SOUTHWEST ASIA — While Cub Scouts and their parents watched with nervous anticipation, “Jar Saleh,” or “Good Neighbor” volunteers, from the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade and other military members supported the Scouts in their annual running of the Pinewood Derby at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.

The Pinewood Derby is a racing event for Cub Scouts who build their own cars with the help of their parents from a block of pine wood, plastic wheels, and metal axles.

Normally, the event is organized by the parents of the Boy Scouts themselves; however, Jar Saleh, whose goal is to develop good public relations, stepped in and brought military volunteers to allow the parents to sit back with their children and enjoy the event.

As each heat was released, the Cub Scouts sat on edge as their wooden cars raced down the sloped track to the finish line, where volunteers would carefully pick them up and record their times before setting up for the next heat.

Col. Randall A. McIntire, commander of the air defense brigade, was one of three judges who chose the Pinewood Derby cars with the best design, which was separate from the awards given to the fastest. He also was one of the spectators who cheered on the racing cars.

As the day came to a close, each Cub Scout went home a winner with a certificate and wooden car in hand. Parents enjoyed the time with their children as the volunteers helped the event run smoothly.

“It was a great event,” Lt. Col. Mark A. Holler, brigade deputy commander, said after the volunteers helped disassemble the track and clean up. “These are the kinds of opportunities that are worth spending time on.”

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