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Tom Morgan, a civilian worker at Yokota Air Base, Japan, sits on his new silver and black Harley Davidson 883 Sportster. Morgan won the $9,000 bike in 374th Services Division’s summer giveaway.
Tom Morgan, a civilian worker at Yokota Air Base, Japan, sits on his new silver and black Harley Davidson 883 Sportster. Morgan won the $9,000 bike in 374th Services Division’s summer giveaway. (Jennifer H. Svan / S&S)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Persistence pays off.

Tom Morgan can’t recall how many times he entered his name in 374th Services Division’s big summer giveaway contest, “Cool Cash … Hot Ride … Fast Feet.”

“I entered every time I ate brunch, went to the club or outdoor rec,” he said.

Two weeks ago, contest organizers drew his name for the grand prize: A 2003 Harley Davidson 883 Sportster, 100th anniversary edition.

“I won a hat, a T-shirt and a Harley,” said Morgan, who works at the base’s linen exchange. “You can’t beat that.”

Other prizes included cash awards from $2,000 to $100 and two five-minute commissary shopping sprees.

Base residents Dominque Johnson and Korey Clark will race the clock at 8 a.m. Friday at the commissary. They’ll be able to grab up to $500 in groceries.

Customers are invited to watch and should be at the store by 7:30 a.m. to register to win two on-the-spot, one-minute shopping sprees worth $50 each, store director Robert Bunch said.

Services purchased the silver and black hog from Exchange New Car Sales for $9,000; Miller Brewing Co. in Milwaukee donated $2,000 toward the cost.

It’s the second Harley in three years that Services has given away during its annual customer rewards contest. Last year, the grand prize was $5,000 cash.

“It’s our way of giving back to our customers who support us all year,” Assistant Marketing Director Janet Pierpont said.

The contest’s entry form was a Services’ receipt for purchases of $5 or more with a person’s contact information on the back. The receipts were collected between June 1 and Aug. 30.

“We had thousands of entries,” Pierpont said.

Although it’s been 30 years since he’s revved up a motorcycle, Morgan plans to keep his prize.

He’ll be able to ride it as soon as he gets tags, insurance and a registration — and passes a motorcycle safety class.

He says he’s a bit nervous about navigating on two wheels through Japan’s crowded and narrow streets. A co-worker who’s an experienced rider has offered to take Morgan to the more rural Okutama for his first off-base excursion.

“I’m not going to Tokyo on it,” Morgan said. “I don’t have a death wish.”

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
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