HomeShowsThe Marty Smith Podcast: Marty Talks Visiting with Veterans at the Indy 500 During Memorial Day Weekend

The Marty Smith Podcast: Marty Talks Visiting with Veterans at the Indy 500 During Memorial Day Weekend

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

We’ve got another great episode of The Marty Smith Podcast that released earlier this week. Once again, host Marty Smith was on assignment for ESPN at last weekend’s Indianapolis 500. After spending five days in Indy, Smith opens up about the experience and how the famous event is much more than just the race itself.

Outsider’s very own Marty Smith had plenty to share about his experiences at the 106th running of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Indy 500 is steeped in tradition on and off the famous track. Arguably the most important of them all is the fact that the race is always held on Memorial Day weekend. Since the early 1900s, the Indy 500 has always coincided with the holiday weekend. As our nation pays its respects to American military members who have sacrificed so much for our country, the Indianapolis 500 keeps that at the forefront of its weekend festivities.

Throughout the week, The Marty Smith Podcast host met and spoke with various military men and women. He and his crew spent time with them and even interviewed some of the veterans in attendance for the big race. At one point during the podcast, Smith opened up about visiting the American Legion garage at the Indy 500 where he met some special men and women from the U.S. military.

Smith took a moment during the show to point out an amazing program the Indy 500 sponsors during its race week at the track. The “Be the One” campaign helps bring awareness to veteran mental health issues and suicide prevention. Smith talks about the importance of the program and shares what he learned about the great cause.

Marty Smith Shares the Importance of the ‘Be the One’ Campaign

The American Legion’s “Be the One” campaign is a year-round program bringing awareness to veterans who may be struggling in our country. As the campaign’s website states, they want friends and family members to ask, listen, and reach out to veterans in need.

“They have a cool program we should just take a moment to mention,” Smith explained. “It’s called ‘Be the One.’ I did not realize that seventeen veterans take their life everyday. Seventeen everyday.”

“That means be the one that makes the difference,” he continued. “Reach out to the veteran, or be the veteran that makes the decision to get the help. Be the person that is a good enough friend and a good enough confidant to reach out to these folks and build them up spiritually and help them. It’s an amazing program, I think it’s so cool they’re doing it.”

On Friday evening, Smith also joined legendary NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson for another American Legion event. It was another perfect opportunity for Smith to learn more about how we can help our military veterans.

“It was an awesome event and I learned so much about what [the American Legion is] doing and how they’re trying to help. It’s just a cool program. So if y’all have friends who are veterans, be fearless to reach out to them. Just try to be a beacon for ’em and listen and engage because they may need it,” Smith added.

The guys talk about that and much more on the new episode of The Marty Smith Podcast. Make sure to check out their entire conversation below, or listen to the full interview on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you listen to your favorite podcasts.