Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Very Special Guests Currently On Island

St. John is fortunate to have a group of extremely important guests on island, and we want you all to know about it. Yesterday I got a text from Tom Larson, captain of the Sadie Sea. He mentioned how Team River Runner was arriving on island Sunday afternoon and asked if I wanted to take a ride over to Red Hook to pick them up. Immediately I responded and said absolutely. For those of you unaware of what Team River Runner is, it’s an organization that invites disabled and wounded veterans and their families to participate in adaptive paddling activities so they can embrace new challenges while invoking leadership and promoting camaraderie. Each year, due to the efforts of Tom Larson, Team River Runner brings a group of veterans to the island in November for a week of rest, relaxation and paddling. St. John held a fundraiser last summer to bring these vets to the island. The Chaotic Kayak Race raised more than $57,000 that day. Simply amazing. Yesterday we picked up 17 men and women. I believe five more are expected to arrive today. These men and women are extraordinary, courageous and very cool to hang out with. Ranging in age from their early twenties to their fifties, these men and women have given up a lot to serve our country. As a result, two men are blind and several are missing limbs … why? For us. So please show them your thanks this week if you see them. For those of you who would like to thank them in person, as I know I will be all week, you can meet them at The Beach Bar Wednesday night around 5 p.m., at Skinny Legs Friday night around 5 p.m. or on Saturday at 1 p.m. at a picnic hosted by the American Legion in Coral Bay.
News of St. John would like to thank Ocean Grill, St. John Brewers, Barefoot Cowboy Lounge, Arawak, VI Ecotours, The Beach Bar and Joe’s Rum Hut for providing food, beverages and activities to Team River Runner during their stay.
                                                                              (Original Story Here)

Welcome dinner donated by Barefoot Cowboy Lounge

Team River Runner First Day's

Team River Runner is on St John in full force. 22 members are on island this year for a week of paddling and therapy. The first full day in camp was a day of basic kayak training and fitting out paddlers with adaptive paddling gear also getting fit out for snorkeling a first for most. Dinner was an in camp BBQ with games afterwards and an early to bed for most the weary paddlers. Feel free to stop by Cinnamon Bay Campground to say hello to these hero's!

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Team River Runner Is Almost On Island!!!

Happy Sunday, the annual visit by Team River Runner is about to happen in hours! 3 members of the support staff are on island and have spent the weekend setting up camp at Cinnamon Bay Campground for our visiting wounded veterans. Tonight Sadie Sea will be picking up the group in St Thomas and transporting them from there to St John. Upon arrival TRR will  head up the hill to the Barefoot Cowboy Lounge who has graciously donated their arrival dinner before transport to camp by St John's Dial a Ride. If you see a Veteran in town this week give them a big St John Welcome, all proceeds from the St John Chaotic Kayak last July funded this trip, nice work St John!!!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

On Me - Team River Runner Documentary

"Running the Grand Canyon was a dream for Joe and me, and now that dream has become a reality. I hope that other disabled persons will be able to share this feeling with me one day and achieve their dreams as well."- Ronnie Bedwell

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

CSM Robert Gallagher Memorial Chaotic Kayak Race

This year's 2015 Chaotic Kayak Race benefiting Team River Runner's wounded veteran program has been changed to 'CSM Robert Gallagher Memorial Chaotic Kayak Race'. Command Sargent Major Robert Gallagher passed away this year due to natural causes with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. He will be missed by all that served with him and all that got to know him in Love City, he was America's Bad-Ass.

Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Gallagher, who parachuted into Panama during Operation Just Cause, served as a platoon sergeant with Task Force Ranger in the Somalia battle known by “Black Hawk Down,” and fought his way into Baghdad in 2003 was found dead in his Georgia home Oct. 13 of natural causes.
He was 52 years old.

The Third Infantry Division announced his death on Facebook. According to the 3rd ID, Gallagher was the 3rd Battalion 15th Infantry Regiment command sergeant major during Operation Iraqi Freedom I. During the initial invasion, he was injured and continued to engage the enemy while a soldier rendered first aid on his leg.

He had a distinguished career earning two Purple Hearts, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Bronze Star with “V” device, and numerous other awards, medals, and achievements, 3rd ID wrote on Facebook.
Gallagher was born in Bayonne, N.J., in 1962. He joined the U.S. Army in 1981 and retired in 2013, according to an online obituary hosted by the Richmond Hill Funeral Home.
Burial will be held in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors at a later date, according to the obituary.

Gallagher joined U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program as the new Sergeant Major in late 2009. In an interview with the organizations AW2 blog, Gallagher recalled his most memorable moments:
“[T]he combat parachute assault from 500 feet into Panama is something you never forget — especially while under fire.”

And remembering both gallantry and loss, “The best day and the worst day of my life was when I served in Mogadishu, Somalia, on October 3, 1993, as a part of Task Force Ranger.”

Original Story

Friday, 19 June 2015

St John's Chaotic Kayak Set For Sunday 2 Aug 2015

The date is set for this years Chaotic Kayak, Sunday 2 August 2015 at Oppenheimer Beach benefiting Team River Runner/Wounded Veterans. If you are a Legacy Team from previous years you will be given priority for this years event, If you have not been contacted yet please message through Facebook or text 340-514-0778, we are limited to 32 teams and spots are filling up fast! 6 Volunteers will be coming from the states and Grande Bay has graciously donated lodging again this year making their stay much more comfortable in St John as some are in wheel chairs being able to roll into town right off the elevators. While the event is just over a month away things are already in motion, the events website is alive and the donation links are up, for every $100 your team raises before the event your team will get a 5 second head start. Who will be victorious this year and hold the coveted Golden Paddle?

Friday, 12 June 2015

Office of Veterans Affairs on the Way to St. John

The Office of Veterans Affairs will be having office hours on the island of St. John the second Friday of every month beginning Friday June 12th 2015. Operating hours for the St. John office will be 930am – 230pm and will be located at the Battery in Cruz Bay.

Any Veteran residing on the island of St. John that needs assistance can come to the office between these hours and receive the same services they would if they were at the St. Thomas or St. Croix office to include obtaining a local Veteran I.D.

It is strongly recommend that you call the St. Thomas office at 340-774-6100 and schedule an appointment if it is your intent to visit the St. John office. “Setting an appointment will ensure that we have your files available when you arrive. This is also an attempt to live up to our promise to the Veterans that reside on St. John when we told them they will not be left out. Improving the Quality of Life for every Veteran within the territory at every opportunity is what the team within the Office of Veterans Affairs is striving to do. If the need arises to have an additional day added to the St. John schedule in the future we will do just that ”, said Director Farrell.

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