Coasties Recognized at Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

By American300 Public Affairs - 12/15/14
Las Vegas Nevada - For the 5th straight year military service members were showcased during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo here in the city of lights. 

Working in concert with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and Wrangler Corporation, brought United States Coast Guard rescue pilots: Captain Richard Hahn and Lieutenant Chad Eckhardt along with rescue swimmer Petty Officer (AST3) Brian Notheis to Las Vegas.

"We've been doing this for 5 years now and the result is always the same," said Jeff Chadwick, director of events for Wrangler, adding, "we meet these guys during our annual Memorial Day Tour and work with American300 to obtain clearances to showcase them during the WranglerNFR in December, it's a fantastic way of connecting the two events."

With 5 Wrangler National Patriot Memorial Day Tours and 5 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Military Reunions in the history books the question is where will the tours and reunions head next year. "We've been approved to take the world champion cowboys and cowgirls, Kaycee Feild, Maegan Ridley and Annie Bianco Ellett along with Nashville artist Lucas Hoge,  to undisclosed areas of operations in 2015," says Robi Powers, founder of American300 Tours, "so I don't see why we'll stop bringing a few service members back to the finals to have their branch recognized in front of tens of thousands live and hundreds of thousands via CBS Sports Network and the Wrangler Network this coming year." he added. 

Focused on bringing resiliency minded guests to remote and isolated bases around the world has been American300's stock and trade, as the all volunteer nonprofit run by Veterans and Patriots plans out it's 2015 schedule of tours.  "Robi (Powers) is taking everyone from Astronauts and Wounded Warriors to Olympic Champions to bases all the time," says Kaycee Feild, a 4x World Champion bareback rider from Spanish Fork, Utah adding, "We get to be the lucky few to represent the western community each year during his Memorial Day Tour, it's one heck of an honor." 

From having to sign out original western wear to standing in on live TV shows this years special guests got to capture the real essence of professional rodeo. "This has been one of the greatest things I've ever done," said LT Chad Eckhardt, a Coast Guard rescue pilot stationed in Kodiak, Alaska, adds, " we get so busy with our missions out over the bering sea that we forget that Americans, not just the fishermen love what we do for them every day." 

For more information on American300 visit:

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American300 is an all volunteer 501c3 nonprofit.  No federal endorsement of sponsors or nonprofit is ever intended or implied -  Photos courtesy of Gretchen Powers, American300 Public Affairs.  

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