Brad Keselowski is thankful every day for the opportunities and success he’s had in life. He’s also very astute of those who have struggles in life, particularly military veterans who have been permanently injured while protecting our country.
That’s why Keselowski is so involved in not only honoring military men and women, but also is a staunch supporter of helping them financially and emotionally. That’s one of the main reasons Keselowski created his Checkered Flag Foundation several years ago to honor, support and help the recovery of military veterans through various efforts around the country.
Keselowski, along with Jimmie Johnson and Chip Ganassi Racing pit crew members, are the three finalists for the Comcast Community Champion Award, which honors members of the NASCAR community and their charitable service.
On Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America, we not only heard from Brad why his work with veterans is so important for him, we also saw one of the groups — Rockville, Maryland-based Fisher House, which helps injured veterans rebuild their lives physically and emotionally — that Keselowski’s foundation continues to help.
Keselowski’s connection with the military goes back more than a decade. One of his first sponsors when he raced in the Xfinity Series for JR Motorsports was the U.S. Navy.
One of the latest efforts of Keselowski’s foundation is to help Fisher House build a new center in Keselowski’s home state of Michigan to help that state’s injured vets.
“Fisher House is one of those foundations that I’m proud to be associated with because they leave a real mark with every dollar they spend,” Keselowski said. “When I heard the Fisher House was looking to build a house in Michigan, I wanted to know what I could do to help. So we’ve created a number of fundraisers and we’ll continue to do so until that house is built.”
Keselowski, who is a private person off-track, revealed a part of him not well known in our NASCAR America interview.
“I did consider joining the armed forces,” he said. “It was always a thought in the back of my mind that if I didn’t make it as a race car driver, I couldn’t never have a normal job. I certainly look at the military and the men and women that serve as extraordinary.”
“I believe in the mission these people have to serve others. To see somebody who’s willing to put their life on the line to save you despite your own flaws and others despite of their own flaws, I think that’s an amazing quality to have. When somebody with that quality is facing such a traumatic and difficult time in their life, it stinks.
“The race wins and championships are great, but I don’t know if that’s a fair measurement of success. Part of the responsibility for being who I am and having the privileges I do have is to give back, so I think a foundation is an opportunity to show you care and instill hope.”
Check out the very touching story of Keselowski and his special bond with military veterans in the video above.