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Maryland Legionnaires race for Fisher Houses

A good Legion post knows that a veteran is a veteran, regardless of war era served. So it is no mistake that Vietnam Veterans Post 295, in Gaithersburg, Md., is the home post for Patriot Racing, a motocross team dedicated to raising money to help the families and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. One of its two racers just happens to be a veteran of the Gulf War era.

Legionnaires Steve Levow and John Porter, Levow’s stepfather, race motorcycles in the Championship Cup Series and the American Sportsbike Racing Association. The pair raises money for the Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides free or low-cost housing to veterans and military families receiving treatment at military medical facilities.

“Early in the race season of 2008, I came up with the idea of building my race team around generating donations for the Fisher House and also advocating the ongoing needs of our combat-wounded veterans and their families,” said Levow, who served in the Marines from 1989 to 1992, when he was medically discharged due to knee injuries. Patriot Racing’s primary goal is to raise $10,000, but LaVoe said that’s just a start.

“I figured it would be a worthy achievement to reach that goal, but why stop there? Let’s get them $1 million,” Levow said. “But first things first.” By early 2009, Patriot Racing had already raised more than $1,600 for Fisher. There is no sign that the team will stop any time soon.

“I plan on racing for as long as I can,” Levow said. “If JP (John Porter) can race at 62, why can’t I? While still young, my son Jake is showing a lot of interest in motorcycles. If that continues, we’ll get him on one in a couple of years and see where that takes us.”

The results have been impressive. The team, which has only existed for a couple years, has finished fourth through eighth several times. Levow even won the 2008 Summit Point Motorsports Park’s GTO Track Championship. But it’s the team’s dedication to the troops and their families that sets it apart.

Patriot Racing often hosts groups of servicemembers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s “Wounded Warrior” program at its races. For more on Patriot Racing, visit www.patriotracing.us.

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