Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on everything we have to be thankful for in our lives. This weekend, take a moment to help our veterans with Countersteer.
Countersteer, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit for post-9/11 veterans, is hosting an online silent auction on their Facebook page (@countersteeerlife) from Friday, November 25, through Monday, November 28. Auction items have been generously donated by Charlie Daniels, Blake Shelton, Kurt Busch, Eric Bostrom, The Mavericks, Scott Russell, Yamaha and Scott Speed, with more items on the way.
100 percent of the funds raised will go to Countersteer, to further the mission of providing motorcycle rider safety and skills training to post-9/11 veterans with PTSD who want to experience the joy and freedom of motorcycling. Weekend events also provide brotherhood and community, where veterans can gather to help fellow veterans transition and normalize to civilian life.
The Countersteer program is open to all post-9/11 veterans, and events are free of charge. The home base for countersteerlife.org is in Salisbury, North Carolina, where we are able to reach large numbers of active troops and transitioning veterans because there are more troops on the eastern seaboard than anywhere else in the US. From riding gear to motorcycles to tracks to brotherhood and education, we provide everything needed for the experience.
For more information, to donate, or to participate in the program, visit countersteerlife.org. Follow the social media pages on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. As our motto says, help our veterans “Ride and Thrive.”
Founder and Chair Aaron Stevenson outlines the mission and goals of Countersteer:
“I am the son of a Korean War veteran, and I witnessed my father attempt to cope with the effects of war, symptoms which we now know as PTSD. Additionally, I’ve been coaching and teaching high performance motorcycle riding and control for nearly 20 years. During that time, I have worked with many veterans. It came to my attention several years ago while working with the US Marine Corp’s Semper Ride program just how problematic riding without proper education about motorcycle safety and risk assessment had become for our troops. While that education program is working for active duty personnel, there are no motorcycling programs in place for discharged veterans. There are far too many motorcycle fatalities from combat veterans transitioning to civilian life. The statistic of “22 a day” veteran suicides due to combat stress and PTSD does NOT include the additional veteran fatalities from motorcycle crashes. I’ve taken it upon myself to make a difference by upholding this mission, which is I why I founded countersteerlife.org.
“Our programs are free to all post-9/11 veterans, and our primary focus is to work with transitioning veterans within their first year of civilian life. Many veterans come home looking for an adrenaline replacement for combat, and they choose high risk activities such as motorcycling. I have one veteran staff member who told me that after his last deployment, five men from his unit were killed stateside in motorcycle accidents within 6 months of being discharged. This just one example of how epidemic the problem has become. Without proper training and education to help these veterans manage risk assessment and adrenaline response, this statistic will continue to rise. We want to do what we can to help these brave men and women re-acclimate to civilian life and find some peace of mind through the joy of motorcycling.”