Repost from the Fayetteville Observer (Nov. 10, 2018) "Between racing in competitions and being deployed, Benaway also is a volunteer ambassador for the nonprofit Racing for Heroes, which connects veterans to resources and encourages veteran outreach through racing. He knew about the organization’s founder, retired Army Special Forces soldier Mike Evock, who raced at the Fayetteville dirt track. A mutual friend mentioned that her husband participated in events with Racing for Heroes. Benaway said the organization raises awareness for veterans and offers programs like therapy through racing. In August, the organization hosted a 24-hour race for 12 veterans at Virginia International Raceway. “It has veterans who enjoy motorsports as therapy, outreach or a stress reliever, but it also helps them feel included and part of the team,” Benaway said. “When they’re not driving, they support through pit stops or tire and car prep.” Benaway said he met one veteran who was shy and had considered suicide during periods of his life. That veteran became involved in the organization and now helps fabricate the cars, he said. “So that’s one part of the organization, but it’s also vets helping veterans with medical issues, whether it’s getting rides to the VA or paying for alternative medicines,” Benaway said. “That’s the main focus, and the racing is the outreach and therapy.”
RACING FOR HEROES OPEN HOUSE VIP EVENTS
"Participating in the Racing For Heroes Open House this past weekend wasabsolutely fantastic! These guys are dedicated, experienced professionals that are passionate about helping our Veterans who are struggling withvisible and invisible wounds, including PTSD and the desperate thoughts of suicide.
"They use motorsports as a therapeutic, healthy outlet to establishwhat, for some, is a literal lifeline. And their approach is holistic, including not just the Veteran, but also their family. The Racing For Heroesstaff, comprised of honorable men like Mike Evock and Kurt Cook, is committed to preventing more of these tragedies and healing the wounds thatlinger. The camaraderie and esprit de corps felt like I was visiting with old friends, and the training was simply outstanding. Their staff hascollective training and experience that truly make them some of the world's greatest teachers. This weekend I witnessed them patiently instruct a 12 and 14-year old girl, both daughters of Army Veterans, which had never before sat in the driver's seat of a car. Within an hour both girlswere both driving "hot laps" in Ford Crown Victoria around the S-curves of a racetrack upwards of 55 mph! It was impressive!"
"It was also an insulating,welcoming, intimate and friendly climate appreciated by all in attendance.Most of us had never previously met, yet there were no strangers present. Ialso quietly learned that the dinner/social that follows each class (in thiscase an authentic, delicious "low country boil"), was generously funded outof the instructors' own pockets. These guys care. And it's obvious. Theyunselfishly give of themselves because they believe in our veterans, andtheir families. And they're making a difference. What they're doingmatters. It works. For me and my family, this weekend will remain a fond,vivid memory that will not fade. And I must also thank Tim Rice of Redkochfor the use of his facility, Liberty Ammunition and the Virginia International Raceway grounds for all of their contributions to making thisevent possible."
MSG John F. Operations Sergeant, 18Z B/1/20 SFG (A)
"I had the privilege to participate on last week's Racing for Heroes.Hang out with other Veterans not only OIF/OEF but to include Vietnam made me feel part of a family. I wasn't just a number but a fellow Soldier that share the same battlefield.Although, my role as a Army Nurse is to taking care of our wounded and deceased.I felt appreciate for my contributions to this great Nation. I would highly recommend other services members regardless of component to participate on Racing for Heroes... it was a very healing event."
Martha M. MAJ, BSN US Army
"Racing for Heroes over the weekend of the 18/19 February 2017 put on a great event. After spending the last year and a half Walter Reed hospital due to injuries sustained overseas, and having 2 neck surgeries and brain surgery , it was great to get out and be back doing some advanced driving on the race track and shooting. I don't get out much or enjoy my life as much as I used too. Especially after just medically retiring from 10th special forces group. I have not been doing anything exciting in my life and have been very bored. Mikey and Kurt gave me the opportunity to enjoy aspects of my old life again. These two men are fine examples of what it means to give back to the community."