Airman returns home from Qatar, surprises family at Meridian Speedway

May 11, 2013 

Military Appreciation Night on Saturday at Meridian Speedway offered an extra thrill for attendees.

Gary and Melissa Volkers of Nampa, Idaho, were asked to come down to the racing surface to serve as trophy presenters to the Fast Dash winners at ASA-sanctioned Meridian Speedway.

Little did they know they were really there to greet their son, Sr. Airman Tanner Volkers, recently returned home from a six month deployment in Qatar.

After the couple handed off the final trophy to NAPA Late Models driver Dave Thomasson, Tanner came up behind them, surprising his parents.

Melissa grabbed Tanner around the neck and held on for a long time.

“It feels amazing,” said Tanner Volkers, who had returned from his deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Combined JTT Horn of Africa. “I’m ready to be back and be back to normal.”

Before the heat races started, track management and race fans paid tribute to all the branches of the military – Coast Guard, Marines, Army, Navy and Air Force.

There was a procession of military vehicles, a color guard from the Idaho National Guard and a flyover by a pair of P-51 Mustangs World War II-era fighter planes.

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