The June 18 and July 2 raft trips were very good, positive, even thought the flow rates were about 4500 and 3300 cfs. The historical average peak flow is about 35,000 cfs. I am told that this year is a 100 year low flow. Last year the Wounded Warrior trip was on about 65,000 cfs.
The beaches were wide and plentiful. We’ll get pictures up on our www.WarriorsOnCataract.org web site soon. I’ve attached a few pics.
We had three therapists and a dozen or so WWs from the Salt Lake VA Hospital on the first trip in a Sierra Club sponsored study under the control of the University of Michigan. Three British Marines were able to come over. They are also part of an acting troupe playing at the West End in London in a widely acclaimed play called “The Two Worlds of Charlie F.” I’ll try to get a link to a video of their play. And a film crew was along to produce a video for This American Land on Public Broadcast Television to air in August. Triple amputee Mark Litynski was able to come from Bethesda Naval Hospital with his wife. You may recall that he is the inspiration for this whitewater trip effort.
89 year old Marine Iron Mike Mervosh, veteran of three wars and a legend in the Marine Corps, was on the second trip, along with a dozen Marine WWs. Some combat buddies were reunited on this trip. A contingency from the Cheyenne VA Hospital was along, as well as a retired Major General and his daughter.
Thank you all for your support. I feel that we are accomplishing quite a bit of good relative to the costs and expenses involved. The beautiful, peaceful outdoor venue is a great attribute. These trips may be the highest and most effective form of group therapy in that no one except another combat Wounded Warrior can relate, and the support and bond that is spawned is proving to be very effective in healing, recovery, and reintegration. In addition, the follow-on connections and socialization and camaraderie are no doubt of greater value than the raft trip itself.
I am attaching excerpts from the comments that the WWs wrote down in the last camps. These are an indicator of how we are doing. ………We are evaluating and working on ourselves and will do even better next year.