Alton, Virginia, USA
Racing For Heroes held our inaugural Open House at our Competition Headquarters at Virginia International Raceway, in Alton, VA. The turnout was phenomenal, with an incredible group of people from a wide variety of backgrounds. From Veterans to civilians, spouses and children, we had the privilege of providing some advanced technical training on (and off) VIR's Patriot Course, in addition to pistol and carbine shooting at VIR's tactical shooting facility. We can go on and on about what our experience was with the weekend, however we believe the experience is best recapped by the event participants. Here are a few testimonials, in their own words.
"Participating in the Racing For Heroes Open House this past weekend was absolutely fantastic! These guys are dedicated, experienced professionals that are passionate about helping our Veterans who are struggling with visible and invisible wounds, including PTSD and the desperate thoughts of suicide.
They use motorsports as a therapeutic, healthy outlet to establish what, for some, is a literal lifeline. And their approach is holistic,
including not just the Veteran, but also their family. The Racing For Heroes staff, comprised of honorable men like Mike Evock and Kurt Cook, is
committed to preventing more of these tragedies and healing the wounds that linger. The camaraderie and esprit de corps felt like I was visiting with old friends, and the training was simply outstanding. Their staff has collective 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 girls were 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. I also quietly learned that the dinner/social that follows each class (in this case an authentic, delicious "low country boil"), was generously funded out of the instructors' own pockets. These guys care. And it's obvious. They unselfishly give of themselves because they believe in our veterans, and their families. And they're making a difference. What they're doing matters. 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 Redkoch for the use of his facility, Liberty Ammunition and the Virginia International Raceway grounds for all of their contributions to making this event possible."
MSG John F.
Operations Sergeant, 18Z
B/1/20 SFG (A)