Project Wounded Warrior veterans learn to paddle at Kure Beach
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A nonprofit serving injured veterans hosted an event Friday, giving them a chance to catch a few waves and connect with each other.
The Wounded Warrior Project took over a dozen surfing and stand-up paddleboarding veterans to Carolina and Kure Beaches Thursday and Friday.
The agency’s goal is to help veterans and service members who suffered physical or mental injury or illness while serving in the military on or after 9/11.
“It’s been amazing to watch them grow up and be able to be you know, kind of socialize with each other and have a good time out here in the sun, like it’s just awesome,” said Amber McCluney, Specialist outreach from the Wounded Warrior Project.
“It’s definitely a confidence factor. One of the things about Wounded Warriors is that they allow you to experience things that you wouldn’t normally do, but at the same time they give you that support to be able to overcome any fear or whatever. . This is my third time attending this clinic, and it’s actually my first time going,” said veteran Seantoya Hinton.
Thanks to a partnership with another association, ocean cureveterans were able to safely learn to surf and paddleboard.
“The first time I did stand up paddleboarding, actually a few months ago I went skiing with them and we really had a blast on that too. I’ve been part of the Wounded Warriors Project for about 4 years now, and it’s really, really helped change my life with my PTSD and other mental issues that I have, and it’s really helped me tremendously,” said said veteran Tim Stephenson.
Many veterans said they were grateful for the opportunity to bond with other veterans.
“I’ve been a wounded warrior – probably since I left the army. So, it was like 2010. You really create lasting relationships, lasting bonds, every time you go to an event. You will always meet someone new. You know, it’s always nice to be able to rub shoulders with your own fellow veterans,” Hinton said.
This is one of many free events organized by Wounded Warrior Project for veterans.