Before this season, Melanie Troxel had never heard of Pfc. Paul S. Czerwonka. Now she wears his name.
Troxel has heard plenty of stories of war since her Top Fuel dragster
became the fastest Vietnam Veterans memorial on the planet. At every
NHRA POWERade Series event, veterans and family members of American
servicemen and women come to meet Troxel and see her Evan Knoll-owned
Czerwonka is a U.S. Marine who was killed in South Vietnam on May 10,
1968. His name is engraved on the silver remembrance bracelet she’ll
wear for one year, until it’s time to return it to the original owner.
She may not know much about him, but every story and every name matter
“Every Saturday (before qualifying) we have a get-together, where we’ve
invited between five and 20 veterans to the track, or families of
veterans and POW’s still missing in action,” Troxel said. “A lot of
veterans come to the races and bring us gifts, like flags that have
flown in missions, or medals.”