MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. -- Several hundred people crowded the flightline here Monday, waiting for the return of the Sweathogs of Marine Wing Support Squadron 273.
A quartet of musicians from the Parris Island Marine Corps Band played patriotic songs while family and friends waved banners to show their love and support for the troops returning from an approximately seven-month deployment in Iraq.
One family member wanted to honor the returning service members in his own special way.
Instead of balloons, miniature flags or “welcome home” posters, Greg Adams brought “The Eliminator” - his brand-new Monster Truck.
“I just wanted to have something here to surprise the Marines,” said Adams, a professional Monster Truck driver for the past 18 years. “I wanted them all to know that people are always thinking about them back here while they are deployed.”
Adams, with the help of his son, started building the Monster Truck in January of this year. When construction began, he had no idea the truck would be at the Air Station to show support for returning Marines.
“I actually got the idea to build this truck body about ten days ago,” Adams said. “When it came to me, I knew I had to do it because I knew it would be something great to do for the men and women of all the services.”
Adams’ new truck body screams military support – its painted, silver body has the look of an old war plane.
“I designed the truck to look as if it were a 1940s fighter jet,” Adams said. “I thought it was a great design and at the same time showed great support.”
Adams did not just build this truck for the return of MWSS-273; he also had the spectators of the sport he loves in mind.
“Monster Truck fans always get excited at races,” Adams said. “Hopefully when I race this truck they will get excited about supporting our troops as well.”
The newly designed Monster Truck caught the eye of many service members as well as family and friends while it was displayed Monday. Several Marines and their loved ones stopped to take photos of “The Eliminator.”
“It means a great deal to have this support,” said Cpl. Matt Wilson, a gunner for Marine Wing Support Squadron 273 Incident Response Platoon. “It’s an awesome thing to know there are people out there who acknowledge the service of the military and don’t forget about us when we are deployed. I thought it was great that the Monster Truck was here at our homecoming.”