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Injured Hero Sails Warrior’s Wish in Single-man Race to Hawaii

Ronnie Simpson was serving with the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines in the Spring of 2004 when his Humvee was hit with a rocket propelled grenade (RPG). To save his life, doctors placed him into a medically induced coma for 19 days. Though he recovered, his long term injuries include the loss of hearing in one ear, the loss of half of his left lung, and mild brain damage. His eyes were also sprayed with shrapnel and despite cataract replacements and glasses, Simpson is slowly going blind.

During his recovery, Simpson took up sailing to combat depression. He became captivated and in 2008, attempted to sail to Hawaii singlehandedly. Although Simpson did not complete his trip, a grant from a CFC supported charity allowed him to enter into the 2010 Singlehanded Transpac Race – a 2,120 miles solo sailing race between San Francisco and Hanalei Bay, Kauai.

Mr. Simpson is sailing a boat named Warrior’s Wish that he received from Don Gray, a Vietnam veteran and he is raising funds and awareness for a CFC supported charity, committed to meeting the needs of combat-wounded or killed U.S. service members and their families.

“Being a severely wounded combat veteran who nearly died in Iraq, this is something that I truly believe in,” says Mr. Simpson. “I am not racing for personal glory, but to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice."

Mr.Simpson notes that his long term goals include helping other wounded heroes reach their dreams through sailing programs.

 


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