Our upcoming sailing challenge was mentioned in the Tampa Tribune! Reporter Howard Altman wrote
“The effects of the last U.S. foray into Iraq are still being felt by veterans like Army Staff Sgt. Ryan James Moore, who was badly wounded there in 2008.
But just because they are wounded doesn’t mean they are conquered. Starting on Thursday, Moore and eight other wounded veterans will be taking part in the America’s Disabled/Open Regatta Sailing Championships at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club St. Petersburg, which runs from Thursday through Sunday.
Moore and the others will sail thanks to the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge, an organization formed by retired Navy captain David Olson. It’s part of the organization’s ongoing efforts to show the wounded, by climbing mountains, scuba diving and other endeavors, that they aren’t conquered, despite their injuries.
Even with limited training, Olson’s sailors have done well so far, sweeping the novice divisions of the Galveston Disabled Sailing Championships in October.
Aside from sailing, the veterans will take part in clinical observation by the Elk Institute for Psychological Health & Performance on how these types of outings effect those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
Olson says he is looking for one more wounded veteran with sailing experience to join his crew. For more information, contact him at 727-743-7192, For more information on the America’s Disabled/Open Regatta Sailing Championships, call the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, (727) 822-3113 and ask for Shawn Macking, the waterfront manager.”
Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge was mentioned in the Texas A&M University Galveson Campus Chief Academic Officer Newsletter!
One of our tireless and multi-talented team members, Gerard Coleman, was featured in the “Where “In the World” were our Faculty this summer…” section (you’ll have to scroll about half way down the page to view it.)
By William “Bill” Congleton
The Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge tested me physically, mentally and emotionally. I was fortunate enough to bring my son on this trip. I wanted my son to see what teamwork and comaraderie is all about, and that there are other combat wounded veterans who are out living their life to the fullest, not letting the physical and mental strains resulting from combat stop us. During this I was reminded that we all have issues and it is up to us how we respond to our challenges. “Uncommon valor was a common virtue” best fits what I experienced.
My path to recovery wasn’t the same as the other veterans. I did not recover at Walter Reed or Brook Army hospitals. I learned through this trip that it didn’t matter how or where I recovered, all that matters is that I am here and alive, at the end of it all we are the same with the same drive to keep pushing forward, not letting anything stop us. Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge has a motto “Wounded, not Conquered”. The 2014 Scuba Challenge has reminded me of this and as a bonus my son has seen this as well. Thank you CWVC.
One memory that will be with me forever was the underwater navigation course. We were teamed up with the SCUBAnauts to scuba 500 meters as fast and accurate as we could. I was teamed up with a Scubanaut who had won this challenge a couple times. I was determined to give everything I had to keep up.She was fast, pushing me and my abilities to the max. I pushed so hard that I had a panic attack. I felt comfortable pushing through knowing that I had a partner who could help me push past it all. The last couple minutes of the exercise I needed to share her oxygen because I had used up my air. At that moment when the intensity was high for me, I began to calm knowing that this is what trust and team work is all about.