Almost 1.5 million strokes.
That’s what Connetquot High School alum Paul Lore estimates it will take for him and three fellow retired veterans to row across the Atlantic Ocean this December.
The four friends — each representing a different branch of the U.S. military — formed the group “Foar from Home” to bring more attention to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and suicide among veterans.
On Dec. 12, they will jump in their vessel “Courageous” and begin a 3,000-mile, 50-day slog west from the Canary Islands to Antigua. “Foar for Lore” is one of nearly 40 teams of rowers taking part in the annual Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
While training for the big voyage, the group has raised $239,000 toward its $500,000 goal.
Lore is a 1980 Connetquot graduate who enlisted in the U.S. Marines in 1981. He completed two tours with the Marine Corps, eventually becoming a Marine air traffic controller.
Later, he worked at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an air traffic controller at four different airports and in numerous managerial positions.
The other rowers are U.S. Army veteran Billy Cimino, U.S. Air Force vet Cameron Hansen and A.M. “Hupp” Huppmann, a veteran of the U.S. Navy. All four live in Amelia Island, Florida.
A 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report indicated that 6,000-plus veterans take their own lives each year, and that nearly four in 10 are older than 55.
The “Foar from Home” rowers note that veterans face serious challenges transitioning back to civilian life, after leaving the military. They point out that many vets struggle with such cognitive mental health issues as PTSD, re-integration and identity issues, and financial problems.
“Foar from Home” partnered with the Cross the Line Foundation in Florida to raise awareness and funds for “Now Veteran Need” programs like “K-9 for Warriors” and “Fire Watch*” that operate in north Florida and are in need of funding.
Check out their team video below:
Training for the 3,000-mile row has been a challenge, Lore said during a First Coast News report in Jacksonville, Florida.
“All four of us rowers are on the indoor rower at least four to five days a week in conjunction with our CrossFit training,” he said in the report. “We also have to pay attention to nutrition and the mental aspects of training.”
During the trip, Lore said the crew will dine on dehydrated food and make their own water.
The above photos are featured at foarfromhome.com.