Veteran Family Receives New Home at Grand Prix of Baltimore

August 31st, 2013

SERKET Racing made a first-time homeowner out of Veteran Army Specialist Joseph Saunders and his family this Labor Day weekend.

By working with philanthropic partner Operation Homefront and sponsor Wells Fargo Capital Finance, SERKET Racing was able to present keys to a mortgage-free home to the Veteran and his wife at the start/finish line of the Grand Prix of Baltimore. The Saunders were welcomed to the track by a sea of ecstatic race fans applauding their sacrifices for our country.

Click here for key ceremony.
“First I want to thank my savior Jesus Christ, he is first in my life,” Saunders said. “This is very special for me because we’ve never owned a home before. It’s an excellent opportunity for us.”

Saunders’ wife, Tara, was equally as grateful and honored.

“This is a wonderful moment. I am so proud to be a former military spouse, I’m so proud my husband served. Thank you for our first home I love you so much,” said Saunders’ wife as she looked proudly toward her husband.

The shared mission of raising support and awareness for veterans and their families brought the SERKET Racing, Operation Homefront and Wells Fargo Capital Finance trio together. Each organization boasts programs that are uniquely designed to help veteran families conquer hardships their loved ones face upon returning home.

“Our mission at SERKET Racing is to raise funds and awareness for veterans and their families and this is our first step towards that goal,” said SERKET Racing driver and former Marine Mark Llano. “Members of the racing community in Baltimore have always been avid supporters of our troops, so we felt that hosting the event at the Grand Prix of Baltimore would be perfect. I’d also like to express my gratitude to Operation Homefront, Wells Fargo, the rest of our sponsors and our fans for their continued support of our mission – we could not do this without you.”

Operation Homefront’s participation in the ceremony gave racing fans an opportunity to show their support for America’s best and bravest. The non-profit spent this race season working closely with the SERKET Racing team to raise awareness and assistance for veterans on and off the track. Most recently the two teamed up with Hertz to award free car rental vouchers to veterans receiving homes.

Jim Knotts, President and CEO of Operation Homefront, expressed the organization’s gratitude and excitement for SERKET Racing’s support of their mission.

“Operation Homefront appreciates our ongoing partnership with Wells Fargo, and we’re thrilled to be teammates with a vet like Mark Llano,” said Knotts. “SERKET Racing’s commitment and dedication to bring awareness to our military families is obvious on many levels, and Llano and the number 24 car are great ambassadors for the needs of our military men and women.”

Wells Fargo Capital Finance also has deep-rooted ties to aiding the families of our servicemen and women. Their sponsorship of SERKET Racing has opened new avenues of opportunities to aid those who serve. This year, 25 percent of the Wells Fargo Capital Finance sponsorship funding was donated from SERKET Racing back to veterans in need.

“It is an honor for Wells Fargo to work with organizations such as SERKET Racing and Operation Homefront that strive to enrich the lives of the amazing men, women and their families who sacrifice for our country,” said Dave Marrin, head of government services, Wells Fargo Capital Finance. “Wells Fargo has been helping military members and veterans succeed financially for more than 150 years. Wells Fargo Capital Finance is proud to help military service members and veterans reach their business goals.”

The trio agrees that the opportunity to help the Saunders family and hand the keys over was worth a year of planning. SERKET Racing, Operation Homefront and Wells Fargo will next award a veteran with a home at Circuit of the Americas for the Super Endurance Weekend Sept. 20-22.

To join the SERKET Racing mission follow the team on twitter at @serketracing and on Facebook. To follow the conversation use the hashtag #WarriorsLivebyaCode.