Once again, veterans from all over America are converging on San Diego for the annual National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic for recently injured veterans. In late September Challenged America (CA) will provide the sailing venue at the Marriott Marquis Hotel for Navy, Marine, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard veterans from the east, west, south and north who will come to “America’s Finest City” to participate in surfing in La Jolla, cycling and rock-wall climbing in Coronado, kayaking on Mission Bay, track & field activities at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, and sailing on San Diego Bay with Challenged America and Sail USA 11.
Veterans will not only be competing in the sports events provided to challenge our visitors, but they will be on the support side as well. Marshall Lubin, a veteran of four years service in the Navy will be sailing in the Martin 16 fleet as a companion sailor for Challenged America. Serving in Coronado at Seal Team One in the late seventies, Marshall was fortunate to serve on an anti-terrorist team that established protocols that were later put into place at Seal Team Six.
An avid sailor since his teens when Marshall traveled around-the-world, he was lucky to visit over fifteen countries during a two year sojourn. Fourteen months of his voyage was sailing on a 56-foot ketch. He remarks that he was privileged to circumnavigate the planet during his teens on a serendipitous journey that was the adventure of a lifetime.
During his Navy years, Marshall sailed at the Navy run Fiddler’s Cove Marina, on the Silver Strand. There, he taught many friends, from the ‘teams,’ how to sail on the Navy’s Catalina 27 sloops. In the late nineties, he purchased and sailed an Etchell’s for six years, and then discovered Challenged America three years ago. When a call went for companion sailors, Marshall answered the call. This will be his third VA Summer Sports Clinic.
At CA, Marshall learned how to rig the Martin’s and work with the disabled. He has sailed with the blind, deaf, amputees, individuals suffering from Parkinson’s, and spinal cord injuries. Marshall says that “the reward of seeing the grin on the face of a teenager (with a disability) after he’s conquered an afternoon of sailing on the bay is just reward for the effort.”
Marshall is not the only veteran at CA. Urban Miyares, the co-founder of CA, was a soldier in the Army. Lyle Lundberg, Doug Shaw, Mike Swall, Dave Hopkins, Gordo Parham, as well as supporters like “Rags” of the Maritime Institute volunteer at Challenged America, and Lynn Hanna of Sail USA 11 are examples of veterans who keep on giving. Over 50% of the volunteers at CA are veterans, as well as the majority of Challenged America participants. We live in a great country, exemplified by those that show their heart with their actions. Won’t you join us?
P.S. you can view Marshall’s new book, “From Boys 2 Men” on his website @ www.fromboys2men.com .