Chairman of the Board, Founder & President: Michael Evock, CW3, US Army Special Forces (ret.)
Chief Warrant Officer Mike Evock is a combat veteran who has been involved with the Special Forces community for over sixteen years. His career in the military began in 1988 when he enlisted into the 82nd Airborne Division of the Army. It would be only four short years after joining the Army and having experienced combat situations, that Mike shifted to the Special Forces as an 18B Weapons Sergeant. His exceptional skills were essential to the success of the division during training and combat missions. From 1994-2009, Mike Evock trained, instructed, commanded and executed various missions as a Green Beret both in the United States and abroad. During this time, Mike achieved his Warrant Officer ranking which put him in command of several small and large unit operations. He has been intimately involved with sensitive combat missions, crisis response teams, counter terrorism missions and more, and continues to instruct and perform important missions in the civilian world today. Throughout his career as a soldier Mike Evock experienced a slew of highly intensive missions, and faced certain death on more than thirteen different occasions which included a helicopter crash and multiple IED explosions. He has suffered more than 50 "significant" injuries, of which several were life threatening, yet he survived them all. The aftermath of the these events and experiences has resulted in his battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Braun Injurt (TBI), physical aches and pains and he lives in a constant state of heightened awareness. Despite all of these ailments, Mike Evock relies on his warrior mentality and skills to forge ahead in his civilian life. As most would be led to believe that living with these challenges would break him down into deep darkness, Mike Evock is here today continuing the fight for all disabled Veterans. This “ghost warrior” has come back from the brink to become a champion for Veterans. He uses racing to recreate the solidarity that kept these men and women tightly knit during their active years in the Armed Forces. Mike Evock began Racing For Heroes in 2009 as a way to give back and support his fellow Special Forces Veterans. Between 2013 and 2015, he made the decision to transform his racing efforts into a charitable organization. That is when he was able to receive 501c3 exemption letter for the operation of the Racing For Heroes Raceway in Mill Hall, PA. He used this venture as a way to uplift and recognize Veterans in many ways. Uniquely, the entire staff at the track were Veterans who volunteered their time to the cause and to the sport. Mike not only ran and promoted the track, but he was also a participant running the #773 Dirt Late Model as a tribute to all of his fallen Special Forces brothers. Although Racing For Heroes is no longer running this racetrack, Mike has decided to reinvent the cause through another form of racing. His passion for competitive racing continues to inspire him by using the Racing For Heroes organization to support his fellow Veterans. By doing so, it has given these Veterans a place to call home once again. Through motorsports, Mike Evock has found a strength and resilience that he brings to each new day of his life as a survivor and as a true American Hero.
Vice President & Chief Programs Director: Kurt Cook, Major, US Army Special Forces (ret.) From a very young age, Major Kurt Cook envisioned himself as an Elite soldier with the United States Army. He began his journey by graduating from Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro, VA in 1987. Kurt continued his education at Towson University, and in 1995 graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Geography and Environmental Planning. Additionally, this is when he received his commission as an Army Officer. Entering the service, he was assigned to the 29th Light Infantry Unit as a Battalion Reconnaissance Platoon Leader, and not long after was requested to be an instructor at the Army’s prestigious Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, GA. Afterwards, he was then assigned to the 10th Mountain Div. (L) and was deployed immediately to Afghanistan in 2003 during Operation Enduring Freedom. This was the first of many missions that he would experience throughout his career in the Army. Due to his exceptional leadership, tactical and operational skills, Kurt was selected to attend the Green Beret’s Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course. U.S. Army Ranger School was instrumental in what was one of the most physically and mentally grueling experience of his career, yet upon his graduation in 2005 it became one of his greatest accomplishments. As a Special Forces “Green Beret”, Kurt experienced three years of combat and led over one hundred and fifty classified missions in Afghanistan, Iraq along with multiple tours in South America. With Major Cook’s leadership and along with his outstanding fellow Officers and Non Commissioned Officers (NCO’s), the missions were accomplished with intense action, systematic and precise execution. The U.S. Army Special Forces Regiment is one of the most covert, specialized, and skilled groups of warrior/ scholars in the world. The brotherhood formed amongst these “ghost warriors” is unbreakable and continues no matter where they are in their lifetime. Their sense of family is especially strong when there is tragedy and loss, and it is felt collectively. On more than six occasions, Kurt was involved with both direct and indirect rocket and IED blasts that nearly took his life, and have subsequently caused many life long ailments. Due to injuries sustained during these combat operations, Kurt was Honorably Retired due to medical conditions in 2012. This was the ultimate defeat for Kurt Cook. It left him lost in a world that he was not familiar with and one in which he didn’t feel that he belonged in. This “new life” was crippled by severe and debilitating injuries and disease, along with searing memories of horrifying experiences that are now etched into his mind and his soul forever. Despite the odds, Kurt Cook has championed his way through the darkness endured during the assimilation process back into civilian life. As an adult, this elite and highly experienced warrior has only known a life as a hardened combat and proven leader in the Light Infantry and Special Forces. A life that non-military trained citizens will never understand, but can be sympathetic to and grateful for. Many soldiers, as a result of years spent in the Armed Forces, have suffered severe physical and mental trauma. Of these long lasting issues Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the most challenging disability of all. During his active years in the Special Forces, Kurt was clinically diagnosed with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). As if that was not enough, he was also diagnosed with a rare form of Myositis which rapidly destroyed his physique. Myositis has physically and mentally changed Kurt forever, and he fights each and every day against this disease so that is does not overtake him. He battles every day to beat back this disease and to rebuild his body, and he has done so successfully. His passion for racing has delivered him to a place where he can be powerful through his mind and body once again. Kurt is a 100% disabled veteran whose greatest strength comes from his warrior spirit as he fights to not only survive outside of the Armed Forces but forges on to be a champion for other Veterans through racing. This combat wounded and disabled Veteran Hero knows firsthand the physical, emotional pain and loss suffered by all Veterans who struggle with the same ailments and more specifically, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Racing saved Kurt’s life and he believes it will save many more. Racing For Heroes is here to do just that in a fun and competitive way. Together, these Veterans can turn their disabilities into abilities by using the skills they were trained with.
Community Outreach Director - Region 1: Eric Ditty, US Army (ret.)