FORT Worth, Texas (Sept. 13, 2012) – Texas Motor Speedway’s NASCAR surprise for a U.S. Army soldier at Texas’ Fort Hood will air Friday during HLN’s ever-popular Morning Express with Robin Meade and kick off its “Stories Of Courage” special programming.
Texas Motor Speedway and HLN collaborated to surprise U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jason Thompson by having him visit the speedway in mid-August and be a special guest of three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart at his “Smoke Show” charity fantasy camp. Thompson, an avid NASCAR fan, relished the opportunity to drive a Team Texas NASCAR stock car at Texas Motor Speedway and enjoy some quality time with Stewart throughout the day. Thompson was being honored for his ability to juggle his service to our country, which includes three tours of duty, while being a single father with two young, special needs children.
The five-minute piece on SSG Thompson will air in two segments on the HLN Morning Express, the first at 7 a.m. ET/6 a.m. CT and the second at 8 a.m. ET/7 a.m. CT. It also is scheduled to run in one segment during the noon hour on HLN as well as be featured on www.hlntv.com
“Stories of Courage” is a HLN special programming series that will run weekly (scheduled for every Wednesday after the first installment) until Nov. 5 and have Meade spotlighting the heroism of special service members and how Americans – from big stars to everyday people – are giving back to show their appreciation. Thompson, a 27-year-old native of Layton, Utah, entered the service in 2003 as a journalist and is currently assigned to the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) at Fort Hood, which is located in Killeen, Texas, and halfway between Austin and Waco.
SSG Thompson had two deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (2005-06, 2007-09) and another for Operation New Dawn (2011). His awards and decorations include three Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medal, two Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal with campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Army Service Ribbon and two Overseas Service Ribbons.