Warriors on the Waves

Chyrece Campbell, a wounded warrior, underway aboard a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat at Coast Guard Station Ocean City, Md., during a visit Oct. 16, 2015. The wounded warriors and their families were invited to Ocean City to participate in a four-day trip to thank the veterans for their service and to provide a break from the pain and suffering of their injuries, and their treatment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin

Chyrece Campbell, a wounded warrior, underway aboard a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat at Coast Guard Station Ocean City, Md., during a visit Oct. 16, 2015. The wounded warriors and their families were invited to Ocean City to participate in a four-day trip to thank the veterans for their service and to provide a break from the pain and suffering of their injuries, and their treatment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin

When a group of military service members and their families descended on Coast Guard Station Ocean City, Maryland, it marked what hopes to be a recurring event for one doctor working with the wounded, ill, and injured servicemembers.

Col. Debra Malone, a surgeon and Intensive Care Unit doctor at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, worked with wounded servicemembers for years and felt a strong desire to do more for the patients she was treating.

“There were some very rough years when I started working with wounded warriors,” added Malone. “During these days, when they had been in the hospital for quite a long time, enduring a lot of pain and suffering, I would talk to them and their families, and I would say, ‘you just wait, when you’re feeling better, we’re going to throw you a party.’”

That’s precisely what she did, and she planned a four-day trip to Ocean City, which she hopes to make an annual event. The stop at the Coast Guard proved to be a rewarding experience for both the wounded warriors and the active duty members of the station.

Col. Debra Malone, a surgeon and Intensive Care Unit doctor, holds the child of a wounded warrior as they prepare to get underway aboard a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat at Coast Guard Station Ocean City, Md., during a visit Oct. 16, 2015. Malone is one of the handful of individuals who coordinated a four-day trip for wounded warriors and their families to Ocean City as a thanks to the veterans for their service and to provide a break from the pain and suffering of their injuries, and their treatment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin

Col. Debra Malone, a surgeon and Intensive Care Unit doctor, holds the child of a wounded warrior as they prepare to get underway aboard a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat at Coast Guard Station Ocean City, Md., during a visit Oct. 16, 2015. Malone is one of the handful of individuals who coordinated a four-day trip for wounded warriors and their families to Ocean City as a thanks to the veterans for their service and to provide a break from the pain and suffering of their injuries, and their treatment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin

“It was really fulfilling having wounded warriors with different military backgrounds and experiences visit the station,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class William Castleberry, a boatswain’s mate at Station Ocean City who volunteered to take  some wounded warriors fishing. “You could see the joy in the faces of the parents and kids as we were reeling in the fish,” added Castelberry.

While the trip was rewarding for everyone involved, for Malone it served to better inspire her vision for the future.

“There are almost 5,000 wounded warriors, and my goal is to host an event big enough for all of them at some point along the way,” said Malone. “My dream is that this would be like a wounded warrior Woodstock – bring them down. A place where there would be lots of wounded warrior activities for families with some adaptive sports activities. I could see us filling the convention center, and nationally renowned entertainers coming here for the troops. What better place to do that than here? It would take a big effort, but that is my dream and my vision.”

Wounded warriors and family members order their breakfast at Coast Guard Station Ocean City, Md., Oct. 16, 2015. Wounded warriors and their families were invited to Ocean City to participate in a four-day trip to thank the veterans for their service and to provide a break from the pain and suffering of their injuries, and their treatment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin

Wounded warriors and family members order their breakfast at Coast Guard Station Ocean City, Md., Oct. 16, 2015. Wounded warriors and their families were invited to Ocean City to participate in a four-day trip to thank the veterans for their service and to provide a break from the pain and suffering of their injuries, and their treatment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin

 

Master Chief Petty Officer Timaree Sparks, officer-in-charge of Coast Guard Station Ocean City, Md., helps strap a helmet onto the head of a child of a wounded warrior during a tour of the station Oct. 16, 2015. Wounded warriors and their families were invited to Ocean City to participate in a four-day trip to thank the veterans for their service and to provide a break from the pain and suffering of their injuries, and their treatment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin

Master Chief Petty Officer Timaree Sparks, officer-in-charge of Coast Guard Station Ocean City, Md., helps strap a helmet onto the head of a child of a wounded warrior during a tour of the station Oct. 16, 2015. Wounded warriors and their families were invited to Ocean City to participate in a four-day trip to thank the veterans for their service and to provide a break from the pain and suffering of their injuries, and their treatment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin

 

Richard Banks, a wounded warrior, waits to get underway aboard a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat at Coast Guard Station Ocean City, Md., during a visit Oct. 16, 2015. Wounded warriors and their families were invited to Ocean City to participate in a four-day trip to thank the veterans for their service and to provide a break from the pain and suffering of their injuries, and their treatment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin

Richard Banks, a wounded warrior, waits to get underway aboard a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat at Coast Guard Station Ocean City, Md., during a visit Oct. 16, 2015. Wounded warriors and their families were invited to Ocean City to participate in a four-day trip to thank the veterans for their service and to provide a break from the pain and suffering of their injuries, and their treatment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin

 

A Wounded Warrior Project stamp adorns the hand of a Veteran’s child at the helm of a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat from Coast Guard Station Ocean City, Md., during a visit Oct. 16, 2015. Wounded warriors and their families were invited to Ocean City to participate in a four-day trip to thank the veterans for their service and to provide a break from the pain and suffering of their injuries, and their treatment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin

A Wounded Warrior Project stamp adorns the hand of a Veteran’s child at the helm of a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat from Coast Guard Station Ocean City, Md., during a visit Oct. 16, 2015. Wounded warriors and their families were invited to Ocean City to participate in a four-day trip to thank the veterans for their service and to provide a break from the pain and suffering of their injuries, and their treatment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin

 

Reagan Campbell, the child of a wounded warrior, and Master Chief Petty Officer Timaree Sparks, the officer-in-charge of Coast Guard Station Ocean City, Md., navigate a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat from Station Ocean City alongside a second MLB during a visit Oct. 16, 2015. Wounded warriors and their families were invited to Ocean City to participate in a four-day trip to thank the veterans for their service and to provide a break from the pain and suffering of their injuries, and their treatment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin

Reagan Campbell, the child of a wounded warrior, and Master Chief Petty Officer Timaree Sparks, the officer-in-charge of Coast Guard Station Ocean City, Md., navigate a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat from Station Ocean City alongside a second MLB during a visit Oct. 16, 2015. Wounded warriors and their families were invited to Ocean City to participate in a four-day trip to thank the veterans for their service and to provide a break from the pain and suffering of their injuries, and their treatment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin

 

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Scott, a crewmember from Coast Guard Station Ocean City, Md., shares a laugh with wounded warriors and their families while underway aboard a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat from the station during a visit Oct. 16, 2015. Wounded warriors and their families were invited to Ocean City to participate in a four-day trip to thank the veterans for their service and to provide a break from the pain and suffering of their injuries, and their treatment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Scott, a crewmember from Coast Guard Station Ocean City, Md., shares a laugh with wounded warriors and their families while underway aboard a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat from the station during a visit Oct. 16, 2015. Wounded warriors and their families were invited to Ocean City to participate in a four-day trip to thank the veterans for their service and to provide a break from the pain and suffering of their injuries, and their treatment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin

 

Wounded warriors and their families underway aboard a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat at Coast Guard Station Ocean City, Md., during a visit Oct. 16, 2015. Wounded warriors and their families were invited to Ocean City to participate in a four-day trip to thank the veterans for their service and to provide a break from the pain and suffering of their injuries, and their treatment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin

Wounded warriors and their families underway aboard a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat at Coast Guard Station Ocean City, Md., during a visit Oct. 16, 2015. Wounded warriors and their families were invited to Ocean City to participate in a four-day trip to thank the veterans for their service and to provide a break from the pain and suffering of their injuries, and their treatment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin

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