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Hoisting USMC Flag on Arcadia

Updated: Jun 18

Veterans from the UWVC and NYPD Marine Corps Association joined us on Arcadia for an afternoon of intense sailing! Departing from Oyster Bay, and with 15 knots of breeze, we sped out to the Long Island Sound to catch a view of Manhattan. This kind of weather provides participants with an awesome sailing experience - one that's intense and demands respect for mother nature and attention to the boat. On board were veterans from the Army, Marines, Air Force, and Navy.

Big shout-out to the United War Veteran's Council (UWVC) for rallying some of these awesome veterans to join us. And a nod to the NYPD MCA Veteran's group for their part in this epic day. You guys rock!

Once again, SailAhead and the Stirling Harbor Foundation go sailing with veterans! This outing we had representation from the US Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force.

Some veterans on board have been in combat in Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, and possibly other (classified) locations.

Sailing and Seeing the NYC Skyline

Most of the veterans came from NYC to sail in Oyster Bay, making the moment the NYC skyline revealed itself through the mist quite special. It's impressive to think that the city, at thirty miles away, is visible when there is nothing to obstruct its view.

View of NYC North of Oyster Bay

With good wind, and a good crew we were able to quickly get out to the Long Island Sound. Eaton's Neck Coast Guard Station was visible in the distance to the East, approximately seven miles away.

After the sail we went into town for dinner to celebrate the great day we all shared. The SailAhead crew received kisses on the cheek, followed by one veteran saying:

"Thank you for filling my cup"

To "fill someone's cup" means to provide them with emotional support, care, encouragement, or anything that boosts their well-being and happiness.

This outpouring of affection and appreciation occurs at almost every SailAhead outing. It is always a profound moment of pride and compassion for us.

This is why we work so hard! We know what we're doing makes a difference because of what veterans say about the outings and our camaraderie, and because of how thankful they are for our efforts to offer them exciting and unique adventures.

Sean Duclay wearing a SailAhead Shirt, candid and looking dramatically starboard

United War Veteran's Council Health and Wellness Program

The United War Veteran's Council organizes the NYC Veteran's Day Parade, which is the largest parade of its kind in the country. The UWVC's Health and Wellness Program connects veterans with organizations like SailAhead to make veteran's lives better.

Activities include:

  • Equine Therapy

  • Sailing (duh!)

  • Art Therapy

  • Rucking

And more...

USMC Veteran and UWVC President Mark Otto at the helm

The UWVC coordinates between SailAhead and the Samaritan Daytop village to bring veterans sailing from their rehab programs.

We know our veterans are strong, and as in the military, they need a community around them to make them stronger. When veterans were in the military, they could count on their brothers and sisters in their unit and foxhole next to them. Many veterans find it hard to transition out of the military. This can be due to a wide range of reasons, including that they no longer have their military brothers and sisters with them who understand what they're going through. Very few civilians can understand some of the mental battles veterans can face on a daily basis since they (we) haven't experienced military life firsthand.

One reason that SailAhead has found such success in improving the mental health of veterans we serve is that we put heavy emphasis on community, supporting our veterans so they can rally and take on live with vigor.

UWVC Health and Wellness Group at the Veterans Day Parade 2023

SailAhead's Mates

The UWVC's President and USMC Veteran Mark Otto has been sailing with SailAhead for almost a decade.

One of SailAhead's missions is to honor and remember Our Mates, who are over 219 veterans who have died by suicide. They are represented by name-tags we carry with us. The veteran suicide epidemic has claimed over 30,000 veteran's lives since the attack on 9/11.

Most veterans who have been in the military for a while know someone who has died by suicide, or have been suicidal themselves.

The video above was taken at our USMC LCpl Michael Blanco Memorial Sail at the Babylon Yacht Club.

The work we do matters, and has saved lives in the past. We endeavor to continue our mission of healing through sailing, and to expand our operations to include more areas so we can bring even more veterans into the magical world of sailing!

NYPD Marine Corps Association

The NYPD Marine Corps Association is dedicated to professional development, and recognition of excellence.

After participating in an event with SailAhead, the NYPD MCA is looking forward to sailing again and working together with us to continue to increase veterans' quality of life.


We welcome our veterans home, and thank them for their service!

For veterans and civilians alike who are dedicated to prevent veteran suicide, we are likewise thankful for your tireless, and meaningful efforts.


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