basketball tournament. I love college basketball and am a huge Duke fan. I picked an all Kentucky final game with Kentucky and Louisville but Louisville lost a couple rounds ago so so much for my prediction.


Anyway, I just want to say that I'm so proud of you and all our troops. You guys are the true heroes, there is not one NASCAR driver, NFL player, NBA player or any other athlete or celebrity that compares to you. From the CITGO team to yours we would like to thank you for all that you do and we hope you come home safe and soon. I know there is a lot of support for your efforts from the entire NASCAR community. This CITGO team will do everything we can to win one for you in the weeks to come. Take care and be safe over there.


Best regards,


Jeff Burton

P.S. Thanks for the photo. I'm assuming you are a pilot based on the photo. Since you weren't able to watch Daytona I'm sending a photo (hopefully it works, I'm still new at this computer thing).


From: Elom Robert C SSgt 376 EOSS/OSA

Sent: Saturday, March 29, 2003 7:07 PM
To: Jeff Burton
Subject: Hello

Jeff,

Good morning Sir! Well, it's morning here anyway. I believe there's a 10
hour time difference between here and there. Let me explain where "here" is.
I'm currently in Central Asia, a country called Kyrgyzstan. It's primarily a
Russian speaking country. It was Soviet territory until 1991, when the
Soviet Union collapsed. It's a very poor country. Our mission here is
Anti-Terrorism in Afghanistan. I'm sorry I can't give out specifics. I'd
like too, because we're good at what we do! I wish I could brag just a
little!


A little about myself, I'm a born and raised Texan. I'm 31 years old on
June 6th this year, and have nearly 13 years in the service. It's not the
life I've always dreamed of, but it's not a bad life either. I have a wife,
Tina, and 3 children, Tommy 13, Mariah 8, and Wyatt 6. They are back home at
Dyess AFB, Abilene, TX.


I enjoy anything I can do outside. I fish, hunt, all the good old country
boy stuff! I don't care much for most sports, but I'm a die hard race fan.
It's the way the drivers tend to be sort of family, yet extremely
competitive that sets it apart from any other sport. I've never had the
chance to attend a race, and haven't been able to watch one on TV since I've
been deployed overseas, which was in November of last year. So yes, I missed
Daytona 500! But hopefully I'll be back in time to catch you guys racing
this summer. You're my #1 driver buddy, so bump em if you have to and get up
front! And even if you don't, I'm still with you!


Well, I know you're a busy man, so I'll keep it short. You guys have fun on
the track, race hard, and stay safe. Thank you for this awesome opportunity!


Sincerely,

SSgt Robert C. Elom
USAF