STAMFORD, Conn., May 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SoldierStrong, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing advanced medical technologies to veterans, announced that United Rentals, the world's largest equipment rental provider, and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing have renewed their partnership with the charitable organization for a third year.
Through its Turns for Troops program, United Rentals will donate $50 to SoldierStrong for every lap the three Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing drivers complete. The drivers - Graham Rahal, who has participated in Turn for Troops since it began in 2016; Takuma Sato, winner of the 2017 Indianapolis 500; and Oriol Servia - will compete in the 102ndIndianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 27.
SoldierStrong applies donations toward the purchase of state-of-the-art medical technologies such as robotic exoskeletons that allow paralyzed veterans to stand and walk again, as well as to its SoldierScholarship program that benefit injured veterans across the country. These medical technologies and scholarships help injured veterans to literally take their next steps forward in life.
"We are thrilled to continue our partnership this year with United Rentals and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, and are particularly excited to have three incredible drivers at the Indianapolis 500 driving in support of veterans through Turns for Troops," said Chris Meek, co-founder and chairman of SoldierStrong. "Their continued support enables us to achieve our goal of assisting as many injured veterans as possible and helping them to regain the freedom, mobility, and independence they deserve after their service to our country."
In 2016, United Rentals and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing first partnered on the Turns for Troops program. Since then, United Rentals has donated more than $274,000 to SoldierStrong, which has gone toward purchasing cutting-edge medical devices. SoldierStrong has donated these medical devices to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Rehabilitation Centers around the country. This year's donations will help provide exoskeleton devices to VA Medical Centers in Des Moines, Iowa, and Tampa, Florida.
"United Rentals is very proud to help vets take their next steps forward. As one of the top military friendly companies, we pride ourselves on supporting service members after their return home," said Chris Hummel, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at United Rentals. "By sharing this mission with SoldierStrong and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing through Turns for Troops, we are able to raise awareness of this cause and make an even greater positive impact in the lives of our veterans."
Among those who have benefitted from such advanced medical technologies is Sergeant Dan Rose, a U.S. Army veteran who was paralyzed by a bomb blast in 2011 during a deployment to Afghanistan. Rose, who is paralyzed but has regained his mobility using a robotic exoskeleton suit, will stand up and walk at the Indianapolis 500, including standing for the national anthem.
SoldierStrong previously awarded Graham Rahal, a four-time winner in the Verizon IndyCar Series, the Commitment to Service Award in recognition of his work raising awareness for the nonprofit organization and its mission to support injured veterans.
"I think for us, the greatest joy that we can have in racing, even more so than winning, is to have a partner like United Rentals who's willing to give back and utilize our platform in a way that is far more powerful than any trophy may ever be," said Graham Rahal, driver of the No. 15 United Rentals Honda in the Verizon IndyCar Series. "This is a program I'm extremely proud of. There's a lot that we all can do here to make a difference. United Rentals stepping up to help SoldierStrong and to match the donation on laps Takuma and Oriol make too is tremendous. I really believe that we can -- I know we can far surpass the number that we raised last year and just continue to help make a difference in the lives of all those who risk so much for you and I. Definitely proud to be a part of it."
To learn more about the program and opportunities to directly support SoldierStrong, visit turnsfortroops.com.
About United Rentals
United Rentals, Inc. is the largest equipment rental company in the world. The company has an integrated network of 1,002 rental locations in 49 states and every Canadian province. The company's approximately 15,000 employees serve construction and industrial customers, utilities, municipalities, homeowners and others. The company offers approximately 3,400 classes of equipment for rent with a total original cost of $11.39 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.
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 2018, the team will compete in their 27th year of open wheel competition and attempt to add to their 25 wins - including the 2004 Indy 500 from pole with Buddy Rice -- their 30 poles, 94 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 United SportsCar Championship with a two-car program and has brought their total to 17 wins, 25 poles and 69 podium finishes as well as a second place finish in the Manufacturer, Team and Driver championships in 2015 and 2017. The team recently announced a two-car program in the world's first production-based electric vehicle race series - the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY. The series will debut in the 2018/2019 season as a support series to the FIA Formula E Championship.
SoldierStrong, previously known as SoldierSocks, helps American patriots literally take their next 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.