In late 2011, several SSSS members were asking if there was anything they could do to support our neighbors at Fort Lewis. There was little contact between our club and our soldiers who were serving our country. After numerous meetings, it was decided to host Wounded Warriors from the Warrior Transition Battalion stationed at Fort Lewis. There was much apprehension among our members; would they be in wheel chairs? Would they have PTSD/TBI? Would they be interested?
Well, it turned out great!! The first annual event was held in June of 2012. Over thirty skippers volunteered their boat and crew to escort wounded soldiers and their families for a day on the water in Budd Inlet and a BBQ after sailing. Over 100 soldiers and their families enjoyed the afternoon at Swantown Marina. The children asked ‘Can we do this next year?’ and the soldiers showed their appreciation, each in their own way. The skippers, crews and support staff achieved a feeling of satisfaction knowing they had done more than say ‘Thanks for your service.’
Last year, 2017, we were heartened, yet disappointed learn that the number of wounded soldiers had been reduced dramatically due to the drawdown of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. There were no wounded soldiers to participate in our event! This is wonderful, fewer wounded, yet the members still wanted to stay in touch with those who serve. The event was postponed for 2017 and planning started for 2018. This next year SSSS will host soldiers and families from throughout Joint Base Lewis-McChord. There have been several skippers who have volunteered their boat already and members who wish to support the BBQ and the event!
Should you wish to participate, you may contact Maria Chiechi at isrolive62@gmail or 360.701.5705