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Operation Surf hits the Avila Beach waves for opening day

Posted at 5:45 PM, Oct 10, 2018

Operation Surf started its week-long rehabilitation program on the Central Coast today where wounded active-duty soldiers and veterans caught some waves near the Avila Beach Pier.

Around 20 participants traveled from across the country to visit the Central Coast for a week full of time in the water. Operation Surf founder Van Curaza is in his 10th year of leading the activities, and is glad the program has made a difference in hundreds of veterans’ lives.

“To know that this happens to these guys, and can change, and help them through their challenges, then how could you ever stop? It’s just a must-continue, so I just do whatever I can to help this continue,” Curaza said.

Some veterans have come back throughout the years to enjoy the experience, and even gotten involved with Operation Surf on a deeper level by volunteering or spreading the word about the organization through word-of-mouth.

“Honestly, I was going through a really hard time. And I guess it’s one of those things–surfing–that has the ability to wash away whatever you think. Like whatever is going on in your mind, you just get out there and it’s just you and the ocean. After surfing this event last year, I was hooked and I’ve been surfing since,” veteran and Operation Surf alumnus Travis Miller said.

The program will run throughout the next few days, ending with a couple surf sessions out in Morro Bay on Oct. 13 and 14.