May 30, 2011
With two laps to go in the world's most famous race, rookie J.R. Hildebrand held a commanding lead in his National Guard Honda. As he came into the final turn, Hildebrand made a mistake that may leave the US Armed Forces short handed for years to come. Taking the high line to overtake a lapped car, Hildebrand misjudged the corner and smacked his National Guard car into the wall. The race was won by Dan Wheldon in his Firestone car.
"I was going to sign up for the Guard," said 21 year old Brian Johnson of Dayton, Ohio, "but when he hit the wall I decided it wasn't for me." Johnson's sentiment has been echoed across the country. The National Guard has seen a 34% decrease in volunteers on the usually patriotic Memorial Day. However, the National Guard's public embarrassment isn't all bad. "This has been the best day for recruitment we've ever had," said Firestone's VP of Personell, Tim Doaks.
Republican lawmakers in Washington are scrambling to defend their votes to continue to fund the sponsorship of Nascar and Indycar teams. "Obviously the sponsorship has backfired," said Congressman Gary Bricker (R-VA), "maybe next time we should rig the race a little better." Rumors are already circulating that this national tragedy will lead to congress cutting the planned Air Force sponsorship of competitive eater Magnus Stromganrd. Bricker added, "We just can't afford another failure in the national spotlight."
Due to the enrollment crash, some National Guard units will be forced to deploy again to Afghanistan. The National Guard's advertising slogan "One Weekend Per Month, Two Weeks Per Year" might not necessarily reflect the reality today's soldiers live. "This will be my ninth tour," said 27 year old Travis Milford. Thanks to Hildebrand, it looks like Milford is just going to have to take one more for the team.