Dear Dale Jr,
It is weird writing you an apology letter. For one thing I am so far off your radar it seems nonsensical to even do this. For another, I have to apologize to you for something you have no clue about and still somehow manage to ask for your forgiveness while meaning it.
I am apologizing because I did what I do. I spoke(typed) without really thinking about what it would mean. And now I find myself in this weird position of: If I don't stand for what I believe in, the last bit of integrity and credibility I have will forever be gone.
On Monday, the day following your awesome victory at Daytona, the Department of Defense announced major cuts coming to our military that will deeply impact our military families. The depths of these cuts remain to be seen since what the cuts will actually be have yet to be confirmed. The entire military community it seems is outraged over this. And rightly so following all these years of war.
For the most part the focus of the anger and frustration from military families and advocates has been on us losing our commissary privileges as that does appear to be one of the main targets of the DoD. In a failed attempt to inspire people to try finding areas of wasteful, bloated and/or duplicated spending, I dragged your name in to this mess. Because, well.... you drive a car that as far as I know is sponsored by the DoD. There is a part of me that does wonder if that money actually comes from states instead because it is the NG, but I doubt it. I do believe it all comes out of the same pot of money. The pot taxpayers put in to.
This may not sound all too bad. Kind of like a no harm, no foul sort of thing. Unfortunately I didn't just post a simple Facebook status(or 20) and it wasn't just a few tweets either(sorry bout blowing up your phone tonight too).
One of the several things I did was I wrote an article the other day touching on the use of taxpayer money to sponsor professional athletes, teams and organizations. My argument was further propelled by an article I found saying lawmakers turned down bills in Washington 4 out of the last 5 years that would have stopped these sorts of sponsorships. While it was a great relief to feel some sort of vindication in my stance, it also propelled me to "raising my flag" a little higher. And like many NASCAR fans, my "flag" had an 88 on it.
The entire premise of the article I wrote was based upon the fact that I believe you are the kind of guy who would support our military even if they didn't sponsor you. In fact, I was trying to say the entire NASCAR community is that way.
I don't really identify myself as a NASCAR fanatic, but I do identify with the NASCAR community. I grew up in Flagler County, FL(I know you know where that is). NASCAR is part of who we are in that neck of the woods. And I believe who we are is the type of people who will rally behind America when she needs us most.
I have gone well beyond the point of no return on this issue. I have made a VERY uncomfortable bed for myself and now I must find a way to lie comfortably in it. But I can NOT in any way rest easy if ANYONE thought I was attacking your integrity, honor and patriotism. And most of all if you thought I was calling you out as a man or American. I know you are extremely dedicated to our military families, past and present.
In all honesty, I wish it wasn't you that crossed the finish line first on Sunday night. Well, what I really wish is you were driving the car of one of your other sponsors. This would not be as a big of a deal if you had been in your Ragu car. All things aside, I am just as happy as any NASCAR fan that you won this particular race. There is no denying it doesn't matter who we typically pull for on the track, we are never disappointed when you finish first. Especially in the fashion you did. Especially in Daytona.
Dale, as I see this thing through I hope there will not be any negative distractions for you and your team. I won't begin to try and understand the business of sponsorships and all that jazz, but I will stand for what I believe in. Which is America.
I don't think your sponsorship ending with the NG is the cure all for the DoD budget, but I do believe it is a step in the right direction. And if I don't stand up for this, I may as well sit down the rest of my life.
This whole thing can be summed up by someone saying one thing to me: "You dun messed up now, boy."
At the end of my blogs I typically add a song. At first I thought there could never be a song that would fit in this letter and still come across as sincere and authentic(because it is). But then it hit me. I hope you like the song I chose for this.
Once again, I am terribly sorry your name is my collateral damage.
Wayne C. Perry
PS In my article I wrote the other day I mentioned a "selfie". Any chance you can hook me up with that?
PSS HELP!!!!!! I AM IN NASCAR PURGATORY!!!!! Seattle folk just don't get in to it like we do back home.