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INDIANAPOLIS, May 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rahal Letterman Lanigan racing today announced that it had joined with its sponsor United Rentals, the world’s largest equipment rental provider, to renew their partnership with SoldierStrong, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing advanced medical technologies to veterans, for a fourth year, and set a goal of raising $1 million in donations to date through the Turns for Troops program. Today’s announcement was at a press event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in festivities leading up to the Indianapolis 500.
In addition to donating $50 for every lap #15 NTT IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal makes during the season as part of the Turns for Troops program, United Rentals has extended its commitment to include donating $50 for each of the additional RLL Racing drivers, Takuma Sato and Jordan King, during the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, totaling $30,000 for SoldierStrong.
Funds from the Turns for Troops program go toward the purchase of state-of-the-art medical technologies and implementation of educational programs. SoldierStrong will apply this year’s Turns for Troops donation in part to their new program, StrongMind, revolutionary virtual reality (VR) therapy software dedicated to improving mental health of veterans with PTSD.
“We’re proud of our partnership with United Rentals and RLL Racing. They are wonderful partners in achieving our mission on behalf of America’s veterans,” said SoldierStrong co-founder Chris Meek. “The mission of StrongMind is to reduce the tragically high number of veteran suicides across the country by coordinating between leading medical researchers, major universities, and various agencies of the federal government to provide revolutionary virtual-reality based PTSD treatment.”
SoldierStrong, working with the VA innovation office, has identified major research-focused VA clinics to begin deploying the StrongMind VR PTSD protocol. As more resources become available, and more clinical testing is complete, SoldierStrong will expand deployment of the StrongMind VR PTSD protocol to VA centers around the country. New research and new technologies open the possibility of more effective, more affordable treatments for PTSD that can make a meaningful and lasting impact in the lives of veterans. And effective treatment of this underlying cause of so many suicide attempts can help dramatically reduce the epidemic of suicides facing America’s veterans.
StrongMind VR therapy is customizable, therapist-lead software developed to combat a rising veteran suicide rate. The technology is multi-sensory – sight, smell, sound and kinetic – and mimics the traumatic memory in a safe, supportive environment. SoldierStrong will deploy the VR PTSD protocol at select VA clinics and additional VA centers as more resources become available.
“We’re proud to partner with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing on the Turns for Troops program this year, and excited to expand our support of SoldierStrong and the new StrongMind platform,” said Chris Hummel, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at United Rentals. “At United Rentals, we are powerful advocates for the role of technology in business in our lives. With the new VR technology, SoldierStrong can further leverage technology as a great way to scale resources and help even more veterans in need.”
In 2016, United Rentals and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing first partnered on the Turns for Troops program, donating $50 for every lap #15 driver, Graham Rahal, took during the season. Since then, the program raised just under $600,000 for SoldierStrong, and the goal this year is to top $1 million in donations.
“I couldn’t be more excited to partner with United Rentals and SoldierStrong on the Turns for Troops initiative again this year. United Rentals’ continued dedication to veteran support means a lot to myself and the team,” said Graham Rahal, driver of the No. 15 United Rentals Honda in the NTT IndyCar Series at Indianapolis 500 this year. “The team at SoldierStrong is literally changing lives and now with the VR technology, they’re only going to expand that reach. I am thrilled to play small part in that.”
Soldier Strong will have a live demo of the VR technology on-site at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“We couldn’t be more proud to support SoldierStrong and keep the Turns for Troops program going. Bringing in the whole team is icing on the cake. We commend United Rentals for their continued commitment to those who have served our country,” Said Bobby Rahal, Co-owner of Rahal, Letterman Lanigan Racing.
About United Rentals
United Rentals, Inc. is the largest equipment rental company in the world. The company has an integrated network of 1,198 rental locations in North America and 11 in Europe. In North America, the company operates in 49 states and every Canadian province. The company’s approximately 18,800 employees serve construction and industrial customers, utilities, municipalities, homeowners and others. The company offers approximately 3,800 classes of equipment for rent with a total original cost of $14.3 billion. United Rentals is a member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, the Barron’s 400 Index and the Russell 3000 Index® and is headquartered in Stamford, Conn. Additional information about United Rentals is available at unitedrentals.com. To learn more about the Turns for Troops program in support of SoldierStrong, visit https://turnsfortroops.ur.com/.
About Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and Brownsburg, Ind., is co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, former CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. In 2019, the team will compete in their 28th year of open wheel competition and attempt to add to their 27 wins – including the 2004 Indy 500 from pole with Buddy Rice -- their 30 poles, 98 podium finishes and 1992 series championship. The team also competed in the American Le Mans Series from 2009-2013 as BMW Team RLL where they won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category in 2010 and swept all three GT titles in 2011 - Manufacturer, Team and Driver. In 2012, the team finished second in the Team Championship and third in the Manufacturer Championship and in 2013, the team finished second in the Driver, Team and Manufacturer Championship. Since 2014, BMW Team RLL has competed in the GTLM class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with a two-car program and has brought their total to 20 wins, 26 poles and 75 podium finishes as well as a second place finish in the Manufacturer, Team and Driver championships in 2015 and 2017. The team also participates in the 2018/2019 Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Series with a two-car program. It is the world’s first production-based electric vehicle race series and is a support event to the FIA Formula E Championship.
SoldierStrong, previously known as SoldierSocks, helps American patriots literally take their new steps forward. Through educational scholarships and by harnessing the most innovative technology in advanced rehabilitation, we help our returning service men and women to continue moving in the only direction they should know – forward. Nearly every dollar SoldierStrong receives goes towards direct support of American patriots so that they can re-acclimate to civilian life. Our organization works to remind those men and women who sacrificed so much that we are forever thankful.
Eric Woolson, SoldierStrong