As part of my way of contributing back to the motorsport community I will have a monthly spotlight on a motorsport charity that will be highlighted on the blog and all of my social media. Motorsport-related charities will have a free listing in the Motorsport Prospects Directory and their events will be featured for free on the Motorsport Prospects Events page. If you are involved in a motorsport-related charity or know of one you think deserves of some recognition, please do not hesitate to let me know.
In the United States it is Memorial Day today, a time to honor and mourn the military personnel who have died in the performance of their military duties while serving in the United States Armed Forces. I thought it only appropriate to shine the spotlight on VETMotorsports and the work they do with military veterans.
All information has been taken from their website and social media pages. If you are involved in VETMotorsports, please feel free to contact me if you would like to add to this feature or your listing.
More than 2.8 Million Americans have served since 9/11. Among them, 6,840 gave their lives fighting the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan alone. During that same time, 115,566 veterans gave up their lives to a different enemy; suicide. More than 2.8 Million Americans have served since 9/11. Among them, 6,840 gave their lives fighting the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan alone. During that same time, 115,566 veterans gave up their lives to a different enemy… suicide. 18% of all US veteran suicides encompasses a 32% increase since 2001. And though that troubling figure comprises all service members, the percentage of Post 9/11 veterans among them is growing at precipitous rate; particularly among those aged 18-29.
Why? Its known as the military-civilian divide. A chasm more and more of our Post 9/11 veterans find themselves unable to navigate; one made wide by the effects of the still-misunderstood emotional and physical scars left on them by their service in America’s longest war. But recent research gives us new hope. It tells us that therapies focused on activity, engagement and empowerment are the key.
What they Do
VETMotorsports, is a recognized 501c3 tax exempt outreach program, formed to honor and empower the military community through motorsports.
VETMotorsports places qualifying participants within a wide range of motorsports-related activities including amateur events and even professional race teams; creating a mission-focused, high-intensity, team environment which provides a powerful analog to military service experience and offers them new challenges to help them focus on their abilities in the context of the future vice the disabilities of the past. Indeed, we are the nation’s leading non-profit in this space; having placed more than 163 Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, Gold Star parents and veterans with service-connected injuries into motorsports activities in locations such as Alabama, Arizona, Baja California (Mexico), California, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin—in 2019 alone.
We accomplish all of this through the generous support of an all-volunteer management organization, and of course, the support of individuals and companies such as yours. We are proud of the fact that over 80 cents of every dollar we receive goes directly towards our veteran programming.
How you can get involved
VETMotorsports is involved in both two and four wheel forms of motorsport and there are numerous ways you can get involved as a participant. In order to qualify as a participant you need the following:
- Active military, veterans with a service connected injury and their spouse/caregiver.
- Upon request provide your DD214 with your personal information removed (SS#, phone, address, etc).
- A Veterans Administration (VA) letter with your rating. Please note that disability percentage is not part of the selection process, just that you have been evaluated by the VA. Your personal information needs to be removed (SS#, phone, address, claim amount).
More information can be found here.
How you can support VETMotorsports
You can support VETMotorsports in a few ways.
Volunteering by signing up for their newsletter and participating as a volunteer in their many events across the United States.
Their Motorsport Prospects listing in the Directory can be found here.