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NEWS | Jan. 20, 2017

470th Military Intelligence Brigade civilian donates racing items to troops

By Monica Yoas 470th Military Intelligence Brigade

What started off as hobby has been become a passion for Lee McKinney, a retired Navy master chief petty officer.


McKinney, now a Department of the Army civilian at the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, began taking donations from the South Texas racing community and mailing the items in care packages to troops deployed worldwide.

His project started in 2001 and since then he has sent over 600 boxes to places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Kuwait and ships at sea.


“I can’t thank enough everyone that’s donated,” McKinney said. “It means more to the troops than we can really say. With multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, I know what it feels like to be deployed. To know that people back home are thinking of them and care enough to send them something – even something small – reminds them why they’re there and keeps their spirits up in the midst of very difficult situations.”


On Jan. 19, Soldiers from the 470th MI Brigade received T-shirts after a donation from a local motorsports team.

Some of the items he has received are signed by the race car drivers and are not limited to t-shirts. He has also received hats, die cast cars, official racing stickers and toy memorabilia. McKinney is also an International Hot Rod Association official at the San Antonio Raceway.


“I want to reiterate how much I appreciate all the support from teams and companies, many of which have given for several years now,” McKinney said. “Together, we are making a difference in the lives of our troops.”