Women veterans wounded in action welcomed at War Heroes on Water sport fishing tournament

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– Team El Cazador and Team Surly Mermaid take veteran all-female teams on the sport fishing adventure of a lifetime

Posted: October 7, 2021 at 2:50 p.m. CDT|Update: October 12, 2021 at 1:09 PM CDT

NEWPORT BEACH, California, 12 October 2021 / PRNewswire / – As the 38 participating WHOW yachts line up to pick up their veterans, the founder of the WHOW tournament and the founder and CEO of LoanDepot that of Anthony Hsieh the excitement was palpable – the first yacht to reach its dock, the Surly Mermaid, would soon carry another first for this legendary tournament: one of two all-female veteran teams.

The Surly Mermaid holds two “firsts” of the WHOW tournament; it featured one of the first all-female veteran teams, as well as an all-female captain / crew.

“It’s really special!” Hsieh exclaimed, as he helped Ret. Marine Artillery Sergeant (GySgt) Robin Baker and Ret. Army Sergeant (SGT) Samantha simonds as they boarded. “The Surly Mermaid has arrived, bringing our first all-female team, led by our first all-female team. Listen to her for these amazing women and for this special day! “

Owner of Sirène Surly Ali palmer johnson was also delighted to have the opportunity to be part of this inaugural adventure. “I can’t wait to show our veterans what it looks like on the ocean. A day on the water gives you a whole new outlook on life.”

“It’s not just fishing,” Johnson continued. “Getting out on the water is very therapeutic. You put your stress and problems aside and just enjoy the beauty of the ocean. Plus, there’s the adrenaline rush every time a fish takes your bait and the reel starts to scream – I like to share this experience. “

Mea Peterson, a National Guard veteran who served in Iraq as an intelligence analyst and was injured by shrapnel in a rocket attack, expressed gratitude for her participation in this year’s tournament. Peterson was eager to bond with her teammate aboard a second tournament yacht, the El Cazador.

“It’s been really cool already, especially for a veteran rookie,” said Mea Peterson, highlighting the sense of community that characterizes the tournament. “Some of the guys who have been here have already told me about what it’s going to be and their experiences.”

Peterson continued, “Anytime we can start including combat veterans who are women in these organizations and things like that, it’s great. We need it as much as the guys, if not more, because we are such a small group. “

Vanessa Brown, Ret. Army Staff Sergeant (GSO) and Peterson’s teammate echoed a similar sentiment: “I think it’s amazing that the tournament involves women now. The fact that they brought us here is huge. -is important.”

Brown and Peterson, both Purple Heart recipients, each caught a qualifying bluefin tuna over 50 pounds, allowing them to be part of the post-tournament fish-weighing experience held on the iconic Green Avalon Pleasure Pier. There, as one of 12 teams that brought qualified fish to the pier, they were cheered on by tourists, Avalon residents and other teams from the WHOW tournament, as they watched their fish be weighed and documented. Brown weighed 156 pounds, Peterson weighed 101 pounds. Their catches earned them sixth and seventh, respectively, in tournament points.

“Expanding the tournament to recognize our country’s siblings in arms is extremely important,” Hsieh said. “These men and women are the true jewels of our country, and this tournament was, in part, created to share our sincere appreciation for their service and sacrifice.”

Hsieh’s tireless dedication to the WHOW tournament helped bring it to its current size – doubling its attendance numbers before the pandemic – and setting it up to a record high $ 1.35M this year only. The growth in funds raised and the expansion of the fleet and veterans helped bring the addition of veterans to life.

Added Josh miles, Director of Military and Charity Programs for Freedom Alliance, and 501 (c) 3 Tournament Partner, “The volume of support that the WHOW tournament has garnered, and in particular the increase in funds raised, is truly impressive and substantial. we are directly serving more Veterans than ever during the tournament, we are able to exponentially increase the support we provide to other Veterans throughout the rest of the year. “

About War Heroes on Water
War Heroes on Water (WHOW) is an annual sport fishing tournament of unprecedented scale that supports programs for wounded veterans. It was created in 2018 by LoanDepot Founder and CEO Anthony Hsieh, who also owns and operates Team Bad Company, a world-class competitive sport fishing fleet holding records. Thanks to Hsieh’s deep ties to the Southern california sport fishing and business communities, WHOW has grown exponentially in four years and is now the largest non-profit sport fishing tournament in the United States. Learn more about WHOW at www.warheroesonwater.com or follow WHOW on Facebook and Instagram.

About Freedom Alliance
Freedom Alliance is a charitable organization that provides aid and support to injured soldiers and military families. Freedom Alliance has awarded more than $ 18 million in college scholarships to children of military heroes killed or disabled during military service and spent millions more to help injured veterans and military families with outdoor recreational therapy trips, hero vacations , care packages for deployed troops, mortgage-free homes, all-terrain wheelchairs and much more. To learn more, visit www.FreedomAlliance.org or Facebook.com/FreedomAlliance.

Contact
Lori Wildrick
[email protected]

Veterans Mea Peterson and Vanessa Brown pose with their skilled bluefin tuna.  Peterson ...
Veterans Mea Peterson and Vanessa Brown pose with their skilled bluefin tuna. Peterson weighed 101 pounds. and Brown weighed 156 pounds. Their take was celebrated during a post-tournament weigh-in at the iconic Green Pleasure Pier in Avalon.
The WHOW 2021 tournament featured two all-female veteran teams, including Samantha Simonds, ...
The WHOW 2021 tournament featured two all-female veteran teams, including Samantha Simonds, aboard the Surly Mermaid, pictured here with a rockfish.
(left to right) Veterans Samantha Simonds, Vanessa Brown, Robin Baker and Mea Peterson are joined ...
(left to right) Veterans Samantha Simonds, Vanessa Brown, Robin Baker and Mea Peterson are joined by Freedom Alliance scholar Haley Nicole Taylor (second from right). Taylor, who is currently pursuing his Masters in Communications, Media and Drama, sang the national anthem as part of the tournament’s opening ceremonies.
Veteran Vanessa Brown is greeted by WHOW Tournament Founder and LoanDepot Founder and CEO ...
Veteran Vanessa Brown is greeted by WHOW Tournament Founder and LoanDepot Founder and CEO Anthony Hsieh. The WHOW 2021 tournament is the first WHOW event that featured two all-female teams injured in combat.
Veterans Samantha Simonds, Robin Baker and Mea Peterson are joined by Surly owner Mermaid Ali ...
Veterans Samantha Simonds, Robin Baker and Mea Peterson are joined by Surly Mermaid owner Ali Palmer Johnson (far right) and Captain Traci Decker.
Veterans Vanessa Brown and Mea Peterson enjoyed their time aboard the El Cazador.  Their...
Veterans Vanessa Brown and Mea Peterson enjoyed their time aboard the El Cazador. Their tournament captures would earn them sixth and seventh, respectively, in tournament points.
The WHOW 2021 Sport <a class=Fishing Tournament will be held October 1-5 off the waters of Catalina Island ….” height=”300″ src=”https://gray-kvly-prod.cdn.arcpublishing.com/resizer/SdOJHMAHDJRDhqN7PNxY1YH8ysE=/980×0/smart/filters:quality(85)/mma.prnewswire.com/media/712233/War_Heroes_on_Water_Logo.jpg” width=”980″/>
The WHOW 2021 Sport Fishing Tournament will be held October 1-5 off the waters of Catalina Island. Conceptualized in 2018 by Anthony Hsieh, CEO of LoanDepot and leader of Team Bad Company, this event has grown from welcoming 27 veterans initially and raising just over $ 200,000 to committing to serve over 100 veterans and raising $ 1 million in 2021. This planned growth will make WHOW one of the largest therapeutic programs of its kind on the water for wounded veterans in the country. (PRNewsfoto / War Heroes on Water)

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SOURCE War Heroes on Water

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