CAMP PENDLETON – On Friday, March 21, injured Marines, veterans and their families took to the waves at Del Mar Beach at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base as part of a special reconditioning program to help them heal from their wounds.
The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation’s Ocean Therapy program combines occupational and recreational therapies with the sport of surfing in the healing environment of the ocean. Ocean Therapy is believed to assist recovery and rehabilitation for people affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries, and other emotional, mental and medical conditions, and is gaining greater recognition among military members. The program for the event was made available to recovering service members, veterans and their families through financial support from United Healthcare and in partnership with CBS Eco Media.
United Healthcare’s support will fund Ocean Therapy sessions for one year, as well as a “Family Beach Day” supporting over 200 military members and their families.
At the therapeutic event, United Healthcare employee volunteers assisted recovering service members, veterans and their families participating in interactive ocean therapy sessions, paddleboard and yoga lessons. Attendees also enjoyed beach games such as volleyball and bocce ball.
Hosts of today’s volunteer event included Tony Lonigro, CEO, Southwest Region, United Healthcare Military & Veterans, and Paul Polizzotto, president and founder of CBS Eco Media; Jeff Miller.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation to provide for these recovering service members and veterans an opportunity to participate in Ocean Therapy as part of their reconditioning,” Lonigro said.
The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Manhattan Beach, Calif., dedicated to the life of Jimmy Miller, a Southern California native and avid surfer. It provides free ocean therapy surf sessions to veterans from the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, recovering service members with the Wounded Warrior Battalion – West, USMC Camp Pendleton, and youth from care and shelter facilities for abused and foster children.
“We celebrate the opportunity to join efforts with United Healthcare and Eco Media to continue to women and their families” said Miller. “We look forward to a long-lasting relationship with the USMC Wounded Warrior Battalion and it is a privilege and an honor to serve those who served our country”.
“It’s an honor to be here today to express how deeply grateful we are to those who serve our country, particularly when they find themselves in times of need,” Polizzotto. “We thank UnitedHealthcare for funding The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation’s Ocean Therapy program.”