Operation Neptune: Wounded Warriors Come to Town
Shortly after sunrise this morning – August 12, 2023 – some 35 service members from the Wounded Warrior Project were welcomed to Marblehead for a day of fishing. The annual “Operation Neptune” event is put on by Maddie’s Anglers Club, but had been on Covid-related hiatus for several years. Today marked its return. (Photo gallery above.)
The Wounded Warrior Project launched 20 years ago to offer some basics to wounded service members. These individuals who had returned from Iraq and Afghanistan had evolving medical, emotional, and other needs, and over time the Wounded Warrior Project added services that now include, “direct programs in mental health, career counseling, and long-term rehabilitative care.” With these offerings as well as advocacy efforts, says the group on its website, “we improve the lives of millions of warriors and their families.” With everything from clinics that offer adaptive sports for those who acquired physical disabilities during their service, to guiding Warriors in how to receive specialized care through Veterans Affairs, the menu of offerings at the Wounded Warrior Project continues to expand.
For this morning’s event, the Warriors arrived in Marblehead right around sunrise, and were greeted by a group of well wishers and supporters holding signs. From there, shuttles took the Warriors and their guests to the Boston Yacht Club, where coffee, muffins, shirts, and box lunches were handed out. Each Warrior was allowed to bring a guest, and many chose to bring a child or a spouse. One Warrior’s daughter headed out today with her father, who said he’d been fly fishing in Georgia in the past, but had never gone out on the ocean. Others had never been fishing.
Favorite fishing spots of the several dozen captains were on the agenda today, as the boats headed out everywhere from Nahant to Gloucester. Approximately 25 local captains – each a member of Maddie’s Anglers Club – took out one to two Warriors and their guests. “We do this to give back to the people who volunteered in service of our country,” said Jeremy Pollender, a Senior Vice President at CM&B – the main sponsor of the event, and captain of “Lucky Lady.”
Warriors David and Patrick were all smiles after having early success finding striper this morning on “Elixer” – captained by Nick Svencer and his first mate, Rick Cuzner.
For more information on the Wounded Warrior Project, click here.