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Racing for Rangers

Sua Sponte Elite Racing Team featuring several team members. Used with permission of Sua Sponte Elite Racing Team

Sua Sponte Elite Racing Team featuring several team members. Used with permission of Sua Sponte Elite Racing Team

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In life people face may transitions: age, new schools, etc., but none rival the incredibly challenging transition of an Army Ranger into civilian life. Looking at Chad Wegner one may not have guessed he was a retired Army Ranger but he and other rangers, local and across the country, active and retired, are working to bring awareness to veteran issues.

“There is a lot of spiritual and emotional damage that can happen, whether you realize it or not,” Wegner said.

Wegner, who serves as board member and sponsorship director, says the goal of Sua Sponte Elite Racing Team, SSERT, is to help transition rangers peacefully back into society. Which can be difficult to do once returning to normal life after the constant mental and physical changes of their position.

“Rangers often are aggressive, over-achieving individuals,” Wegner said. “And when they come back and don’t have anything to be aggressive and over achieve on they can hurt themselves or others.”

SSERT works to combat this negative response by getting veterans involved in athletics and events which give them a focus, something to achieve and strive for.

Activities include events such as the Ironman triathlons, 100-mile trail runs, double Ironmans as well as countless other outdoor activities that challenge rangers physically like it would in the service.

“For me it’s more than simply a chance to get off the couch and get involved in racing. Sua Sponte Elite Race Team is a united cause that brings our family closer together,” said Judy Coon, Events Director for the Sua Sponte Elite Race Team. “It is an honor to be surrounded by an intense group of like-minded Veterans that support each other and it is humbling and rewarding to be involved in building awareness for veteran challenges and helping to improve the lives of veterans.”

Their most recent team race was the Ironman in Louisville, Kentucky, where members of the team came together to run in the triathlon. Wegner said they told stories the whole time and felt like close friends.

“This level of camaraderie and closeness is really hard to come by unless you had some type of intense experience like that,” Wegner said.

The race team is only open to Army rangers and their families, however, Wegner encourages people of all ages to do something to help, whether it is for the military or another cause.

“Getting out and finding out what is happening in the community is extremely powerful,” Wegner said.

He says events like the ones he and his team participates in with can’t happen without volunteers. Whether it’s helping at an aid station or running, both works to keep the race alive and support great causes.

“You can’t do anything without support,” Wegner said.

Judy Coon and her running mate crossing the finish line at a race. Used with permission of Sua Sponte Elite Racing Team.

Judy Coon and her running mate crossing the finish line at a race. Used with permission of Sua Sponte Elite Racing Team.

There are races happening all over the area and everyone can get involved. Volunteers are important to many different organizations and to take the time to get involved has the potential to make a huge change.

Coming home can be extremely difficult for many men and women who serve. Sua Sponte Elite Racing Team not only works to peacefully integrate Army Rangers back to ‘normal life’ but inspire others to find a cause and work for it.

“It’s easy not to participate, to be passive and absorb, it’s not easy to engage and to seek opportunities,” Wegner said.

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About the Writer
Emily Walker, Co Editor-in-Chief

I’ve been part of the team for three years and this is my final year before I graduate. I enjoy writing and am excited to see our news network grow over...

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