For 33-year-old veteran Casey Schaubslager, cars have always been his favorite. Growing up, he dreamt of one day stepping foot on the NASCAR track, maybe even getting behind the wheel of one of their speedy cars.
This dream flashed before his eyes as he read an email from A Million Thanks just a few years ago.
Huh? They want to do what? How did they even know I liked NASCAR?
For Casey, this was the first time he heard of A Million Thanks.
A Million Thanks reached out to Casey to grant him a wish – his very own NASCAR wish.
On March 22, 2015, Casey got the opportunity of a lifetime.
“The experience was unreal. It was my first ever sporting event with NASCAR, and was a huge de-stresser,” Casey said. “What [A Million Thanks] did for me was more than just provide a ticket to watch. The staff was unbelievably accommodating and made a portion of my life less stress free and able to get away and have fun for a while.”
Casey was able to watch multiple races and got to hang out with some of the A Million Thanks crew. He said this small action of kindness impacted him in ways he cannot describe.
“It has made me realize how a simple gesture and appreciation event can be fulfilling for a veteran, and to see that someone cares,” Casey said.
Casey served in the United States Marine Corps from 2002 to 2006 as an infantryman.
After graduating from the University of Phoenix, Casey now works for a nonprofit organization in Bakersfield called The Wounded Heroes Fund as their program and outreach coordinator. This organization aims to help veterans with the sometimes difficult transition from military service to civilian life.
He says there is no one specific avenue that the organization helps veterans. They offer grants, provide a service dog training program and an equine therapy program to name a few. A lot of the programs consist of financial, legal and marriage programs. They help direct veterans and their families to local veteran organizations that help with claims, benefits or other needs with the VA. Casey also helps plan fun events such as monthly hikes, fishing, date nights and movie nights.
He said experiencing the love and appreciation through the action of A Million Thanks inspired him to help other veterans.
For more information about The Wounded Heroes Fund, contact Casey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos courtesy of Casey Schaubslager.