MTF was honored to host some of America’s bravest for our 12th annual two day Veterans Appreciation training camp. Thanks to Jordan Bailey, Luca Marsalisi, Gage Linville and Brian Saunier, along with Bryan Johnson and myself, we were able to work with almost 50 brave men and women and show them what we are able to do at MTF because of their dedicated service. It is always great to have them on site learning to be safer, more efficient and (of course) faster riders. But it’s even more rewarding when something much bigger grows from all that positive energy. I have worked with several nonprofit organizations assisting veterans and their struggles over the years. This year, I was fortunate enough to have two of them on site during this camp.
Both James Williams of Wiregrass Warriors and several members of Vet MX made something comparable to a “Make A Wish” event for a young boy and his incredible, albeit slightly overwhelmed step dad. Thanks to these two organizations (that get no where near enough credit for their amazing work), a young boy who tragically lost his father has hopefully found some new friends in the overwhelmingly welcoming MX family!
Along with a brand new GoPro, gear bag, bike stand, etc from James at Wiregrass Warriors, you can see the energy and care so eagerly given to a child that they did not previously know. The care these veterans have for each other knows no bounds. I support these two groups every chance I get and would encourage others who are able to donate time or money to do the same…
Veteran Motocross Foundation
A joint lifestyle enrichment and recovery solution, Veteran Motocross Foundation empowers veterans struggling with the physical and mental scars of service to leverage the benefits of motocross. While tapping into the thrill seeking personality that makes our service men and women so brave in combat, Veteran Motocross Foundation instructors leverage the process of teaching a new skill to arm vets with the physical and mental discipline and prowess required to effectively heal, recover, and re-assimilate.
My Wiregrass Warriors
Wiregrass Warriors is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping our veterans struggling with PTSD or facing challenges transitioning to civilian life. They strive to offer environments where vets can gather, decompress, and bond with their kids through motocross. Wiregrass Warriors serves both veterans and their families because they believe that the family unit is worth fighting for in combat and at home. They work to give veterans a fighting chance at living a successful and fulfilled life after the battle.
Below is the email a Vet MX member sent me after the camp:
“This last weekend, you had a little boy named Andrew with his step-father Anthony that attended the camp. Over the weekend, some of our members became aware of the story of this little boy, and it’s absolutely tragic. Andrews’ father was a Green Beret (Special Forces) with 7th Special Forces Group here at Eglin Air Force Base. Last summer, sadly, his father lost his battle with his demons and took his own life.
At some point between then and now, Andrew found love for the sport. His step father was putting in all the hours he could to get Andrew a bike, which he did! A couple of our members noted that the bike was almost falling apart, and we initially were going to rebuild his bike, but some other options came up! So, us at Vet MX put our heads together, and have gained massive support.
As of today, we have secured Andrew with ample amounts of riding gear, free training with a coach, support, and friends, and a 2019 KTM 65!! All because you made it possible for us to come together and continue to heal and bond while learning from an amazing team and facility! Much like any job, many things feel thankless. But, you creating that opportunity truly sparked a fire and has allowed us to turn this little boy’s life around! We veterans want to say thanks for allowing that opportunity for us to come together.”
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