Make your home page

Blind combat veteran gets high-speed IMS ride from Mario Andretti

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) – A combat veteran and incoming CEO of a local nonprofit got a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Tuesday.

Jeff Mittman is set to become Bosma Enterprises’ first CEO who is blind. Bosma Enterprises is a nonprofit that helps adult Hoosiers who are blind of visually impaired gain life skills that allow them to remain independent and self-sufficient.

Mittman served 21 years in the Army. He was blinded in 2005 when the vehicle he was driving was hit by an IED in Iraq. After hearing his story, Indy 500 legend and 1969 race winner Mario Andretti invited Mittman to join him for a lap around the track.

“It’s very satisfying because I enjoy it myself to boot, but I’ve said it a million times. This is the best way to showcase our sport,” Andretti remarked.

“It was great, it was great,” Mittman exclaimed. “If I could drive that fast in Iraq, I would have never gotten hit. It was a good time. We appreciate it.”

As part of the experience, Mittman tested new smart glasses which connect blind and low-vision people to highly trained agents that can narrate visual information.