National nonprofit utilizes relationships within NASCAR garage for its Drive For Hope program
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 26, 2016) – Hope For The Warriors continued to work toward their mission of restoring self, family and hope during last weekend’s Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. The organization hosted more than 10 service members and military family members at the iconic race through its Drive For Hope program, which focuses on engaging transitioning service members in a unique social setting while giving them an opportunity to learn about prospective careers, make networking connections and realize different ways their skills can transition as they reintegrate into the civilian sector.
“I’ve wanted to go to the Daytona 500 since I was a little kid, and Hope For The Warriors made this once in a lifetime experience possible for my family,” said Major Seely, who retired from the USMC after 27 years of service on 1 February 2016. “When the opportunity came up to attend the Daytona 500, I couldn’t believe it. I’ve been trying to get my family to attend a race for years. Through Drive For Hope, we were able to go to the biggest race of the year and now they’re hooked. My family has always been surrounded by racing; but being able to see it up close—see the cars, go to the drivers meeting and share it with each other—that was something we never could have imagined. It was an incredible experience that my family will never forget.”
Maj Seely (USMC Ret) joined a group of Critical Skills Operators from the Marines Special Operations School in Stone Bay, N.C., and US Marine Corps and US Army Veterans for the Daytona 500. With nearly everyone in the group having either a Purple Heart or a Bronze Star, the highly decorated group was able to uncover similarities between the sport and the military that most civilians can not identify.
“To me, the fascinating aspect of NASCAR is the Driver and Pit Crew relationship,” said one of the active duty participants. “When a Driver wins a race he immediately credits his Pit Crew with the win. The understanding that it takes the whole team to accomplish the mission is as critical to winning a NASCAR race as it is to defeating the enemy on today’s battlefields. I want to personally thank Hope For The Warriors for a once in a lifetime Daytona 500 experience!”
In 2016, the Drive For Hope program is scheduled to visit over 20 NASCAR races with service members from across the country. To learn more about the program or find out how you can get involved, visit HopeForTheWarriors.org. Additionally, you can support Hope For The Warriors and its various programs by making a gift online, by phone at 877-246-7349.