What People Are Saying…

To my new OWS family,

Thank you for these past few days. This will be something I’ll never forget. My goal coming here wasn’t to surf, I wanted to meet new people and learn about them. I know there may not be another opportunity to be around a group of people like this and I couldn’t be more appreciative of the stories from the people here. It is very clear you all know your trade, love what you do and work your ass off to cultivate an atmosphere of family amongst yourselves and for others. Thank you for cultivating this community. Please don’t work to hard that you miss the transformations around you and keep having fun (that seems easy enough for all of you). You are all ambassadors here, doing the Lord’s work. Sometimes a lot is asked from us, some more than others, but it is so appreciated!

Brian Tremain

For me, never learning how to swim and never wake boarding before, I was very nervous about going out on the water. However, because of the instructors I felt comfortable. After I was able to finally get up on the board and surf for the first time, I just wanted to do it again and again! For anyone going through tough times, this event is so helpful. My experience on the boat and on the water was such a great relief. For a few moments, I finally felt “peace”. I felt free from all the stress. I knew it was temporary and I knew when it was over, l’d still have to go back and face everything again. But, with everything I’ve gone through and all the challenges I’m still dealing with, I needed that so much. It was so worth it. Thank you for inviting me out there. It was such a great day for me Riley Schuster Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office I loved reading his comments. Thank you, Robby! I feel so grateful to you.

Mental Wellness Coordinator

Good evening sir it’s Eric Finch with Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.
I wanted to reach out to you to thank you for yesterday it meant so much to me to hear your story and how you were doing so much for the community for me hearing all of that made the surfing just a bonus you are truly an inspiring person and for that I thank you so much.

If at anytime you ever need help or someone else to be with you I would be truly honored to help you with anything.

Again, I cannot thank you enough have a good night and god bless.
I commend you for everything you do !!!!!

Eric Finch

You know, I’ve been thinking about this since yesterday.
You kept saying that we are hero’s, and honestly it’s just what we do.
We care for people and for the community, even when they can’t care for themselves.
And the people I met, and things that I witnessed from you and your team was the exact same thing.
I am so thankful that you and your team are doing the work that you are !!
It is truly making a difference !!!!

You guys are hero’s as well, and deserve more thanks than I can say!
Thank you again for the amazing day and experience !!
You & your team are all such kind, caring,
compassionate and driven people.

It doesn’t go unnoticed !!!!

Hero’s need hero’s too, and that’s what you are for me.

You gave me so much more faith in people and in the world.
It’s so refreshing to see good people doing great things.

Autumn J
Trauma Nurse Minnesota

The 3 day program was nothing like I ever expected or experienced. Part one at Victory Lanes with some kart racing and good clean racing (friendly competition). Haha gave me a chance to see just how much I’m NOT limited due to my disability. And to show some others that putting your mind and heart into it can give you a great outcome. Man, who would ever guessed I could take part and work/compete next to a professional nascar pit crew! Having the chance to team up with my fellow vets and learn then put down some killer times on changing 4 tires and fuel. What a once in a lifetime opportunity. Moving on into part three ON THE WATER you guys gave me the chance only many dream about. Learning and advancing in Wakesurf and feeling like nothing is any different from the next guy.

All and all I want you to know that you guys have saved my life and I seen in 3 days how you have touched and saved many others lives. Living the life styles we are forced to live now and not always feeling like you belong or need to carry on, you guys really stepped up and made it very clear that no matter how you or what you have to deal with on a daily there is always a way to have fun and belong. I’ve was able to do things I never thought I would be able to do again or ever get the chance to do. You guys brought together men and women and created the bond we once new. Put together a family and created new families and you gave us people We can call and talk to and hang out with and always feel and know we belong.

Thank you for a program that is like non other and thank you for saving my life and thank you for the memories I will never forget. Your program meant the world to me. Keep up the great work you guys do. See you on the water or on the track soon

Tim Conner
SGT/USMC Combat Veteran

BEST experience on the lake! Robby can get ANYONE up on a surfboard. A safe and fun time is a guarantee. 10/10!

EJ McCormick

Dear Operation Wake Surf,

This is Army Veteran Ziggy Graves and I wanted to write you guys to say thanks again for allowing me to be a part of the Salute 2 Service event held on Lake Norman back at the beginning of June. Those 3 days were honestly the best time I have had in years and I cannot begin to explain how grateful I am for everything that each and every one of you guys did for us at the event and continue to do on a daily basis. It has been a struggle for me to meet and interact with new people since I got out the Army and this event allowed me to truly connect and talk to people like I had not done in years. Also, this event allowed me to rediscover water which I am now forever grateful to all of you for. I had always loved the water since I was a child but never until this event understood how much it could help me and how healing it could be. I was a competitive swimmer when I was in high school and spent 3-4 hours a day in a pool for years on end. During that time of my life I never thought of what water could mean more than for swimming. Once I was injured in service and was medically retired, I found myself staying away from the water and always used my years of swimming or my disabilities as an excuse to stay away. When I took the leap to come on this trip knowing I was going to learn to wake surf I honestly was very nervous about getting back in the water but during those few days thanks to everyone involved with operation wake surf I rediscovered water and it shaped a whole new meaning for me. Being on and in the water for those few days was awesome and it put a smile on my face that hadn’t been there in years and made me feel extremely happy. It allowed me to live in the moment and enjoy everything. While on that trip I came to understand how therapeutic the water was and could be for me and how it could help me to clear and heal my mind, body and soul. Honestly that event was the only time in a long time that I was able to turn my mind off and take a brief moment from all of life’s issues.  The salute 2 service event allowed me to rediscover a part of myself that I had thought would be lost forever and I will never forget it. This event was absolutely fantastic and allowed everyone involved to come together with each other and focus on the present which is sometimes a very hard thing to do for us veterans. I will never forget those 3 days thanks to Operation Wake Surf and the whole team involved in putting this event together. It was honestly one of the best experiences I have ever had.

Ziggy Graves
Army Veteran

Operation Wake Surf, not just getting out and surfing behind the boat. It’s about being apart of something that gives back, reminds you of your abilities, and builds family. I’ve been able to make dreams a reality, push my limits, and create a bond/brotherhood with more than just my military family. Being apart of Operation Wake Surf has kept me moving forward and knowing at any time I can get on the phone and know there is someone there who can challenge me to be better or just laugh and carryon when that’s what is needed.

Tim Conner

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