NASCAR gets the blood pumping for Robert Gers, an Army veteran served by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). The sights, sounds, and smells are part and parcel of a beloved sport – and a pastime that gives Robert and his wife, Crystal, something to bond over.
"Watching the races gives me and my wife a chance to re-connect," Robert said. "We both enjoy watching together; throwing popcorn and peanuts at the TV, or each other; or heckling one of our least favorite drivers."
Recently, they experienced the rumble of the engines and cheers of the crowd in person. DEWALT® hosted an event in partnership with WWP, allowing Robert and Crystal to attend the All-Star Race and meet the DEWALT Racing team, including driver Matt Kenseth.
"DEWALT really blew us away," Robert said. "We got to see the behind-the-scenes of NASCAR. We got a full tour of the pit area and the hauler that takes the car from track to track. We got to spend time with the pit crews, learn about the work they do, and watch the race from the number 20 pit box. It was amazing."
"Being welcomed and included by the DEWALT Racing team and their sponsors made us feel like there is more support out there for our family and other veterans," Crystal said. "We also received a standing ovation during the drivers' meeting. It was such an amazing thank you to my warrior husband and the other veterans with us. Knowing that their sacrifices are appreciated was a very humbling experience."
WWP events like these, supported by partners like DEWALT, give warriors the chance to connect with other warriors, their family members, and their communities. Getting engaged in fun activities in comfortable environments can improve the wellbeing of warriors and their ability to enjoy camaraderie with other wounded veterans.
"The biggest thing Wounded Warrior Project has done to help me is connecting me and my wife with other veteran couples," Robert said. "It's given me incredible opportunities: my daughter and I learning how to surf together, going shooting with my son, going to this race with my wife."