Rehabilitation of wounded soldiers often includes physical training, psychological therapy, medication and more—but it isn’t always enough.
“My platoon and I, we were hit with five roadside bombs in 11 days. A few more after that,” says Bobby Lane, a retired Marine corporal. “I sustained two traumatic brain injuries, took shrapnel in my left arm and lower extremities.”
Drinking was part of Lane’s self-medication, and suicide became the final part of the plan. Then he went surfing in 2011.
“Surfing not only changed my life but it saved my life as well,” Lane explains.
From April 2 to 8, more than a dozen veterans got into the water at Cowell Beach in California as part of Operation Surf Santa Cruz. The event was sponsored by CrossFit Inc. Run by Amazing Surf Adventures, Operation Surf links veterans with surf instructors with the goal of rehabilitating the warriors in the water.
For Lane, it did just that.
“There isn’t a drug on the market that can do what surfing’s done for me,” he says.
Video by Ian Wittenber.
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Additional reading: Heart of a Warrior by Emily Beers, published July 27, 2012.