PWC – Wounded Warriors
This morning I planned for three retired Lieutenant Colonels to get together to compare notes on life after the military and USAR. I’ve known these guys for decades and since my idea of retirement is entirely different from about 95% of the population I may share a few insights.
The following story was written be on or about August 21, 2008. Enjoy!
Two words you don’t usually associate together are PWC (personal watercraft) and volunteers but that’s just what we came down to do in America’s finest city (San Diego), home of the U.S. Marines. “Semper Fi” Marines (“always faithful”).
Now if you served time in our armed forces or ever watched a good war flick you’ll quickly see military folks sticking together in times of good and bad. That’s just the way Marines are; they stay in the fight until their battle is won, both on and off the battlefield. Marines are that special breed of people that take care of each other before, during and after the battle.
And so it was on a warm and sunny Thursday, August 21st 2008, that “us” volunteers reported for duty on beautiful Mission Bay Park in San Diego, California. One of our leaders and organizers – Ray Hinton was on hand bright and early to ensure everyone had a great time.
To give you an indication of where we were; if you squeezed the throttle on you PWC from the launch ramp on Fiesta Bay to just a short burst of wide open throttle (WOT) riding you would be at Sea World home of big Shamu the Killer Whale.
Our support camp was located on Crown Point. Why even the lifeguards showed up to move us. Seems the San Diego PWC Club assaulted the wrong beach upon arrival. That was quickly remedied by the lifeguards enlisting their boat to move all the beach gear to the right spot. By the time it was all said and done all was in order to include: a) combat veterans; b) over 20 high spirited Americans who care about their brothers and sisters; c) 20 PWC’s; d) 4 stand-ups; e) 1 Ski-nautique; f) kayaks, two sail boats and one power boat (The Semper Fi) owned by a Marine Corp Gunny Sergeant. The Semper Fi was enlisted for not only giving rides but for making waves.
Why did we need a boat to make waves you may ask? Why non other than Ross Champion showed up to lend his support to this great worthy cause. Providing the crowd with some great air time on his stand up. http://www.ross-champion.com/ ). If you don’t yet know who he is see PWC Moderator LisaLisa’s comments below: “Going huge and clean in the clear blue curling surf of Montelivet, France, Champion pulled off a first place win during the first round of the 2008 International Freeride Watercraft Association’s 2008 season opener.
The Injured Service members also known as Wounded Warriors were organized by the San Diego Adaptive Sports Foundation who teamed up with the San Diego PWC Club (http://sdpwc.com) to enable them to enjoy a unique “Day at the Bay” water, boating and overall fun opportunity.
My long time friend Mel Pasley set up a booth for the Handicapped Scuba Association. A 1981, organization whose long time international organization has dedicated itself according to its mission to improving the physical and social well being of people with disabilities (http://www.hsascuba.com/).
Why just weeks earlier in nearby Lake Forest, the two presidential candidates were speaking about volunteerism in America and now here we were today. McCain said that the nation’s greatest moral shortcoming is its failure to “devote ourselves to causes greater than our self-interests. With Obama responding by saying that America’s greatest moral failure is its insufficient help to the disadvantaged, especially victims of racism, sexism and poverty.
PWC Forums (Pwc Today, GreenHulk, PWCOffshore, etc) and PWC riding clubs; if you also want to help make a difference in a number of people’s lives why not start with providing a separate topic (volunteerism) in your forum or club web site. We challenge you to “find the need” for others will surely help fill it like was done in San Diego by their PWC Club.
Yes, we have big problems facing America but, if you’ve got the toys to play with then why not also make a profound difference in someone’s life. The Day at the Bay was a perfect example of helping our injured brothers and sisters with permanent physical disabilities following their return from Iraq or Afghanistan. Thank you for giving them an opportunity to improve their overall quality of life, fitness and lifestyle. For more information visit one of the following web sites to see how your club can also help make a difference. www.sdasf.org; www.redcross.org; www.volunteercentersca.org/; www.californiavolunteers.org/; http://www.volunteermatch.org/search/opp197529.jsp
Because I don’t know about it doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening. So, please, use this thread below to let the moderator know if you also see this as a worthwhile cause or to let us know what you or your club are doing for persons with physical disabilities, the less fortunate or the even the environment.
A special thank you for helping out our troops goes to AWA (American Watercraft Association) PWC Club President Ray Hinton; The Corky McMillin Companies, SDASF (San Diego Adaptive Sports Foundation); a chapter of The Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project, Disabled Sports USA, Bialis Family Foundation Clara Project; Handicapped Scuba Association, Ross Champion and a host of many other volunteers. The following is borrowed and I am sorry for I cannot quote the original author.
And a special thank you Wounded Warriors who have seen more suffering and death than you should in your short lifetime. As an American Fighting Man you have stood atop mountains and wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat.
You feel every note of the National Anthem vibrate through your body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to ‘square-away’ those around you who haven’t bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, you defend their right to be disrespectful. You are paying the price for our freedom.
You are the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years and ask for nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.
We will always remember you, for you have earned our respect and admiration with your blood.
For our Military “Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us. Amen.
US Marine Corps Rules:
1. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.
2. Decide to be aggressive enough, quickly enough.
3. Have a plan.
4. Have a back-up plan, because the first one probably won’t work.
5. Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
6. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun whose caliber does not start with at least a “4.”
7. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.
8. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral and diagonal preferred.)
9. Use cover or concealment as much as possible.
10. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
11. Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
12. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance or tactics. They will only remember who lived.
13. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating your intention to shoot.
US Navy Rules:
1. Go to Sea.
2. Drink Coffee.
3. Deploy the Marines.