OPERATION SURF, SANTA CRUZ
For the 5th year in a row, Amazing Surf Adventures sponsored “Operation Surf” in Santa Cruz. The purpose of this organization is to pick 20 severely injured veterans to bring to the California Coast for a week. All expenses are paid for all of the veterans that are picked to participate in this event. The chosen ones are flown to California, put up in a hotel, and then spend 5 days learning to surf with the guidance of expert surfers.
Approximately 100 volunteers help these 20 veterans in the water.
We went to Capitola Beach on Sunday, April 2, 2017 once again to witness this incredible outpouring of support for these severely injured veterans. I took quite a few pictures and also recorded some video of these brave soldiers experiencing surfing, most for the first time.
It turned out that on Sunday, the waves were over 10 feet high! It was an absolutely gorgeous day as far as the weather was concerned. I was astounded to see all of these veterans way out in the ocean enjoying this new found experience. But because the waves were so high, and
because the surfers had to stay way out, it was difficult to get any really good pictures. But I don’t give up! I did manage to get some pictures of a couple of the veterans as they were coming in to the beach after being in the water for hours. I also managed to get a couple of videos of a couple of the veterans as they were surfing! I am always amazed at how vigorously these veterans take to the water.
THE BRAVEST OF THE BRAVE
Last year was the first time I had gone to the beach and witnessed Operation Surf. I do have to say that last year I was extremely humbled by the veterans. Several of the veterans last year had lost both of their legs and one of their hands. Some were missing a hand, some were missing a leg, and others had similar injuries. These men and women all served either in Iraq or Afghanistan. I have known many men and women that have served in the military. Many have been injured physically, but most recovered. However, I have never known anyone to lose a limb or multiple limbs. I have to say that it kind of shocked me and humbled me at the same time last year. I had even more respect for all of the men and women in our armed services. It also deeply saddened me to know that these brave soldiers will live with these injuries for the rest of their lives. Seeing those soldiers really affected me, and I decided right then that I would NEVER complain about my life again! No matter how bad my life is, these men and women have obstacles in their way every single day. And yet, they get up every morning and face their challenges. I am not sure I could do that. My heart also goes out to them.
These are the bravest of the brave. We owe these men and women everything. They and their families have sacrificed so much so that the rest of us can enjoy a day at the beach without fear!
I hope you will take the time to look at the pictures and the videos that I have put on this site. I really want to make everyone aware of the consequences of war. These soldiers will really open your eyes to what can happen, and does happen.
I have started a rather daunting funding campaign on GoFundMe. If you would like to contribute, please go to the GoFundMe website and look for the title “Veteran Tiny Village”. I want to build a Veteran Tiny Village for all of the homeless veterans in my area. It is a huge undertaking and will take over a year to get the first village paid for and built. If all goes well, I intend to travel all over the United States to start these villages for our homeless veterans. If you want to be a part of this movement, PLEASE donate. If you have other services that you could offer, please contact me. I truly appreciate any and all input, advice and funding for this project.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I will respond back if need be. I really appreciate everyone that visits my site and wants to learn more about our veterans and my special project. You can help me make this a dream come true!
Great pictures and such a great cause!…Such a great idea to build villages for homeless veterans. Unfortunately, a lot times veterans don’t get taking care of the way they should, not only for serving this country but as any other person in need, and they find themselves going thru really tough times just to survive.
I really hope your project goes well and you get to do it all over the country. We definitively need more people like you in the world. God bless you.