Samantha at 17, the oldest member of the WoHF program, was our first to plan a Capstone Event. Samantha’s father was an avid surfer who surfed with world class wave riders. One of her father’s teammates was part of that group and is currently a renowned surfboard shaper. The two teammates spoke often about making time for a surf adventure that, unfortunately will never take place.
On August 6, 2011, Samantha learned that her father, a decorated US Navy SEAL, was killed in action when the helicopter transporting 38 personnel was struck by enemy fire.
WoHF connected the fallen soldier’s daughter to his surfing buddy. Although Samantha and her father’s friend had never met, this teammate realized the potential of an epic Capstone experience at a world class surf camp. Surfing with her father had been a dream of hers that they were not able to do together. Both the mentor and Samantha were able to live out a promise. Samantha’s mother shared that this is “two wishes filled in one trip”.
Earlier this year, Samantha formed a tremendous bond with a big buddy during bereavement camp. This big buddy has continued as Samantha’s bereavement counselor and confidant.
In accordance with WoHF guidelines, a female mentor is required to attend with Samantha. Samantha, her SEAL mentor, and her bereavement counsler headed for the surf. Having her present to comfort her and a father-figure to mentor her father’s wishes, Samantha’s Capstone event carved epic waves of honored promises.