Often times soldiers and their families don’t get an opportunity to take a vacation. Between deployments, shorter leave times and economic difficulties, plans just don’t pan out. This is especially true for wounded or ill veterans.
But a nonprofit in Long Beach, N.Y., is changing that. The Long Beach Waterfront Warriors bring veterans and their families to town for a fun, relaxing vacation getaway. After visiting Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C., and observing the needs of these young heroes, a group of folks from Long Beach decided to do something to supplement the excellent medical care our wounded Armed Forces members were receiving.
Financed solely by donations, Long Beach Waterfront Warriors provide transportation, lodging and meals, as well as special beach and ocean activities, in many cases bringing families together who had been unable to spend any time with their wounded loved ones.
“The mission of The Long Beach Waterfront Warriors is to honor and aid the wounded, ill and injured veterans and their families,” says the organization’s mission statement. “Here in Long Beach, New York, we have a beach whose beauty and a community whose generosity are the rival of any beach anywhere.”
Some of the activities include:
- Boogie boarding
- Parades and sporting events
- And more
The organization was inspired by a similar group from Rockaway Beach, N.Y., called the Grey Beards, who provided soldiers with much needed vacations. But the Long Beach Waterfront Warriors took it a step further by including the veteran’s family on the trips.
“So many of these men and women come home from war struggling with medical, psychological, and financial difficulties,” says the group’s website. “The Long Beach Waterfront Warriors provides them with a fun, free vacation with their families. We also do whatever we can to connect these heroes with any services, institutions or information they need. Long Beach is a warm, giving community blessed with one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. We wish to show our gratitude to our brave men and women in uniform who have given so selflessly in the cause of our freedom.”
Since the project is funding solely through donations, the Long Beach Waterfront Warriors are constantly looking for help, whether it’s as a volunteer or a donor. For more information on how you can help, check out the Giving Page here.