For nearly a decade, Duxbury Bay Maritime School has given back to the community in the way of making sailing accessible for anyone. Last year, the school tested it’s first ever Maritime Programs for Veterans. We decided that our first year we would focus on sailing.
Over 24 able bodied and disabled veterans participated. While some veterans stayed on-shore and relaxed on the DBMS campus others enjoyed the perfect weather while sailing or motor boating on the bay.
In 2016 DBMS is planning to schedule Veteran Only maritime days, so participants may enjoy the companionship and camaraderie of their fellow veterans. We are also reaching out to various Veteran’s Organizations to offer exclusive sailing events for their membership or program participants. These events will either be one-half day or full day events tailored specifically to the needs of the participants or the organization.
The programs we would like to offer our Veterans are Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP), Kayaking, Rowing, and Erging (indoor rowing machine). Each of these maritime programs would offer Veterans the opportunity to experience Duxbury Bay while getting to socialize and work with fellow Vets.
The Future of Maritime Programs for Veterans…
DBMS is currently involved in fundraising to support the purchase of a larger sailboat in 2016 to expand our Veteran’s Program. Our goal is to start a near- coastal sailing program, that will allow travel outside of the bay. This program boat will allow for longer sails, which will create a mobile classroom. While sailing, participants will be able to learn and apply basic navigation skills, coastal piloting, anchoring and use of maritime electronics. On a longer sail, individuals will get to work as a team and assume various roles, navigator, helmsman, main trimmer, or just sit back and enjoy.
The Brains Behind our Newest Program
Our Veteran’s Program Director Mark Engelsman came to DBMS as a Fellow of The Mission Continues, a national nonprofit that empowers veterans to serve their country in new ways. He served over 550 hours of volunteer time learning about DBMS and assisting in a variety of programs and maintenance projects, and most importantly immersing himself in the Accessail Program in order to expand the Program to veterans.
Mark served for over 30 years in the United States Army as a Combat Engineer and Helicopter Mechanic. He deployed twice for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), first with an Air Ambulance (Medevac) unit and the second time with a VIP and Aerial Resupply Mission.
More about The Mission Continues
Through two innovative and action-oriented programs (Fellowship Program and Service Platoons), The Mission Continues has helped thousands of post-9/11 veterans focus their talents and energy to tackle challenges facing us at home. The Mission Continues Fellowship Program focuses veterans’ strengths, skills and compassion and connects them to community causes where they volunteer for six months. The fellowship program helps veterans apply their skills and desire to serve to a cause they’re passionate about. By volunteering, veterans gain real-world experience that helps them achieve employment, enroll in higher education and secure a life-long position of service.
For more information, visit The Mission Continues.
Tor register for Sailing Programs for Veterans, please click HERE!