Taya Kyle, Gen. Mark Milley Among Those to be Recognized During Coca-Cola 600 Salute to the Troops Pre-Race Festivities at Charlotte Motor Speedway
As part of the biggest Memorial Day Weekend celebration on the planet, Charlotte Motor Speedway will honor Taya Kyle with the coveted Stonewall Jackson Award and will welcome Gen. Mark Milley to offer the State of Freedom address during the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race Salute to the Troops on Sunday, May 24.
Given annually since 1992, the Stonewall Jackson Award recognizes recipients who have demonstrated, by example, the highest standards of patriotism through personal support of the military and/or by personal service to sacrifice above and beyond the call of duty.
Kyle is the widow of the legendary U.S. Navy SEAL and author of the bestsellers American Sniper and American Gun, Chris Kyle, whose story of service and sacrifice was told in Clint Eastwood's critically acclaimed blockbuster film American Sniper.
After her husband's death, Kyle founded the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, devoted to strengthening the marriages of veterans and first responders. An active public speaker, Kyle makes frequent appearances at fundraisers and other events, inspiring others to find strength and to persevere through struggles. Her recently released memoir, American Wife, tells her private story — a universal chronicle of love and heartbreak, service and sacrifice, faith and purpose as she embraces a future that honors the past but also looks forward with hope, gratitude and joy. Kyle and her two children live in Texas.
Past recipients of the Stonewall Jackson Award include Gen. Gary Luck (USA), Congressman Bill Hefner (NC), Gen. James Livingston (USMC), Gen. Dwayne Dorming (USSOC), the 82nd Airborne Division, Gen. Lloyd Newton (USA), Gen. Peter Pace (USMC), Gen. Buck Herman (USA), Gen. Henry Shelton (USA), Gen. John Handy (USAF), Gen. William B. Tonguy (USSOC), Command Sgt. Major Michael W. Williams (USA), Brigadier Gen. Iwan B. Clontz (NCANG), Col. Walter Joseph Marm (USA), former American Legion Post Commander Dale Punch, Purple Heart Homes co-founder Dale Beatty, Lt. Col. Oliver North (USMC) and last year's recipient, Maj. Gen. Tom Sadler (USAF).
Milley, a decorated veteran with more than three decades of service in the U.S. Army, will offer a moving State of Freedom speech as part of the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race Salute to the Troops.
A 1980 graduate of Princeton University, Milley has served in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord, California; the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York; the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea; the Joint Readiness Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana; the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; and the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Milley has commanded the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry in Korea; the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division; the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum; and the III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas. Additionally, he has served on the Operations Staff of the Joint Staff and as a Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon. His most recent assignment was Commanding General, III Corps and Fort Hood where he deployed as the Commanding General, ISAF Joint Command and Deputy Commanding General, United States Forces-Afghanistan. He became the 21st Commander of the United States Armed Forces Command on Aug. 15, 2014.
Milley's education includes a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Princeton University, Masters Degrees from Columbia University (International Relations), and from the United States Naval War College (National Security and Strategic Studies). He is also a graduate of the MIT Seminar XXI National Security Studies Program.
Fans can catch the patriotic Salute to the Troops, plus all the thrilling action of LiftMaster Pole Night (May 21), the Hisense 300 (May 23) and the 56th running of the Coca-Cola 600 (May 24) with weekend packages starting at just $99. Visit Charlotte Motor Speedway's website or call 1-800-455-FANS (3267) to purchase tickets today!