Another favorite moment for Polston Photography was photographing The Warrior Sailing Team. Over the course of a few days, I was honored to witness the competitive drive and teamwork of long term disabled veterans ranging from PTSD, amputies, brain injuries, paralysis, nerve damage to even lack of eye sight. Putting the team on the water demonstrated physical, mental and emotional therapy for the entire group. It was an outlet for them to cope with the long term effects of their disabilities.
The Warrior Sailing Program offers a Basic and advanced Training Camp that focuses on the skills of sailing to the ill, injured and wounded active and veteran service members. A 3 or 4 day camp provides an intense yet fun approach to navigating a sail boat in a teamwork self-relient environment. The hope is that the warriors will gain social interaction which will translate into job skill development.
During the 4 day advanced camp, the professional coaches worked with all of the veterans to ensure safety and knowledge to each disabled warrior. They performed on boats at the same caliber as amateur and professionals around the globe. Each team created a lifelong bond as they worked on and off of the water together during the camp to be fully trained on the sail boats for the final competition. Each team consisted of 2-4 team members to develop their skills individually and their role within their team. After two days of practice on Lake Michigan, Chicago, IL., the wounded warriors pushed off to compete in the final 2 day sailing competitions.
The Warrior Sailing Team consists of graduates from Training Camps who are also wounded, ill and injured service members from the US military. Each team member has committed to advance their skills in sailboat racing and represent the Warrior Sailing Program. The graduates from the Training Camps are currently preparing to compete at the J-22 World Championships at the end of the month in Kingston, Ontario.