About the Program
According to a briefing released on February 1, 2013, by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), at least 22 veterans commit suicide every day in America! Furthermore, young male veterans (under the age of 30) are three times more likely to commit suicide than civilian males in the same age range. The statistics have also increased for female veterans in all age brackets.
To put this in perspective, at least "22 a day" translates to at least 8,030 deaths a year! This number of 8,030 is a minimum number of veterans who are ending their own lives each year! We, as a nation, are losing more soldiers each year at home than all soldiers Killed in Action in all wars and operations since the first Iraq war!
According to mental health professionals, nearly one-quarter of all veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or major depression.
From the statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), approximately 83,000 veterans live in The Greater Central Valley and Central Foothills.
It is because of the above reality that American Veterans First and Stockton Sailing Club have partnered with their expertise to provide effective sailing therapy for traumatized and wounded veterans.
The sailing therapy is similar in concept to veterans working with horses or being exposed to a stressful environment where they can show a success. Fromcomfortableday long trips in the summer to intense racing in harsh freezing cold conditions in the winter, sailing brings mental relief to our wounded veterans. There is definitively no doubt that sailing heals and we are proud to say that we contribute to this healing process.
The immersion into an environment where everybody's work counts and a collective will be applied to survive has two effects: while it cleanses the mind it also shows that expertise developed in combat can be applied with success towards competitive sailing or just recreational sailing.
Even though at times it can be seen as extreme, this sailing activity is not dangerous! Taking veterans sailing provides an often new and definitively liberating experience. Veterans are exposed to new sounds, new feelings, new or renewed social interaction and new types of challenges. Learning to sail at Stockton Sailing Club and being supported by others while on a sailboat on the San Joaquin River Deep Water Channel at the Port of Stockton exposes our veterans to positive and constructive stress. It forces each veteran to work with other unfamiliar veterans to make a team that gets the boat moving!
Our Sail to Recovery program is modeled after a successfulandaward winning Sail Ahead program in Long Island, New York, that now has served thousands of veterans. The veterans returning from sailing trips are energized, eager to set sail again and relish the mental freedom sailing provides.
We pride ourselves in being on the home-front for our returning veterans and fighting PTSD, the invisible enemy! Our mission is to heal wounded veterans through sailing, our fleet is potentially every sailboat moored in every single anchorage around the Delta... this is a work in progress!
Simply put, sailing is positively one of the best therapies for many.
Sail to Recovery
Take A Veteran Sailing