If you haven't heard of Operation Beachhead....you should check them out. It is a non-profit organization founded by Vietnam Veteran, Mike Ricci. Not only is Mike one of the kindest, most resilient, caring souls I've ever met, he had the vision and the determination to put this group together with the assistance of his equally awesome board of amazing human beings. These guys and girls have come together to turn the visible and invisible wounds of war and life into an experience that bonds people, creates a community of healing, and a whole lot of fun.
I was introduced to them by the chiropractors of Integrative Health and Welllness in Belmar, New Jersey and had the opportunity to not only volunteer with the organization at two of their events this summer, but I was also included as a civilian participant with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress. It is so great to see so many great people coming together, overcoming challenges,and just being who we are, having fun and not getting caught up in the things that have the potential to hold us back.
The avid watermen who are part of this team are a safety net out in those waves and they are so skilled in making each person feel confident "storming the surf" as Mike would say. I have appreciated the camaraderie of the veterans who've been in the water with me and felt very much like I was back in the WTU beside the soldiers. It was the same sense of safety, compassion, and support. I can't say enough about this group.