Operation Beachhead hosts memorial surfing day

SPRING LAKE — An army of volunteers flocked to a Spring Lake beach last weekend for Operation Beachhead’s AJ Krausse Memorial Surf Day. Arthur J “AJ” Krausse was an Operation Beachhead volunteer who passed away in June. On Saturday, July 22, almost 40 volunteers and 15 participants, including people from the Lyons Veteran Affairs Campus in Lyons, gathered on the beach of Spring Lake for a day of surfing and water activities. Operation Beachhead, based in Manasquan and founded by Michael Ricci, provides disabled veterans the opportunity to enjoy water activities by using adaptive equipment, such as adaptive surfboards, boogie boards and tandem kayaks. “People thank me for events like this, they thank me for giving back” said Mr. Ricci. “And I tell them, ‘Don’t thank me, I’m not giving back, I’m one that’s getting something from this. Don’t thank me, I’m thanking you,” said Mr. Ricci. According to volunteer and Operation Beachhead lead waterman Bruce Boyle, there were at least 15 participants, including some new faces. “It was a fantastic day, we had perfect wave conditions, tide conditions, we had at least 15 participants, but what really blew me away about this event is there were 30 to 40 volunteers show up, so we had an army of people on the beach, and it just went to show that we’re ready to take on even more participants and get more people in the water,” said Mr. Boyle.

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