SALT LAKE CITY — For many wounded veterans, the transition back to civilian life can be full of stress and uncertainty. But a national organization that helps with that transition stopped in Salt Lake City Saturday to help veterans in an unusual way.
The organization, Veterans Empowered Through Motorsports, travels around the country to different race tracks and invites local wounded veterans to help out with the event. On Saturday, six Utah Marines were invited to participate.
The Marines were invited to be part of a pit crew at the Miller Motorsports Park.
"They show up, we give them some gloves, they get their hands dirty," said Peter Cline with the Veterans Empowered Through Motorsports. "That's what they're looking for, a hands-on activity that helps them work through their difficulties."
Those difficulties often include reentering civilian life after being wounded in combat.
Jacob Chesley was one of the wounded veterans participating in Saturday's pit crew. He said although he's left the battlefield behind, he still faces many battles as a civilian.
"I used to call it 'reentering the atmosphere' because that's what it's really like," Chesley said.
When you're in the military you have a goal, a rank, a mission. When you come home, you're stripped of all that.
"When you're in the military you have a goal, a rank, a mission. When you come home, you're stripped of all that," Cline said.
And while the pit crew was not the quickest, many feel like they were the real winners on the track.
The organization's next stop will be at the famous Indianapolis Speedway.