VIR Partners with Mission Motorsport to Host Injured Service Members
Alton, VA -- Virginia International Raceway in Halifax County is usually busy hosting races. But on Thursday, they hosted injured service members.
VIR partnered with a British based organization called Mission Motorsport. Their mission is to help injured veterans successfully transition into civilian life.
Mission Motorsport brought four British and three American former servicemen out to the track. It was a chance to honor them and introduce them to the career options they can have in motor sports
"Myself and a lot of these other guys, we struggle sometimes," said Darren Kamara. "When we come out, it's hard to adjust back to civilian life. I've only been a civilian myself now for two and a half to three weeks.
And that's exactly why Mission Motorsport is immersing these seven injured servicemen in the world of motor sports.
"This is the second leg of the U.S., U.K. exchange which is aimed at increasing people's awareness but also, raising the expectations and the horizons for some young men whose careers have ended too early for them," said James Cameron, the Director of Mission Motorsport.
"Anytime you acquire new skills it boosts your confidence, so it really can help a lot of folks come out of their shell they've been in since they got back from war," said Grier Martin, N.C. House of Representatives 34th District.
Their first stop in their education excursion was at Virginia International Raceway. They toured the raceway and were able to see how sports cars are made.
Grier Martin, who is in the North Carolina House of Representatives was involved in organizing the trip.
"Many folks have some physical disabilities, You put them in a car and there's things you can do mechanically to make those disabilities go away," he said.
For ex-British airman Kamara, he's taken a liking to photographing cars.
His said for him and many others, this trip is pushing them into a brand new chapter of their lives.
"I love it. I'm trying to sort of live normally rather than worrying about what we can't do all the time and pushing ourselves to see what we can do," he said.
The group's next stop is in Charlotte. They'll be at NASCAR race there. One British and one American in the group will get to be the Grand Marshals at the race.