Soldiers’ Angels is on board with AMA Pro Supersport rider Dillon Atkins for a little outside support. The 18 year old out of Huntsville, Alabama has gotten involved with the non-profit organization that pledges “may no soldier go unloved” in an effort to demonstrate care and support for the actively deployed, the wounded, veterans and families that are militarily involved. The volunteer based group provides care packages and letters to “adopted” service members and strive to make sure that those who voluntarily give themselves to our country are continuously supported by the very people that they serve. Soldier’s Angels has supplied thousands of support packages to hospitals in Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany as well as stateside military facilities including ‘First Response Backpacks’, voice-controlled/adaptive laptops, and other rehabilitation support systems, flights for soldiers and their families, and even financial support to those in need. The multi- award winning organization was founded by Patti Patton-Bader, a military mother with a mission to ensure that no soldier or militarily involved persons go without the acknowledgment that they deserve. Soldiers’ Angels supports tens of thousands of individuals throughout the world and the founder believes that it is all the “angels” or grateful citizen of this country that help them to continue their support for the troops.
NMC asked Dillon why representing an organization like Soldiers’ Angels is so important to him and he responded, “I want soldiers and the families of soldiers to look at it and feel that the sacrifice they have made is not only paying off, but also worth it because they see someone who is grateful for what they have done for this country.” It is no coincidence that Dillon runs the number 911 on the front of his race bike; it is in honor of those who were involved in the events of September 11, 2001 and his yellow paint job signifies the “yellow ribbon” that symbolizes support of US troops. “The 911 is for all the people that died in the 9/11 attacks. I was in 2nd grade when that happened, and I became obsessed with it. I know how the buildings were built and everything; I have seen every t.v. special that has been made about it and I don’t want anyone to ever forget what happened that day and what is still happening because of it. Wearing 911 also honors all the people who are serving or have joined military because of what happened on 9/11.”
Not only is this large scale organization at the top of Dillon’ priorities, but so are the smaller, local projects in his hometown. This need to give to his country by any means necessary started with his grandfather who served in the Air Force, carried on with his father who worked for BETSS-C (a company that supplies troops with surveillance systems using thermal and night vision cameras, bomb detectors and radar), and continues with Dillon who maintains, “I want to be involved. I want to help. I just want to help them get their name out there. The more the get their name out there, the more people will donate stuff and the more soldiers will get the things they need.”
Dillon is an avid motorcycle road racer and recently turned pro in the American Motorcycle Association. Although Dillon is young and fairly new to the professional race scene, he is an experienced racer with a good head on his shoulders. He is devoted to combining his love for racing with his love for giving back and has said, “I try to give back to them the same or more than they’ve given me,” he says. “That’s the right thing to do.”
Patti Patton-Bader: “We are always so impressed with Angels, like Dillon, who step up and use their talents to help the troops.”
From www.soldiersangels.org : “Soldiers’ Angels is a volunteer-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and their families. Founded in 2003 by the mother of two American soldiers, its hundreds of thousands of Angel volunteers assist veterans, wounded and deployed personnel and their families in a variety of unique and effective ways.”