This week marks a rare opportunity for a group of 14 combat wounded and injured veterans in Galveston, Texas. These warriors come from different parts of the country, with varying issues. Whether it’s a traumatic brain injury, partial paralysis, post-traumatic stress or limb loss, they are all on a mission of healing and self-discovery.
Our Challenge Warriors have gathered for the CWVC Adaptive Sailing Championships Challenge, sponsored by KO Sailing. KO Sailing was kind enough to donate the sailing gear for our warriors in an effort to thank them for their service and provide an opportunity for learning the sport.
Competitive sailing is not easy. You just don’t jump in a boat and take off on the high seas. There’s a lot more to it than that. In a one week “boot camp” our warriors will learn how to sail with the help of the Texas A&M at Galveston Sailing Team, coached by Gerard Coleman, as well as members of Sea Scout Base Galveston. It is a lot to learn, crammed into one week! But more importantly, it’s amazing how these two organizations are supporting the event with their resources and sharing their love of competitive sailing with wounded veterans. CWVC gives a big salute to both for making this such a special event for our guys.
Gerard has been involved with Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge since 2011, and the Adaptive Sailing Challenge is his brainchild. The Sailing boot camp runs Oct. 20-24, and is only part of the overall challenge. After learning the ropes, these new sailors will compete in back-to-back racing events – the Galveston Disabled Sailing Championships (Oct. 27-29) and the U.S. Disabled Sailing Championships (Oct. 29-Nov. 1). It’s a brand new program for CWVC and we anticipate making it part of our yearly offerings.
For the warriors, many of whom are new to sailing and CWVC, it is a time of camaraderie and learning. Together they will study the art of sailing competitively. They will share information and emotions that only soldiers understand. Bonding as only a band of brothers feel when they are together. New friendships will seem old by the time they depart for home.
These Challenge Warriors will forever remember what they have learned….because not all the learning will take place in boats sailing on Galveston Bay.