Camp Pendleton, Calif. -- --
Camp Pendleton hosted an Ocean
Therapy Seminar for Marines from Wounded Warrior Battalion-West at Del Mar
beach here, Jan. 26.
Ocean Therapy Sessions gives the Marines a chance to learn
how to surf and about the therapeutic benefits of the ocean.
“Our goal is using the sport and experience of learning to
surf to inspire their self-esteem, self-confidence and their vision forward,”
said Carly M. Rogers, the director of programs for the Jimmy Miller Memorial
Foundation. “We feel surfing can be this catalyst that gives them a vision
forward on what civilian life might be like and how it can be something they
can engage in afterwards.”
In these sessions, they provide Marines one-to-one surfing
classes where they have professional surfers, surf instructors and life-guards
when they are taught to surf. Families are welcomed to also come to these
“A lot of our
participants are challenged by symptoms related to Post traumatic stress and
mild to moderate brain injury, so by surfing they often say that it’s the best
night sleep they’ve had,” said Rogers. “They also say that it calms their
anxiety. It’s a space where they can be quiet and they can be present.”
Before the Marines begin surfing, a team of mental health
professionals and professional surfers hold group discussions about the
benefits of surfing and what it offers these Marines mentally and physically.
In these discussions Marines and the instructors talk about their particular
situations and what their goals are with this program.
“I just want to get back in the water, to be able relax, to
learn how to have fun again” said Gunnery Sgt. David Simons, a platoon sergeant
with the Wounded Warrior Battalion-West. “I appreciate what they are doing for
us. It helps the recovering.”
Therapeutic Ocean Seminars are open two Tuesdays a month and
they are open to any Marine or any veteran that wants to participate.