Gone, but not forgotten.
That's what motivates Ron White, a Navy veteran that writes the name of every single one of the 2,200 American military members that have lost their lives in Afghanistan … by memory.
The native of Fort Worth, Texas, purchased a 50-foot dry-erase-board, designed to look like the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. He bought the collapsible, travel-friendly board, which stands seven-feet high, and is traveling the country to pay homage. His next stop will be at New Hampshire Motor Speedway during the upcoming NASCAR weekend.
"It's an incredible ability that Mr. White has," said Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager, "but it's an even more incredible honor and tribute that he delivers. We hope our fans think so, too."
The professed "brain athlete" has won numerous awards and honors for his memorization and once owned the United States record for the fastest to memorize a deck of cards in the United States at one minutes and 27 seconds, a record he held for two years.
"It was a skill that I trained and I honed," said White. "If I didn't train it and hone it, like any other athlete, then there's no way I'm going to one day memorize 7,000 words."
White's extraordinary talent will be on full display over the weekend in the S2 Display Lot at the Magic Mile. It typically takes White between 10-12 hours to write all of the names.
"When it's done, I take a step back and I will salute the wall when I'm done," said White. "When I do that I think, 'I can't believe I memorized that.' "
The anticipation is that he will complete the list on Sunday morning before the July 13 Camping World RV Sales 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at 1 p.m.
"I always tell people that if I buy a wall and I just do it in the middle of a field and nobody else knows I'm doing it but me, that's good enough for me," said White. "It's my way of saying to these guys, 'you're not forgotten.' "