July 7, 2017
INJURED OHIO VETERANS SERVING ON VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PIT CREW THIS WEEKEND
VETMotorsports Program Empowers Vets Through Motorsports
COLUMBUS, Ohio– Through VETMotorsports, an award-winning, non-clinical outreach program that honors and empowers veterans with service-related injuries through active participation in motorsports, a United States Army veteran will serve as a pit crew member during the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Vintage Motorcycle Days at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio this weekend.
The VETMotorsports program was created to provide inspiration and motivation to post-9/11 veterans with service-related injuries by making them part of a new team and giving them a new mission. VETMotorsports recruits participants, embeds them with professional racing teams or puts them behind the wheel, and covers all expenses for them a caregiver to take part in the experience.
Working with the DOTMIL Racing team will be U.S. Army SPC and Purple Heart recipient Daryl B. of Ontario, OH and STG1 Jason M. from Mansfield, OH. Both will be doing light mechanical work on the four motorcycles piloted by riders Justin Pennella, Tom Bowen, Donnie Deckling and Will Gomez throughout the weekend. Pennella, Bowen and Gomez are all fellow veterans; Deckling is a law enforcement officer. This is the second straight year Boggs, who was injured serving in Iraq..
“We’re big fans of what VETMotorsports is doing,” said DOTMIL rider Justin Pennella. “As veterans ourselves, we know what a difference being part of team can make to guys who miss that connection when their service ends. We were glad to meet and work with Daryl last year and excited to have him back with us again this weekend.”
“Losing 22 veterans a day to suicide is something we just can’t abide,” said VETMotorsports Founder and Executive Director Peter Cline. “That’s why we’re excited to be working with teams like DOTMIL to honor and empower brave service men like Daryl and looking forward to this weekend’s event at Mid-Ohio.”
AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is one of summer’s premier motorcycle gatherings in the U.S. In addition to showcasing historic motorcycles and motorcycle culture, the 23-year-old event serves as a fundraiser for the non-profit AMA Hall of Fame.
Admission to Vintage Motorcycle Days, which runs from Friday, July 7 through Sunday, July 9, covers entry to all spectator areas, paddock access and parking. Children 12 years of age and under are admitted free. For tickets and information, visit www.midohio.com.
VETMotorsports is an award-winning, non-profit, non-clinical outreach program that honors and empowers injured post-9/11 service members by embedding them with professional racing teams and putting them behind the wheel to race in amateur events. By placing veterans in hands-on, high-stress, team environments that mimic active duty, the organization gives them direction, empowerment and challenges that help them focus on ability and moving forward rather than disability and the past. Since its founding in 2012, VETMotorsports has helped more than 160 injured veterans participate in 60 motorcycle and auto racing events across the United States. More information about the organization is available at www.VETMotorsports.org.