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Car show in Clermont County this weekend will honor Indiana, Ohio servicemembers killed in Afghanistan

Car show Batavia Township
Posted at 8:29 PM, Aug 01, 2022

BATAVIA TOWNSHIP, Ohio — The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan was not only chaotic, but deadly. On Aug. 26, 2021, a suicide bomber detonated their explosives just outside Kabul airport killing 13 service members.

“So when it comes to a fallen hero, a lot of times they'll have a fanfare and circumstance and pomp done for the families," Army veteran Carl Whalen said. "But then after the dust settles, it's silence. And oftentimes that is pretty deafening, more deafening than the crowds that lined the streets to say thank you for your service."

Whalen founded 'Back the Heroes Rumble,' a car show-themed nonprofit with the focus of honoring fallen police officers and members of the armed forces.

“We want to make sure that no fallen heroes are ever forgotten,” he said. “Also want to make sure the families know that the community's got their six, regardless of how long ago their hero was lost.”

This is the fourth year for the rumble, and the board members sifted through a pile of nominees to honor and pay tribute to this year. Ultimately, Indiana native Corporal Humberto Sanchez and Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Maxton Soviak of Ohio were chosen.

“We make sure the families are involved with what we do,” he said.

The families of both men killed in action will be at the event set for Aug. 6 at Batavia Township Park. Carl Whalen expects more than 300 entrants to the show. The money raised will get split and donated to the two families.

'Got Your Six Garage Custom Cars & Classics' car group is a veteran-founded club where the thread of military service ties them together.

“We've all met each other at Carl's event, almost everybody in the club," Michael Williams said. "And we came up with the name because we've all helped each other."

He said 'Got Your Six' has each other’s back when it comes to support, and their motto blends perfectly with the mission of Whalen’s to support the families who’ve lost a hero.

“They put their life on the line and, you know, the least we can do is show up for them also,” Williams said.

Brad Bates is the Vice President of the Got Your Six car club.

“If I could give more, I would," Bates said. "That's, that's who I am. That's how I've always been."

Currently serving in the Air National Guard, he said the bond over cars and the desire to continue to support the family of a fallen service member speaks volumes.

“There's no family like a military family,” he said.

To find out more information about the upcoming event by visiting backtheheroesrumble.com.

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