Ottawa, Ontario – Two Canadian soldiers wounded in action in Afghanistan plan to raise funds and awareness as they race in the Targa Newfoundland rally this September.
Master Corporal Jody Mitic and Corporal Andrew Knisley will run under the banner of the Soldier On Fund, a trust fund established by the Canadian Forces to improve the quality of life of ill or injured soldiers through active participation and peer interaction in fitness and sports.
Both soldiers suffered injuries in combat that have left them with just three arms and one leg between them. In 2007, Mitic was on patrol in Kandahar Province when he stepped on a buried land mind, losing both of his legs below the knees. Less than two years later, he competed in a half-marathon in Ottawa. Knisley was on patrol in 2009 when artillery rounds detonated by remote control cost him his right leg below the hip and partial use of his right hand. Less than a year later, he entered a five-kilometre fundraising event.
“We start every day with the belief there’s nothing we can’t do,” said Mitic, who will share the driving chores with Knisley. “We want every soldier going through what we went through to have that same determination. We want to show them what’s possible.”
The team will put together a car and equipment with the help of retired Major General Lewis MacKenzie, an active race driver and former Targa Newfoundland competitor. An announcement on the team’s choice of car is expected shortly. Both Mitic and Knisley have graduated from the Motorsport Club of Ottawa racing school and will be tutored at a special Targa Newfoundland school run by former Targa winner Glen Clarke.
The soldiers are also planning a fundraising drive to collect donations for Soldier On. For more information, or to donate, visit Soldier On. The word “Targa” should be entered in the comment box.