Georgia Veteran Receives Mortgage-Free Home: SERKET Racing and Wells Fargo Team Up to Give Back

October 23rd, 2013

SERKET Racing, Operation Homefront, Wells Fargo Capital Finance and Wells Fargo REO Home Donation wrapped up the 2013 racing season with a third and final home giveaway to Navy veteran Deramichelous Daniels.

By teaming up with philanthropic partner Operation Homefront and sponsor Wells Fargo Capital Finance, SERKET Racing presented the keys of a mortgage-free home to former Navy Petty Officer Daniels during the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila PatrĂ²n (ALMS) season finale pre-race ceremonies of the 16th Annual Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta. Petit Le Mans was the final race for the series before merging with the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and other smaller series to form the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

Daniels was thrilled to hear he and his wife Mistie had been chosen to receive the Marrietta, Ga. home. The Navy veteran served eight years in the military where he worked as a hospital corpsman and assumed the duty of keeping the sailors and Marines in his unit healthy. Daniels was also deployed to Iraq as his unit’s combat medic.

After his time in the Navy Daniels and his family worked hard to achieve their dream of one day owning a home their children could grow up in. The family suffered a major set back when in 2012 when their apartment was broken into and all of their valuables were stolen.

“We have discussed owning a home ever since getting married,” Daniels said. “It will provide us with such an amazing opportunity and will give our children a place to run around and just enjoy their new life. Everything lately has felt like such an uphill battle, and this is the best news that we have had since my leaving the Navy.”

The trio had previously given homes to Purple Heart recipient Travis Clennon at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas and made a first-time homeowner out of a veteran Army Specialist Joseph Saunders at the Grand Prix of Baltimore. The partnership has proven to be successful and impassioned.

Latino entrepreneur and former Marine, Mark Llano, formed SERKET Racing to achieve difference-making goals of this caliber. The driver feels nothing but pride knowing of all the hard work he and others put into his program to help his military brothers in need.

“Our mission at SERKET Racing is to raise funds and awareness for veterans and their families and we’ve had a hell of a year,” Llano said. “We’ve had the opportunity to work with incredibly generous organizations like Operation Homefront and Wells Fargo to give away three homes to veterans and their families. We’ve worked with Crye Precision and the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities to help more of our best and bravest to start their own businesses. We’ve been blessed to find great philanthropic partners like the American Freedom Foundation and the Xtreme Couture GI Foundation that assist our veterans in the numerous challenges they face when coming home. We’ve worked with great companies like Shadow Works Group and KOTA Longboards to develop products that enable our fans to give back and show their support for our troops at the track. Most importantly, at every race in every city, members of the racing community from both IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) and ALMS have been so supportive of our cause that it’s been very humbling.”

Operation Homefront has helped make SERKET Racing’s first year in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Series a historic one. Together the organizations have been able to use their coinciding missions to change lives. Changing lives for the better has been a humbling experience for each organization.

“We’re proud to partner with SERKET Racing and Wells Fargo to award mortgage-free homes to veterans,” said Tom Greer, Vice President of Communications and Outreach for Operation Homefront. “Saturday’s race represented our third home that we’ve awarded in conjunction with our SERKET and Wells Fargo partnership, and overall we have awarded over 200 homes to military families since our Homes on the Homefront program began last year.”

Wells Fargo Capital Finance has also been instrumental in helping SERKET Racing move forward with the mission and goal of not only raising awareness for military veterans and their families, but also providing true assistance and the power of making a difference for those who have honorably served and sacrificed for their country.

“Wells Fargo truly appreciates the efforts of SERKET Racing and Operation Homefront as they strive to enrich the lives of military members, veterans and their families,” said David Marrin, head of the Government Services Group, Wells Fargo Capital Finance. “Wells Fargo has been helping military members and veterans succeed financially for more than 150 years. It’s important to Wells Fargo Capital Finance to support veterans and military service members reach their business goals.”

The home presentation was made during the opening ceremonies of the race on Saturday morning in front of a significant audience of supportive racing fans.

“I’d like to express my gratitude to all our sponsors and every single one of our fans, both on and off the track, for their support of our mission this year,” Llano said. “We’ve come a long way, we’re just getting started, but we could not do this without everyone’s support – thank you and Semper Fi.”

To join the SERKET Racing mission follow the team on Twitter at @serketracing and on Facebook.