Operation Surf is changing lives, one wave at a time

ByChris Bollini Localish logo
Monday, April 8, 2024
Operation Surf is changing lives, one wave at a time
Operation Surf, a non-profit organization, exposes active military and veterans to the healing power of the ocean though a week long surfing program.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The ocean is a beautiful and powerful force of nature. For non-profit organization, Operation Surf, it is also a form of healing.

"The ocean is this natural creator of forgetting about what's on shore," Operation Surf Founder and Director Van Curaza shares.

Operation Surf takes active military and veterans surfing at no cost as a means of promoting wellness through nature-based therapy.

"It's more than surfing. The ocean is a very a positive, happy place, teaching you how you can adjust back to life in a peaceful environment," volunteer Josh Ryan explains.

"You have to be present, completely mindful," volunteer Benjamin Albracht reveals, "I'm here. I'm not back in the Middle East. I'm not in the past. I'm in the present."

The weeklong program has a profound impact on the lives of the participants giving them a renewed sense of possibility and confidence.

"Previous to me coming into this program, I had a really difficult time just reintegrating into life, trying to get just back into the civilian world, connecting with people that understood my similar experiences," Albrecht says.

"We may not have been in the same troop, but our boots touched the same sand," Ryan states, "We have a lot of similarities, common struggles with loss of friends, drugs, alcohol, destructive behavior, seeking adrenaline, it's time to shift it to a more positive nature."

"In many ways, it reestablished just trust in the world," Albracht adds.

The organization is largely dependent on donations and fundraising to support their programs. Operation Surf is grateful for any support.

"Even if you gave a dollar bill, you are part of the testimony, part of the reason why we can change lives one wave at a time," Van Curaza declares.

"Keep looking forward and keep looking forward into your future and ride the wave and enjoy every moment in your life," Ryan adds.

For more information, visit here.