Garrisonville - Stafford, Virginia, August 18, 2015 – Although Virginia has a rich history tied to the motor sports world; it isn’t quite the same when you tie the name of a veteran support foundation to racing! Founder and CEO of the Armed Forces Motorsports Foundation (AFMF), Rick Ecker, registered his organization to participate in the annual Fredericksburg Community Give Campaign. While the mission of the Foundation is to provide direct support to veterans and their families through various programs, no one could get past the name to learn what the Foundation is all about…according to Ecker, he spent most of his time during the campaign trying to explain the mission of his organization. “People didn’t understand the name and how it related to community / veteran support…everyone thought AFMF was about racing, so the campaign was a total flop for the Foundation,” said Ecker.
It was time for change!
“I have a motorsports company (Armed Forces Motorsports) also tied to supporting veterans and their families through racing, so I was trying to link the Foundation to the same name,” said Ecker. “It wasn’t long before we realized people just didn’t get it – so we filed for a name change with the Virginia State Corporation Commission, as well as the Internal Revenue Service, and today our organization is called the “Vets on Track Foundation” (VoTF), a name that perfectly aligns with our mission,” said Ecker.
According to Ecker, the Vets on Track Foundation is focused on helping veterans and their families “get and keep” their lives on track. “We understand there are hundreds and thousands of organizations in the veteran support arena, but we were careful in defining our mission, to ensure that the services we provide actually fill a gap in overall support,” said the Stafford resident. “We want to establish VoTF’s national headquarters and its National Distribution Center for Homeless Support somewhere in the Stafford / Fredericksburg area, but is in need of community support to secure a warehouse for its operations.
“We have two primary missions – 1) to connect veterans and their families with needed resources through our Veterans Resource Summits, and 2) through our Fresh Start Program to assist veterans and their families transitioning off the streets into permanent housing, by providing the needed items to make a house a home,” said Ecker, a retired Marine of 22-years. “Our Fresh Start Program is exactly what its name implies – we want to provide these veterans everything from furniture to linens to curtains and plants…we want to help them get a Fresh Start on life,” he continued.
The Vets on Track Foundation and its programs are being ran from the Eckers’ personal residence…which really limits the amount and types of donations it can receive in support of its Fresh Start Program.
“We could really use the corporate and personal support of the local communities to help get this Foundation fully established within the community and fully operational,” said Rick. “Once fully operational, the Vets on Track Foundation will be able to service veterans and their families from coast to coast, showcasing the Stafford and Fredericksburg communities as front-runners when it comes to putting words into action…we are communities that are working together to support those who have supported this country in the best and worst of times,” he concluded.
For more information on the Vets on Track Foundation or to donate, visit www.vettrack.org. Vets on Track Foundation is a state and federally registered 501(C)3 non-profit organization. Our state SCC number is: 07697485 and our Federal Tax ID Number is: 46-3805203.