|Labor Day and the Unofficial End of Summer...
Now before any of you complain that I am late with the blog this week, it's important to acknowledge and remember, that this is in fact, Labor Day. And while I would never ever claim to be a laborer
of any sort, I do work. Albeit, on a computer. But it's still work.
However, these last two days in a row, I was on my feet with the WOUNDED WARRIORS on Friday from 7AM to 5PM, and from 7:30AM to 5PM with SURF FAMILY ROBINSON on Saturday. And quite frankly, I am not as nimble as I used to be.
In fact, I am anything but. I don't bend as far, or breathe as easy
as I once did in my younger days.
So I was beat on Sunday and today. That's why I'm late.
But it was worth every second of the both days because, I had the absolute privilege once again, to be able to participate in the annual Wounded Warriors HIT THE BEACH VI program on Friday August 30th, 2013. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by so many loving and caring individuals. My friends, and my family, are the best. And I love them all.
War does something to a person.
No one walks away from war with out being affected by it. Whether
or not you carry the physical scars, or the emotional scars. It stays with you. And it stays with you for life. And there are times when you feel alone, and isolated. As if, there is no one on this entire planet who could possibly understand, or know of your deep pain.
there are. And believe it or not, they are surfers.
I wasn't joking when I wrote in 2005, that "Surfing Heals All Wounds."
And neither was Michael Taylor when he approached me in 2007 about doing a Wounded Warriors surfing event. "What do you think of doing something like this?" he asked. It took me all of two seconds to answer him. "Let's do it!" And I am happy to report that we have been doing it every year since. Michael moved to California a few years ago, but has kept in touch over the years about the HIT THE BEACH program.
This year, Michael made a point of coming back to be with us. And this year just so happened to be our biggest event to date. With close to 50 participants and upwards of 100 volunteers our 6th Annual HIT THE BEACH program was a huge success. It was great seeing Michael again. He fit right into the mix. The funny part is we switched roles. Where I used to be in the water and he would pace on the beach, it is the complete opposite. Ha!
Hearing young veterans scarred by war claim that this was the best day of their lives was such an amazing feeling. Watching longtime friends of mine take time off from work to volunteer to take these brave men and women surfing will stay with me forever.
And if I can mention this little fact, of this most memorable day, it is this. The weather was perfect, but then again, so was the surf. There had been little or no waves for weeks on end. The day before was cold and windy. The day before that, we were socked with a dense fog. You could not see the beach. Let alone the ocean.
And the day after? It was flat. No surf. So what do I attribute that to?
I could say that it was God. I could say that it was pure luck. Or, I could say, that someone, or something, realizes each year, that these brave Americans come to our beach each year
to go surfing. And they are going to find sun and surf. No matter what.
Because, that's how we roll here in Northern New England.
These are the volunteers who came out on Saturday morning to help with the Surf Family Robinson activities. SFR by the way, is all of 21 years old. And it's such a huge event for the local surf kids that it requires a team to put it all together. And once again, I have such a team. My loving family and friends are there each year helping out.
And let me tell you, putting up with me for two whole days requires some nerves of steel, and very thick skin.
As most of you know, I am not one for mincing words. I see wrong and try to right it. Though my wife and kids have cringed over the years knowing this, they all seem to put up with it. "It's just Ralph being Ralph."
My bark may be worse than my bite these days,
but I seem to get the job done each year. That's because I surround myself with amazing volunteers, who have big hearts, and strong backs. And I love each and every one of them. So, with another Wounded Warriors HIT THE BEACH and SURF FAMILY ROBINSON behind us, it's safe to say again...that, “Surfing heals all wounds.”
And it does. Boy does it ever.
There is two whole galleries from last week's insane MOLLY contest. It is the adult contest and it's worth the look.
This coming September 11th, 2013 local veteran's post 35 in Hampton will be adding 5 new names to their GWOT monument. With all the hoopla in Syria these past few weeks, it's important to remember, and acknowledge the fallen from the state of NH who have given their lives for our very freedom since 9-11-01.
Now for Some Of My Weekly Global Observances:
So the big news this week is Syria. President Obama wants to launch Cruise missiles at the Syrian Army that is fighting against the Rebel factions. As most of you already know the Syrian Army used chemical weapons against their own people last week killing close to 1,400 civilians, including women and children. Well, that might seem like a good idea on paper and for humanitarian reasons, however, the Rebels that we would be helping, have ties with Al Qaida.
Yes, the same Al Qaida that attacked the US on 9-11. I for one, have a problem with that. Especially seeing how 9-11 is right around the corner. Are we now the air support for the very same people who want to see us all dead?
Look, I realize this is a "dammed if you do and dammed if you don't" situation for Obama. But getting us involved in yet another war in the Middle East, just seems
like a bad idea.
We have enough problems back home right now. The average cost of one of those missiles is close to $2million dollars. How about spending that money on creating jobs here in America?
Let Syria and Al Qeada work out their own problems.
These are the Fallen from New Hampshire. A majority of these men were killed by Al Qeada. We don't want to help the Terrorists who killed these brave Americans.
This is not a joke this week. This is a reminder of who we would be helping if we bomb Syria.
KSM at GITMO posing with his fellow terrorists in Syria.
As always, let's take a minute and enjoy the weekly humiliation of the mastermind terrorist who killed 3,000 innocent civilians on September 11th, 2001.
Note to self. Must pick up some Gas Masks at Home Depot.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Kristen Rodgers September 2nd, 2013!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jesse Rose September 13th, 2013!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Max Fatello September 14th, 2013!
REST IN PEACE Tom "TK" Kennedy
GOOD LUCK to our Good Friend and fellow Veteran Wes Osswald as he prepares for his 26.5 Run/Walk
to help Battle Cancer . Click on this image to find out more and how you can help Wes out.
Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of The Week every week for the last 9 years. **Think about BUYING a HIGH RES Photo
from any of the weeks on RPOTW.
Keep in mind the photos you steal from this site are low RES. You can't blow them up. Order HIGH RES photos that are suitable for framing. It's a GREAT Gift Idea. A nice framed photo of your favorite Surfer or Surf Break!
my friends... Surfing Heals All Wounds.
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.