The 2022 Outlander pilots were Selena “Mason” Converse, a retired U.S. Air Force Emergency Medical Services technician, and Erin mason, a retired US Navy aviation structural mechanic. As well as being combat veterans, Mason and Erin are sisters-in-law, wives, mothers and entrepreneurs. Working alongside them, third teammate Sammy – Mason’s two-and-a-half-year-old all-black German Shepherd – a PTSD-trained assistance dog, who became the first dog to compete in the Rebel.
Team 207 is a three-year partnership between MMNA and RTJ, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping military members make a successful transition to civilian life. Described by former RTJ teams as a “mini-deployment,” embarking on the Rebel for Mason and Erin meant returning to desert environments similar to those that defined their military service and dealing with difficult memories – and even traumatic – of their time in uniform. Fortunately, they are not afraid of challenges.
“The Rebelle is a rally of navigation – a test of skill, not of speed – but for us it was a test of much more,” said the Converse rider of Team 207. “On the first day, my mind and body reacted upon entering the base camp tent as if entering a military hospital tent in Afghanistan. I was immediately struck by a flashback, massive anxiety and a surge of powerful emotions. I thought I was going to have to quit almost before I started, but with Sammy on duty by my side, Erin’s hard work and constant support, not to mention the amazing community of our fellow Rebels, which was traumatic and trigger has also become therapeutic. . It was a struggle, filled with sandstorms with winds at 60mph and a ton of tears, but we managed to get out of it and we are stronger for it.
“We are very grateful for this platform to educate people about PTSD and the critical importance of service dogs and other supports to cope and recover. We are honored to represent Record the Journey and the important work they do for military veterans, and none of this would have been possible without Mitsubishi Motors providing an all-new Outlander that is comfortable, capable and rock-solid to propel us through this experience. ”
The slightly modified The 2022 Outlander that transported the 207 team to the finish line wore a special livery, paying tribute to the brand’s historic Dakar Rally victory twenty years ago, when Jutta Kleinschmidt drove a Mitsubishi Pajero to victory, becoming the only woman to win the famous Dakar Rally. And Kleinschmidt’s victory isn’t the only anniversary Mitsubishi is celebrating this year. In December, the company will celebrate 40 years of activity in the United States
“Even before Rallye Rebelle 2021 started, the Team 207 crew were already the winners,” said Marc Chaffin, chief operating officer of Mitsubishi Motors. “Mitsubishi Motors’ participation in the event is first and foremost about our partnership with Record the Journey and supporting those who have served honorably in the US military. Additionally, this year, we’re raising awareness about PTSD and the potentially life-saving work of trained service dogs. We were all proud to see Mason, Erin and Sammy cross the finish line in their 2022 Outlander. ”
Alongside Mitsubishi Motors, Allied Financial, Inc., BFGoodrich tires, Nextbase Dash Cameras and Vision wheel in partnership with the RTJ team this year, and Skout’s Honor Pet Supply Co. provided special support to Sammy.
To learn more about the team and the personal and emotional challenges they faced and overcome on the Rebel, Click here. For more information on the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander, the best-equipped and most connected vehicle Mitsubishi has ever sold in the United States, visit https://www.mitsubishicars.com/outlander/2022.
About Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.
Thanks to a network of around 330 partner dealers across United States, Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for the sales, marketing and customer service of Mitsubishi Motors vehicles in the United States. MMNA was the top-ranked Japanese brand in the JD Power 2021 Initial Quality Study, tied for third with Lexus. In his 2030 environmental goals, MMNA’s parent company, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, has set a target of reducing CO2 emissions from its new cars by 40% by 2030 by leveraging electric vehicles (with PHEVs as the centerpiece) to help to create a sustainable society.
With its seat at Franklin, Tennessee, and the company’s operations in California, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, Texas, Florida and Virginia, MMNA directly and indirectly employs more than 8,000 people through United States.
For more information on Mitsubishi vehicles, please contact the Mitsubishi Motors News Bureau at 615-257-2698 or visit media.mitsubishicars.com.
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SOURCE Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.