Wake For Warriors event shares the shred with wounded vets

On Sept. 11, 2001, Lance Corporal Sarah Rudder was attending a ceremony at the Pentagon. Suddenly, she felt a tremor that resembled an earthquake and saw smoke and flames billowing into the air from an airliner that had just crashed into the hallowed building. Without hesitation, Sarah and her fellow Marines ran into the fray and began to help in any way they could. 

As Sarah pulled a victim from the wreckage, her foot and lower leg fell into a crevasse, severely injuring her foot and ankle. Unaware of the extent of her injuries, she continued to assist for the next 24 hours. It wasn’t until she stopped to assess her injuries that she realized the only thing holding her tattered ankle in place was her boot. Over the next couple of years, Sarah had several reconstructive surgeries, but ultimately decided to amputate her leg due to the pain from nerve damage.

For injured servicemembers like Sarah, the road to recovery can be long, and many activities they once enjoyed may seem out of reach. Through a grant from the California State Parks, Division of Boating and Waterways and a sponsorship from the Semper Fi and America’s Fund, the Mission Bay Aquatic Center (MBAC) teamed up with the Wake For Warriors Foundation this past spring and offered two days of wakesurfing for heroes with service-related injuries to improve their physical and emotional healing.

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