A San Diego Nonprofit Gets Disabled Vets in the Healing Waters of the Ocean
Riding the wave to better health, one board at a time.
- CategoryLife Outside
- Photos courtesy ofStarbucks
In a recent story on Upworthy, former Navy Seal Alex West reveals the physical and mental transformation he experienced after 15 deployments. “’[It] really put a lot of strain on my body,” he explained, and that strain left West struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and a traumatic brain injury.’”
Despite conditions that would shatter most, Alex found salvation in the water, one of the elements that drew him to the Navy in the first place.
“The moment that you catch a wave, there’s something about it in your mind that there is nothing else that goes on in the world,” he shares. “You just step away from that everyday life of getting ready for deployments or for combat.”
This got Alex thinking. How could he pay it forward and offer vets the healing he experienced in the ocean? This included men and women who lost legs or live with other injuries, and no equipment on the market designed to help them surf comfortably.
This inspired him to start One More Wave, a nonprofit based in San Diego that helps disabled veterans get back on the water with equipment designed especially for them.
West and his crew connected with vets who badly needed new gear to get back on the water and helped them through inventive designs and community support. “We’re bringing guys out, we’re studying them, we’re surfing with them,” West explains.
“By providing them with a truly customized adaptive surfboard, we are able to help [them] catch more waves.”
You can read the inspiring results of One More Wave here.