An idea became a vision; a vision became a mission; and a mission brought Operation Beachhead to life.
This life continues to grow through the support of people who wish to show their appreciation and thanks to our veterans.

Operation Beachhead

An idea became a vision; a vision became a mission;
and a mission brought Operation Beachhead to life.

August 13 2016 ~ A Day of Firsts

Operation Beachhead celebrated several “firsts” on Saturday August 13th.  It was the first time Operation Beachhead held two events on the same day: one in Wildwood, NJ and one in Sea Girt NJ. Another first was experienced by many of the participants, as it was their first time in the ocean, and for five participants it was their first Operation Beachhead experience.

 

The Wildwood event was the Second Annual Storming the Wildwood Surf ~ Charlie Butler Memorial, and was the co-sponsored by Wildwood American Legion Post #184. Charlie Butler was a member of the Post.  The Post does a wonderful job making us feel welcomed. Also on hand to welcome the team for the day’s events was Cape May County Freeholder, E. Marie Hayes.   

 

Post members arrived early before the event began and set up beach chairs tents, umbrellas, tents, and provided us with a cooler of water. During the event, music for our enjoyment.  Arrangements were made for the Wildwood Beach Taxi to transport people from the boardwalk to the beach. The Post also provided transportation using the Post golf carts to take people from the parking lot to the beach. Kona Sports and Ocean Outfitters provided equipment and supplies for the team to use.

All of the day’s participants in Wildwood were new to Operation Beachhead and were excited to give adaptive surfing a try. The Wildwood Beach Patrol assigned five lifeguards to help Operation Beachhead with the day’s activities, while the regular beach assigned guards watched to make sure everyone was safe. The guards along with the Operation Beachhead volunteers and with the help of some local surfer volunteers did an outstanding job talking to the participants assuring them of their safety and, of course, helping them in the water to catch some waves. For newbies, all it took was the first ride in, and they were hooked!

 

After a few hours on the beach, the Operation Beachhead team walked over to the American Legion Post and was treated to a homemade lunch prepared by the Post members. Just like last year the food was a welcomed and delicious treat after a long exciting day on the beach.

 

We thank the Wildwood Beach Patrol, Police Department, and the EMS. In addition we thank the Wildwoods Tourism Board, the local newspapers and publications for promoting the Operation Beachhead Event. We thank Pat Caldwell, Volunteer Director at the Delaware Veterans Administration Hospital and we acknowledge American Legion Post #184 for co-sponsoring the event and providing lodging.

 

Meanwhile, approximately a hundred miles north in Sea Girt NJ some new participants were also experiencing “storming the surf”.  As always when an event is posted, a large number of volunteers are ready to come lend a hand, providing assistance to move, setup and break down the equipment, collect waivers, sell shirts, pick up lunch, and of course, assist in the water activities.


Participants were accompanied by family members who were encouraged to also join in the water activities. Everyone had a great time. The volunteer watermen and women made sure everyone had plenty of time in the ocean on such beautiful day.


After several hours of surfing, the participants and volunteers shared a lunch together before it was time to pack up for the day. 

The community of Sea Girt and the beach staff always makes the Operation Beachhead team feel welcomed and provides us with the ever-present lifeguard staff, who help to keep everyone safe, we thank them.


While there were two separate events on this day, and in two different towns, the one thing that was obvious at both events was the wonderful smiles.