In the veteran community, we are all in it together, meaning no matter what our branch of service as we are all looking out for each other and our wellbeing. As a civilian, if you ever wanted to know what it was actually like to serve in the military and hear some of the craziest stories, just stand silently listening to veterans talking about the good ol’ days. These conversations are a nightly occurrence, trackside at the Blackall Racing hospitality suite.
Helping veterans and expanding our reach for veterans is part of Blackall Racings mission. Our partnership with Vet2track.org in the 2020 MotoAmerica season was just that!
Through Blackall Racings partnership with Vet2Track veterans in the program have the opportunity to come to the track for a professional national race weekend. They stay in the paddock with other veterans in the program and they work with their assigned team for the weekend. They feel engaged, connected, and have a purpose while being a contributing part of the mission to get the racer on the track, so the rider can do what they do best- RACE! Through this unique opportunity here are three first-hand, testimonials from veterans that have worked on our team and the benefits they enjoyed from the experience.
Being on the Blackall Racing team was amazing, the minute I got there I was treated as if they have known me for years. I was able to learn new things about the bike and getting my hands literally dirty learning something new[pic4]. I was able to put everything aside and just be apart of a team again, allowing me to have self-worth again. Like I was able to help this family, this team that is putting everything on the like to make a difference. I was blessed to experience somethings that people only dream of doing. One of the best and biggest impact this opportunity had on me was after a long day of fast motorcycles, work, and walking everywhere at the end of the day we all sat down together and ate dinner and just laughed for hours. That was the first time in 5 years I was able to experience this. There was absolutely no judgment, no worries, and no cares just a sense of freedom and face hurting from all the laughter. With all the stories I felt connected again and for once I found people who got me.
With the help of Blackall Racing and Vet2track, it’s given me a new life after being in a dark place. I found myself stuck in a situation and could not find a way out. The VA’s solution was nonviable being a single mom, and the VA wanted me to go to inpatient care. Between the racing and track days, I felt relaxed and my brain was able to stop its fast thoughts and I could breathe.
It is a process for me, and every day a struggle. I was so lost, and I finally feel strong again. I can see the changes it is making in my life every day. Some days are harder than others but those moments I was able to experience on two wheels gives me something to look forward to. I also see the positive results in wanting to keep myself healthy and in my parenting. This is not an overnight thing, but I know I have the support of Janet and Blackall racing, with Vet2Track when times get rough.
After my time in the Marine Corps and spend 4.5 years of my life deployed out of the 6 years of active duty, I spent years trying to find something to fill the void that was left after being honorably discharged. You know that void, the one that lingers, causing you to crave the speed, intensity, and the hustle to your day. Over the years I found little missions here and there to fill that void, volunteering my time where I could, enrolling in school, and even setting fitness goals. I had always had it in my mind on getting a motorcycle and riding, finally, in 2018 I broke down and purchased a bike and entered the realm of Motorcycles! Little did I know that owning a motorcycle would bring me to being apart of a community that would take me on such an amazing adventure. My first track day was in 2019, and that is when Vet2Track and my path crossed. Vet2Track offered me the opportunity and an experience of a lifetime working for a MotoAmerica race team.
Words cannot even begin to describe the feelings that flowed through me during my entire experience. I was able to be apart of a team, learn more about motorcycles, and most importantly I was put to work. That feeling you get when the racer comes off the track and into pit lane expecting you to actually do what is expected during that time, he is off the track is unbelievably amazing. It was magical watching great minds working together to figure out how to tune in a bike to the specific track and seeing the subject matter experts read a racers tires like some people can read tea leaves is something I will never forget.
Blackall Racing offers a complete experience! Not only do they have a great racing program on track, but they offer the most welcoming and interesting off-track experience for fans. While other teams simply allow fans to see their pit setups, Team Blackall invites fans in to check out the race bike, build care packages for deployed servicemen and women (they are a very veteran-focused and supportive team), get autographs and team merchandise. Blackall racing even invites the fans in for one on one talks with the rider (Tony) and Team Manager (Janet). This experience leaves a fun and lasting impression on fans of all ages and backgrounds.
As you can see, veterans come from all walks of life, and all need to deal with their own unique problems and struggles that they must overcome. They are a special group of individuals that need to feel accepted and valued by being mission-driven. The partnership between Blackall Racing and Vet2track is a perfect assignment!
Impacting so many veteran’s life’s through motorcycle paddock comradery and enabling them to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
During our 2021 MotoAmerica season when you see the Russ Brown Motorcycle attorneys canopy at the Blackall Racing paddock. Stop by and say “hey” and check it out firsthand. It will be one of the greatest experiences you can have at the track.