By David Poe, Northwest GuardianOctober 19, 2011
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash., Oct. 19, 2011 -- Multi-car collisions ravaged the Exchange parking lot on Lewis Main at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Oct. 7. -- and everyone seemed to love it.
Almost 100 service members, their families and many more from across JBLM were on hand to watch Bigfoot No. 10 put on a mini-exhibition and meet the legendary monster truck crew.
The fact that the vehicle on hand, a 2011 Chevy 2500 Heavy Duty with 1,500 horsepower, while a truck used in competitions, was one of seven Bigfoots which tour the nation year-round didn't seem to matter to the little kids (who might have made up half of the total crowd) or the "big kids."
Sara Harris said she may have enjoyed the show as much as her three kids whom she brought to see Bigfoot up close.
"We started talking about it last night and they'd been asking about it all morning," she said. "They're really big into trucks, so they were thrilled to see it."
The visit was thanks to Firestone, which has two service centers at JBLM. Joey Crider, general manager of Firestone at JBLM, said he brought Bigfoot to the installation as a thank you for being a part of the JBLM community since 1993.
A former military brat himself, Crider said he was thinking of JBLM's Army and Air Force kids when he decided on the iconic monster truck.
"My dad was in the military. I grew up on a base, and back then there was never a lot of stuff for kids to do," Crider said. "So my desire to bring the truck here was not just to give back to the troops and their families, but to give the kids something to enjoy as well."
Even those not into the destruction mini-derby gained from the event. Firestone and Bridgestone joined to raffle off $500 worth of tires, along with other free giveaways. They followed on Saturday with the addition of face painters, balloon artists and a jump house.
Also, the corporate pair presented a check to Fisher House Lewis-McChord; one of many houses run by the Fisher House Foundation "which unites families during a loved one's hospitalization."
Jodi Land, Fisher House Lewis-McChord's manager, said Firestone's want to "give back" by donating to Fisher House was appreciated greatly.
"I may be a little biased, but our organization is one of the best ways to do that," she said, "so it's really nice to see one of the businesses in the community give back to those who need it most."
While the big kids seemed to enjoy the metal muscle on display, the little kids seemed to rule the day as parents snapped endless photos of their little ones with the hulking vehicle. Despite all the sound and strength Bigfoot displayed, which may have been right up a typical little boy's alley, Tanner Harris, 4, said there was something else he'd tell his friends about who weren't at the Exchange Friday or Saturday.
"I like the colors the most," he said, "especially the red. I like Bigfoot."