125 military veterans welcomed to Newport Beach as War Heroes on Water prepares for fifth annual and largest event
Sep 23, 2022
SoCal sportfishing community bands together with more than 50 yachts supporting combat wounded veterans with three-days of world-class angling
Public invited to cheer on our nation's heroes during patriotic boat parade through Newport Harbor – Saturday, September 24
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Sept. 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- 125 military veterans from across the country arrived in Newport Beach, Calif. today for War Heroes on Water (WHOW), the transformative sportfishing tournament that helps combat-wounded veterans recover from the physical and emotional wounds of war. In its fifth annual and largest tournament to date, the event will directly serve the veterans on board more than 50 of Southern California's finest sportfishing yachts for a weekend of world-class angling, while raising funds to support thousands more through WHOW's 501c3 partner, Freedom Alliance.
WHOW Founder Anthony Hsieh said "Our nation's veterans have sacrificed so much for us and for our country, and I look forward to the opportunity to serve them through WHOW every year. We're here to show these heroes how much they mean to us while allowing them to tap into the healing powers of the ocean and forge life-long bonds with fellow veterans who understand and share their experiences. Today marks the start of yet another amazing journey."
WHOW officially kicks off Sat., Sept. 24, when the public is invited to cheer on our veterans during a patriotic and visually stunning community boat parade in Newport Harbor. The parade provides the community an opportunity to share its deep appreciation for the sacrifices of these brave men and women. The festivities kick off at 5pm, a map of pedestrian viewing areas is available here.
Once on the water, the prowess of SoCal's finest anglers will take center stage as each team shares its knowledge of the local waters and expert fishing techniques to get their veterans on fish.
"In addition to the joy of seeing old friends and welcoming new members into the WHOW family, it's incredible to see the community come together to honor our nation's heroes," added Hsieh. "We couldn't do this if it were not for all of our generous sponsors and, of course, the SoCal sportfishing community who so kindly donate their yachts, time and angling expertise to allow our veterans to connect and heal with some competitive fishing over three days at sea."
At the heart of the WHOW tournament are dozens of participants and volunteers, including the owners, captains and crews of the WHOW fleet, who, collectively, represent a monetary donation of hundreds of thousands of dollars—as well as hundreds of hours—to host the veterans for the three-day on-water component of the tournament. These patriots graciously welcome their veteran guests so that they can experience the healing power that comes with being on the open ocean, enable them to form deep and genuine bonds with their fellow team members and establish a long-term support system that extends well beyond the tournament itself.
"WHOW changes lives," said WHOW participant and veteran Michael Spivey. "The military to civilian divide makes it hard to connect with other people, whereas veterans have so much in common, we can connect on a more personal level. The ocean has its own rhythm and frequency that speaks to your soul; it centers you and allows you to open up. Getting out there with other vets makes you feel better about yourself; it helps us continue on and makes everything feel better."
This year's tournament has attracted more than 225 returning and new corporate and private donors and sponsors who care about our veterans and understand how this tournament is saving--and changing lives. The tournament has already raised more than $1 million before its iconic silent auction opens for bidding on Saturday at 12pm PT. Click HERE to register and view items.
Over the first four years of the tournament, the generous support of the WHOW family of sponsors and donors has enabled the tournament to directly serve 200 veterans on the water and raise more than $3.3 million to support thousands more through Freedom Alliance's year-round therapeutic services and scholarships for combat-wounded service members and their families.
About War Heroes on Water
War Heroes on Water (WHOW) is an annual sportfishing tournament of unprecedented scale that supports combat-wounded veterans' programs. It was created by Anthony Hsieh, who is also the owner and leader of Team Bad Company, a world-class, record-holding competitive sportfishing fleet. Through Hsieh's deep connections with the Southern California sportfishing and business communities, WHOW has grown exponentially over five years and is now the largest nonprofit sportfishing tournament in the US.
About Freedom Alliance
Freedom Alliance is a charitable organization which provides help and support to wounded troops and military families. Freedom Alliance has awarded more than $20 million in college scholarships to the children of military heroes killed or disabled in military service and has spent millions more helping injured veterans and military families with outdoor recreational therapy trips, Heroes 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.
VP, Public Relations
SOURCE War Heroes on Water