I wanted to share some exciting information with all of you. My friend Tom, whom I mentioned previously, sent the following email to a local news station.
Fred Vail, a Chattanooga kayaker has paddled over 700 miles from Chattanooga to Mobile in his quest to complete his journey to the Gulf at Dauphine Island.
Fred’s goal is to honor and bring attention to Team River Runner, a nation-wide veterans support group that provides opportunities for healing veterans through adaptive paddlesport. By his example he hopes to demonstrate the sense of possibility, self affirmation, and resilience that are core values of Team River Runner.
Fred has arrived in Mobile a week ahead of when expected. He is camping at Meaher State Park.
I represent the local chapter, Team River Runner – South Alabama. We are based in Daphne but serve a bi-county area.
This coming Friday afternoon, Fred and a number of local paddlers and possibly some dignitaries will launch our kayaks on the Mobile River beneath the Africa Town Bridge. Despite his unanticipated and early arrival locally, Fred would like to make the symbolic passage down the Mobile River past downtown and in front of Austal where the ships that will protect the current and future veterans who will serve on them are built. The significance of ending the passage at the Battleship should be self evident.
I have been in contact with Craig Savage, Communications Director at Austal. Fred is in hopes of getting a horn salute from the LCSs parked on the river in front of Austal. Rescheduling this event from Saturday to Friday has increased to likelihood of making that happen.
Fred’s cause is a worthy cause and serves a wide community of healing veterans. News coverage of Fred’s arrival in Mobile with those LCSs as a backdrop then ending at the Battleship. Fred will be emphatic that all focus should be on Team River Runner, not him. He will tell you that he is just a mirror of what can be accomplished by Team River Runner’s approach to healing vetrans.
I hope you can see that this is not only a “worthy” topic, it provides a “feel good” lesson for all. (=wide appeal)