Army veteran named VFW 200 grand marshal

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Michigan International Speedway and the VFW Foundation have announced that local U.S. Army veteran Michael Montange of Chelsea, Mich. will serve as grand marshal for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series VFW 200 on Saturday, June 12 at MIS.

As grand marshal, Montange will be introduced during pre-race ceremonies for the VFW 200 and will give the famous command for drivers to start their engines before making parade laps in the official Ford Mustang pace car prior to the start of the race.

Montange, who served three tours in Iraq, will be joined by his parents, his sister and her husband as special guests of the VFW Foundation’s Salute to Military Families program and will receive VIP treatment throughout the June race weekend. Montange’s girlfriend is currently serving in Iraq and could not join them for the event.

The family will be provided with a RV for weekend accommodations in the Graves Farm Campground at MIS. MISCamping.com, the official RV rental company and camping sponsor of MIS, and Home Depot partnered to build an access ramp for Montange, who was wounded by an IED bomb during combat and returned home in 2007 a disabled veteran. 

Montange and his family will also receive suite passes and garage passes for Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s events. They will enjoy garage tours, pace car rides and special access to drivers’ meetings, pre-race ceremonies and victory lane celebrations. 

Through their Salute to Military Families program at MIS, VFW will provide over 500 local veterans and active duty military and their families with grandstand tickets, chalet and suite hospitality with complimentary food and beverage, and special VIP treatment throughout the event weekend at MIS.

The VFW 200 and Salute to Military Families events are part of the VFW Foundation’s nationwide Return the Favor awareness and fundraising campaign designed to honor and celebrate active-duty and retired military and their families. 

“Unfortunately, U.S. troops rarely have the luxury to attend sporting events or entertainment activities, so that’s where we step in.  It’s our way of ‘saying thanks’ for all they do,” said John G. Lowe, VFW Foundation Deputy Director. “Our Return the Favor events not only boost troop morale but also draw attention to the urgent needs of U.S. military service personnel.  It also allows us to get the word out about our other programs and services.  These include free communication options for troops overseas so they can call home on a regular basis and financial assistance to their families for rent, mortgage, utilities, vehicle repair, food and medicine.”

The VFW Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and the official charity of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), America’s oldest and largest service group for combat veterans. The VFW Foundation receives no government funding, and instead relies solely on public and corporate donations. 

Donate today to “return the favor” to those who have given so much.  Find out more about the VFW Foundation and make a donation by visiting www.ReturnTheFavor.org. You can also make a $10 donation by texting “RETURN” to 90999 now.

© 2017 Michigan International Speedway

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