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Old 02-09-2013, 09:56   #1
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Wounded Warrior Sailing Foundation

Hello all,
I am a Marine Corps veteran. I got out of the service in 2008. Luckily, I did not suffer any wounds. However, many do, including physiological wounds related to PTSD and other combat related trauma. I had the chance this morning to talk to two very special young ladies that are pilot/instructors for foundation that teaches women with amputated legs how to fly, which I think is pretty amazing. I've been wanting to help and give to the community of our wounded warriors for awhile now, but haven't really come up with a solution besides making charitable donations to a few of the more common ones such as DAV.

And then, I thought about the therapeutic values of sailing, the team work involved, and the morale and feeling of self worth it promotes. I think sailing would be the perfect activity for wounded warriors to participate in. I'm sure a reasonably sized sailboat could be made to accommodate most disabilities.

Wounded Warriors would be taken into a program one or two at a time, and would be given on shore and then on boat training and courses that would be applicable to ASA or RYC type courses, allowing the veteran to pursue sailing as a hobby or lifestyle. Veterans would also be able to crew on boats and participate in races.

Anyways, maybe I'm jumping the gun alittle here, but I'm tired and wanted to post this before I go back to bed. What do you all think? Would this be a worthy (and as important, doable!) goal? It of course would be a non-profit, and would rely largely on donations from the public and possibly a grant or two that exist for such foundations.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:46   #2
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Re: Wounded Warrior Sailing Foundation

Thanks, MTLandlocked, for bringing this to our attention. At my yacht club, I have a friend with double amputations above the knee, who wears prostheses and is an avid sailor on his 40 foot monohull. Another friend is sailing the Pacific on his 47 foot trimaran, and has been doing so for decades. Boats, particularly multihulls, are terrific platforms for sailing, and get folks back into the game. Another friend, an ex-Marine, manufactures backpacks with wheels that assist folks to get out into the wild world after suffering injury, or just needing a bit of assistance as they age (http://dixonrollerpack.com/).

I am hoping to contact our local VA and Naval Hospital in San Diego to enquire as to how to participate in a program. First, though, I need to finish a couple projects....
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:56   #3
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Re: Wounded Warrior Sailing Foundation

You might want to look at "Hope For The Warriors", who has sponsored wounded Vet Ronnie Simpson (Open Blue Horizon) in his sailing campaigns. There might be some good ideas or even some assistance there.

Best of luck, and thank you for your service.
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Old 02-09-2013, 17:23   #4
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Re: Wounded Warrior Sailing Foundation

Thank you Roy and Paul for the information. Thats a good point you make Roy about multi-hulls. I had not thought about it but it makes sense to me that a person with a physical disability would be able to move around easier with the stability.
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Old 02-09-2013, 18:31   #5
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Re: Wounded Warrior Sailing Foundation

What about the local yacht clubs sponsoring sailing events, that way we can connect with the local vets, introducing them to boating through a crewing experience at first.
Is there a forum for vets, fresh from combat? Maybe that can be the contact point..?
I can talk to corpus yacht club, I know the commodore. The key will be arranging a contact within the veteran community to get names to send invitations to go sailing.

Don't know if any of the would work, just throwing some ideas out. Vets are usually low key, we will have to reach out to them.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:06   #6
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Re: Wounded Warrior Sailing Foundation

Hi! I used to live and sail in the Annapolis, MD area and belonged to an organization designed specifically to teach sailing to handicapped persons. The group is: C.R.A.B. (Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating). You can visit their website for more information at Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating. They should be able to give you some basic info and maybe help you start a similar organization in your area. Good luck and thanks for your desire to help our wounded warriors!

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