Jersey Shore Vietnam veteran helps fellow vets get back in the water
He wanted to enjoy the ocean again and and be able to participate in recreational sports. A wounded Vietnam War veteran is now able to do so and he's paying it forward by helping other disabled vets do the same.
Operation Beachhead is the brainchild of Michael Ricci. He started it in 2010 and provides year-round sports activities for veterans, active duty troops and individuals with special needs.
The name symbolizes the fight and perseverance of our troops, veterans and the program's participants.
"Attack the surf or attack frozen surf at the rink or the ski slopes and take control and then establish your beachhead," Ricci said. "Attack, take control and establish your beachhead in whatever event."
Participants can enjoy surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, boogie boarding, cycling, ice skating, sled skating, hockey, reiki, yoga, martial arts, fitness training, art therapy, acupuncture, massage and wheelchair basketball.
Ricci organizes as many as four events a month.
Through instruction and with some lifeguard assistance, about 225 veterans and participants are able to head into the water and crash a couple small waves.
You can learn more about Operation Beachhead and become a volunteer by checking them out on Facebook.