Infineon Raceway will continue its long-standing tradition of honoring the United States Armed Forces with Military Appreciation Day at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Sunday, Aug. 28.

Major General Mike Myatt has been named Grand Marshal of the race weekend and will take part in issuing the most famous words in racing, “Drivers, Start Your Engines.”

Among his many honors, Myatt commanded the 1st Marine Division during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm (1990-91). His unit defeated seven Iraqi Army divisions and also liberated Kuwait City. Myatt, who retired from the Marine Corps in 1995, also served two tours in the Republic of Vietnam. Myatt, a San Francisco native, is currently the chairman of the San Francisco Fleet Week Association, as well as President and CEO of the Marines’ Memorial Club in San Francisco.

The United States military will be saluted in many other ways on race day, including: 

  • Pre-race ceremonies will boast the unfurling of two large American flags, one by the United States Coast Guard and the other by the California Army National Guard. A joint services honor guard with representatives from all branches of the military will also be featured.
  • Members of the Band of the Golden West from Travis Air Force Base will perform the national anthem, as well as God Bless America.
  • The Patriots Jet Demonstration Team will perform a six-jet air show during pre-race ceremonies. Most of the pilots are former members of the United States military.
  • The Coast Guard will host a special fly-by with a C130 Hercules and two H-65 Dolphin helicopters moments before the green flag is dropped on the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma.
  • Sonoman Bucky Peterson, Chairman of the Troops to College program, will recognize veterans who have earned a degree or taken advantage of Troops to College benefits.
  • Sergeant Lorenzo Hernandez, a Monterey native, will hold his re-enlistment ceremony in the Winner’s Circle at 2:30 p.m. Hernandez served in two combat deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In addition to the many at-track honors, the raceway will give race fans an opportunity to salute the military, as well, with its PG&E Tickets for Troops program.  For just $20, race fans can purchase a ticket to send an active military member, veteran or reservist to the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. This program was made possible by the raceway’s partnership with PG&E and Operation: Care and Comfort.

The PG&E Tickets for Troops program also featured the distribution of approximately 10,000 race-day tickets to all branches of the military.