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General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, honors the 150 military recruits whom he had sworn in only seconds earlier. The ceremony, which hosted recruits from all branches of the armed services, was held during a pre-race show at the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., Aug. 5.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jacob H. Harrer

Marines perform at Pennsylvania 500

5 Aug 2007 | Lance Cpl. Jacob H. Harrer

The U.S. Marine Silent Drill Platoon performed before an estimated 150,000 fans at the Pennsylvania 500 pre-race show at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., Aug. 5.

The SDP performance was part of a joint-service program in which Gen. Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, swore in 150 recruits from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard, including 30 Marine recruits from Recruiting Station Harrisburg, Pa.

The Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team performed in the pre-race show. Immediately

following the airmen, was the Marine Silent Drill Platoon.

The Marines performed their sequence on the finish line of the racetrack, executing a flawless routine. They marched off the track to a barrage of loud, excited shouts of “go Marines,” “ooh-rah,” and “devil dogs.”

“NASCAR fans are extremely supportive of the military and all of our armed forces,” said Bob Pallo, the vice president of Pocono Raceway. “I see a very patriotic military presence being displayed at Pocono for our fans and our television audience.”

“It was awesome. The precision was great,” said Andrew Mistkowski, a recruit from Tannersville, Pa. “I’m excited to be able to be a part of the Marines soon.”

Mistkowski took the oath of enlistment Aug. 5, volunteering for five years as an aviation mechanic.

The nationally-televised event was part of NASCAR’s Nextel Cup. Kurt Busch and his Dodge Charger took the race, finishing before Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Jeff Gordon, who finished second and fourth, respectively.

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