2013 Josh Fueston Memorial Swim To Live
Start: Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 8:00 AM (PDT)
Bellingham , WA 98225
Registration Closing Date
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 @ 8:31 PM (PDT)
In recognition and honor of U.S. and Canadian servicemembers who lost their lives to P.T.S.D.
Swimmers depart from the U.S. Coast Guard Station Bellingham, Wa. They will board a Coast Guard vessel and be taken one mile SW of the Post Point buoy. They will enter water and swim the one mile to buoy, then straight into the Guards station, ( total distance 4 miles). This is a relay form swim, it is not a race, nor is it competitive.
Josh Fueston Memorial Swim to Live
Your swim registration fee includes dinner & tribute event, t-shirt, and pin commerative of the event following the swim at the Lakeway Inn & Conference Center from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Grand Ballroom. (714 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham WA 98229) Important Note: Please indicate at time of registration, your choice of either chicken or salmon for the dinner event.
Important Note: If paying at door banquet fee is $45.00
Bridget C. Cantrell, Ph.D. Bridget is a member of the American Psychological Association and Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists. She specializes in trauma with her primary work encompassing counseling for war veterans and their families. She is the author of Down Range to Iraq and Back, and Souls Under Seige.
Roger Girouard, RADM ret. Royal Canadian Navy
Pete Kremen, Whatcom County Council
MC Stacy Rice, Executive Director, The American Red Cross Mt. Baker Chapter
United States Coast Guard
Best Western Lakeway Inn
Amjay Screen Printing
Print & Copy Factory
Applied Digital Imaging
Special T Signs & Graphics
Cascade Prosthetics & Orthotics
VFW Post 12018 West Richland
Starbucks @ Sehome
Military Memorial Display @ Jerns
BIG O TIRES / Chilliwack
Other important swim requirements:
Must be 18 years or older and sign on site release form
Must be at the Coast Guard Station at 0745
Must wear adequate wet suit for 55 degree water or colder ( rental suits are available at Washington Divers, contact Jeremy @ 360-676-8029, or Charlyn at Gone Diving @ 360-738-2042).
Important Note: For safety reasons no swimmer is permitted to swim the entire 4 miles. To register for the swim or banquet please click register now.
To register in person contact Christine at The Best Western Lakeway Inn @ 360-392-6502.
Josh Fueston was born and raised in Bellingham, Wa. On August 23, 2004 at age 14 he attempted an 8 mile swim across Bellingham Bay. His goal was to raise money for swim lessons for children of low income families. "The cost of swim lessons is a luxury for some, it's a nessesity for everyone." He swam 4 miles in some of the most treacherous waters, when cold and hypothermia kept him from reaching the finish line. His courage and the importance of knowing how to swim was noted by the boat crew who stated, " If anyone could swim 1/4 the distance he just did, they could save their own lives." Later that same year Josh was honored and received the American Red Cross Hero Award for his valliant swim. He vowed a second attempt to finish that swim. It was not to be. He went on to a paid position as a lifeguard and swim instructor. He also joined the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and was a member up until his enlistment into the Army. On his own time, he taught basic swimming skills to adults and kids at no cost. "I don't want to hear of another kid who drowned when it might have been prevented." In 2007 Josh enlisted in the U.S. Army. He deployed to Iraq 2008. On his return back to Iraq after two weeks home for R&R, he had what was described as a seizure then blacked out. The plane was diverted to Dover AFB. After being stableized, he was transported to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and assigned to the Wounded Warrior Transition Battalion. On Sept 13, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Josh lost his battle to Post Traumatic Stress. The swimmers who participate in this event now carry the honor of all servicemembers who lost their lives to P.T.S.D. the last 4 miles of one soldier's legacy.
P.T.S.D. is not a mental illness. It is a normal response to an abnormal situation such as war. Every servicemember returning from the combat zone will experience some form of Combat Operational Stress. If not addressed or properly treated the invisible wound will tragically cost some of them their lives. Through education about P.T.S.D., its causes and effects for military personel, we, that is those of us who have never gone to war, can better understand how best to support the men and women returning from war and perhaps be a part of their healing process. We are also very committed to putting the names and faces behind the numbers of these servicemembers who lost their lives to P.T.S.D., both U.S. and Canadian armed forces. While we cannot understand what these men and women have experienced, we can learn as much as we can about this and embrace them as they journey back to the homefront. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend the banquet. Your support is the only way this event continues.
This year the banquet honors: PFC Deveran Lee Owen (May 4, 1986 - July 23, 2008) He enlisted in the Army as an Infantryman in March 2006. His assignment was with the Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia. He served as a Bradley Driver for the Battalion Commander. His unwavering dedication to his unit and to the Army values earned him the respect and admiration of both his seniors and peers. In May 2007, he deployed to Iraq with Headquarters Company and served as a member of the Battalion Commander's Personnel Security Detachment. PFC Owen's awards and decorations include: Army Commendation Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, and the Combat Infantryman's Badge. In honor of PFC Owens service to his nation, his flag will fly half staff at the Coast Guard Station until the swim is completed, it will then be presented back to the family.
MCPL Charles Matiru, CAF ( Aug 2, 1980 - Jan 15 2013) Charles joined the Canadian Forces in 2003 was assigned to Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. He was deployed twice in short order, Kabul 2004 Kandahar 2006. He then transitioned from regular infantry to become a "source handling operator". In 2009 he did two back-to-back tours in Afghanistan gathering intelligence from Afghan sources as part of military efforts to track down insurgents and prevent attacks on Canadian troops. He was assigned to the secretive Joint Task Force X. His medals include: South-West Asia Service Medal, General Campaign Star, South-West Asia with three bars. In honor of MCPL Matiru's service to his nation the Canadian flag will fly half staff at the Coast Guard station until the swim is completed, it will then be presented back to his family.
If you are a servicemember or family member concerned about a loved one experiencing:
Sleep disturbances, hard to sleep, nightmares
Extreme anger outbursts
Feeling like you don't fit in anymore
Contact: Hearts Toward Home @(360) 714-1525 U.S. & Canada or email: email@example.com
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255(press 1) U.S. and Canada
For more information on P.T.S.D. contact:
The National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder http://www.ncptsd.org
Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center www.dvbic.org
Defense Centers of Excellence
For familiies who have lost a loved one in uniform to suicide contact Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (taps)24/7 1-800-959-8277 U.S. and Canada www.taps.org/survivors
Proceeds to benefit The Josh Fueston Memorial Swim To Live fund administered by Blue Skies For Children, a local non profit 501C 3 Tax ID 91-2061794