Author’s note: The events in this story took place in August 2012, when I was approached to write a non-fiction short story for a collection that was to be published highlighting good people doing good things. Admittedly intimidated by the idea of writing a non-fiction piece for the first time, I jumped at the opportunity none-the-less. After completing the first draft I was informed that the project had unfortunately been cancelled. I sat on this story for far too long knowing that the experience was too great not to share so here it is for your reading enjoyment, without further delay.
Sergeant Eddie Stow was a soldier in the infantry for the United States Army for 9 months before his first deployment landed him in Baqubah, Iraq for 13 ½ months. It didn’t take long after his return before a second deployment found him stationed in Mosul, Iraq for another 15 months. However, when Eddie returned from his deployment in late 2007, things weren’t quite the same for him as they were before he left. He continued his service until early 2011, but was discharged due to the chilling side effects from his time spent abroad. Eddie returned home suffering from chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and traumatic brain injury. Participating in, and bearing witness to the mortal drama of gun battles took their toll on his psyche.
Meanwhile, halfway around the world, the toughest thing motorcycle racer Pete Cline was going through was what to watch on television when he was struck by a moment of inspiration. Typically, good ideas do not come from watching TV. However, every once in a while, a stroke of genius is inspired directly from the boob tube, and that is exactly what happened. Early in 2012, as Pete tuned into an episode of the hit show Top Gear, he was mesmerized by a segment that featured off-road rally racing trucks. The story focused on a team of wounded British military veterans preparing to qualify for a grueling race that takes place over nearly-impassable terrain, the Dakar Rally. The inspiration behind the team got the motorcycle racer in Pete thinking. As he kicked back in his recliner a moment of clarity broad-sided Pete; he witnessed precision training and natural instincts being put to the test by the veterans testing their knowledge and physical limits. Continue reading