Archive for  April 15th 2018

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KNOXVILLE, Iowa — A Knoxville family, in love with racing, entrusted the gender reveal of the baby they’re expecting later this year to Race Car Driver McKenna Haase because they have a special bond with her.

“Well I met Kelli a few years ago when her mother had cancer and wanted to see one last race at Knoxville before she passed away. So I reached out to the Hall of Fame and they provided suite tickets and for the family to come down. So that’s how I met them,” Haase said.

She knew the gender of the baby before any of the family did.

“I opened the envelope so I’ve known the gender and nobody else knew until today so it was pretty nerve wracking and a big responsibility but it was also really special to be a part of it,” Haase said.

She said she got creative by putting the baby’s name Clauson Jace in blue on the wing.

“My mom was a huge racing fan. She raced and we grew up racing and so we wanted to include a racing name. And Bryan Clauson was one of her, she was one of Brian’s biggest fans and we wanted to do something different so we decided on Clauson for a boy,” Mother Kelli Sutton said.

Bryan Clauson died after a racing accident in 2016 and is beloved by the racing community.

Haase said this was a really special moment for her as well.

“Just to see how emotional they were knowing that this honors both their mom as well as BC was pretty special,” Haase said.

Now this family will see the Clauson name on the track this season.

“I think it’s just nice to see it. I don’t know, just special on the track for us, the baby. My mom can’t be here so it’s just nice to have something that I know she would be really passionate about and would love,” Sutton said.

The father-to-be said he is so excited to have another boy in the house.

“I can’t even put words to express how excited I am for all of this. All I know is for Nationals season, I’m not missing a day so I’m okay with that,” Father-to-be Cory Danielson said.

Sutton said the baby is due Aug. 24, but will be having it three weeks early just in time for the Nationals at the Knoxville Raceway.

JOHNSTON, Iowa  —  National Guard soldiers are learning some unique and coveted skills this week at Camp Dodge.

“We have a mission training team that has come here to provide some air assault training. We started with about 224 soldiers that started through the training. So it’s a great opportunity for us to train a large number of soldiers here at Camp Dodge, here in Iowa, in a relatively short period of time,” Lieutenant Colonel Mike Wunn said.

The last time they had this kind of training was in 2013, and it’s essential to better prepare both new and seasoned soldiers for important missions. According to Air Assault Sergeant Cody Leonard, they use a 34-foot tower for the training because that’s the height at which soldiers start to get apprehensive.

“It’s important because overseas we deal with mountainous terrains. You have a lot of different rugged terrain, so if you need to get down from a ledge quickly, we teach them how to rappel, how to repel safely,” Leonard said.

After they complete that part of the training, they finish off by rappelling from a helicopter 60-90 feet in the air.

“I think everybody should be, if you’re going to be in the military, you need to be ready to do this kind of stuff at all times and to be ready to deploy for whatever need,” Iowa National Guard Soldier Chris Downing said.

Leonard said not only do they need to know how to rappel, soldiers also need to know how to get important supplies to rough areas overseas.

“This training is good because we also teach them how to sling load, we teach them about different aircrafts, rotary wing aircrafts. It’s good for them to know because overseas it’s hard to get equipment, ammunition, and personnel into certain areas because of terrain. So we teach them how to sling load ammunition, equipment, whatever they need and get it to them quickly,” Leonard said.

Wunn said over the years Camp Dodge has become a destination location for training within the National Guard, bringing in over half a million soldiers and airmen for sessions like this one.