Military vets find the drive to take a new course

Walking down a stretch of the Del Mar Arena, the sight of a machine gun turret on a buggy makes one turn their head a second time.

"This is a vintage light strike vehicle," Mike Shatynski said. "Two years ago, this was a hunk of rusted metal."

Now its largest battles come in the dirt and grime of race tracks across North America.

It also has a new purpose – uniting military veterans through off track racing. Race 4 Vets puts people in cars, and Warfighter Made helps others construct and maintain them.

"I was diagnosed with PTSD…and tried to kill myself," Warfighter Made full time volunteer Rob Blanton said. "To be able to see my fellow veterans that need assistance and don’t know where to turn…to be able to provide that for them has been fantastic.

"Giving them that sense of family that they miss when they get out of the military is my passion. It’s what I enjoy doing."

Next to him sits Juan Dominguez, who has only his left arm remaining after an IED blast in the Middle East.

"The Marines put a lot of emphasis on small unit leadership," Dominguez said. "It’s a natural thing to want to help when you receive help for a Marine.

"Especially a fellow brother or sister."

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