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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

"The West Coast's Premier Expeditionary Training Base"

Therapeutic Ocean Seminars for the Wounded Warriors

By Pfc. Emmanuel Necochea | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | January 27, 2016

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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 sessions.

 “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. 


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