SAN DIEGO - A Southern California veterans group is helping wounded vets enjoy the ride of their life.
Despite the recent rain, officials were transforming the grassy Petco Park into 26 million pounds of dirt. They said Saturday’s Supercross event will take place, rain or shine.
“I'm ready to go out there and do some damage,” Eli Tomac, a professional Supercross rider who can’t wait to hit the track tomorrow night, said.
“It's a pretty wild adrenaline rush,” he said.
But this race means even more to him because of who will be in the stands.
“I have a brother in the Air Force, and he's going to be able to make it down here and watch us,” Tomac said.
Other veterans will also be there like Rob Blanton. He runs “Warfighter Made,” a non-profit group from Temecula.
“We're bringing out a lot of veterans and their spouses basically, just to show them a good time,” Blanton said. “Totally crazy, insane, loud, and you know they put on a fantastic show.”
He said it’s a chance to take their mind off the struggles of returning home from battle.
“I've almost lost as many friends to suicide as I have to combat,” Blanton said.
He and his team customize all kinds of vehicles so wounded vets can get back to driving what they love.
“There are absolutely no limitations, no boundaries,” Blanton said.
Juan Dominguez, also known as “Dom,” lives by that motto.
“I was blessed enough to keep my dominant hand,” Dominguez explained while sitting in his powered wheelchair.
In 2010, while serving with the marines in Afghanistan, Dominguez stepped on an IED.
“I stepped on the IED and it pretty much claimed my leg right away, my arm was mangled,” Dominguez said. “It made me so much stronger than I ever thought I was.”
Now he's focused on helping other vets also achieve their dreams.
“To be able to see their smile after a trip or getting them back into a vehicle, it's priceless,” Dominguez said.
He says military appreciation events like these go a long way toward not just raising money but also awareness.
“People start to understand us instead of maybe fear us,” Dominguez said.
After the race, fans will have a chance to bid on autographed gear and memorabilia on Sunday. All the money from the auction will go to support the San Diego USO.
In the past three years, the event has raised more than $100,000 for local military groups.
For more information or to participate in the auction, click here.