Veterans become mentors to the kids for a day of paws-on healing through
this one-of-a-kind canine-assisted surfing, paddling, playing and therapy program

On June 25th, Ricochet will be trading her long board for a paddle board as she takes veterans with PTSD and kids with special needs from the battleground to the playground in a new facet of her Waves of Empowerment program called "StandUP with a Warrior".

It's a unique initiative that empowers military with PTSD, wounded warriors, active duty service members and veterans who are transitioning out of combat situations and back into civilian life. Each veteran becomes a mentor, and is matched one-on-one with a child who has special needs for a day of paws-on healing through canine-assisted surfing, paddling, playing and therapy. These activities are facilitated by Ricochet who is a registered, certified and top AKC titled therapy dog. The goal is to decrease the statistics below while reducing social anxiety as the veterans and children engage in social activities that foster positive, interactive relationships.

Every 65 minutes a veteran with PTSD takes their life by suicide. That's 22 lives a day! When service members separate from the military they often feel lost with no sense of purpose. The connectedness they felt with their military brothers and sisters now gives way to feelings of disconnect. Many battle with anxiety, depression, hypervigilance and a host of other symptoms. It's common for returning soldiers with PTSD to have antisocial behaviors that lead to isolation.

On the other paw, kids with disabilities are one of the most marginalized and excluded groups in society. Current estimates suggest that there are at least 93 million children with disabilities in the world. Many kids with special needs are judged and defined by their disability, rather than their potential. Some families face social withdrawal and isolation because of stigma, prejudice and lack of understanding.

As such, one of the most common symptoms of PTSD, Autism and other disabilities is social anxiety. But, through Ricochet's innovative model, social skills are improved in a non-judgmental environment where everyone feels accepted. Veterans are able to use their skill set and leadership abilities which give them a renewed sense of purpose. Being of service to kids with special need allows them to step outside their own issues as they re-discover themselves and inspire future generations.

This is a great inclusive program for children as well, because they gain independence, confidence and self-worth while being coached by war heroes. The veterans and kids make a connection with, and through Ricochet… and empower each other!

Ricochet is committed to reducing the suicide rate, social anxiety, isolation and exclusion as she unites and enriches the lives of veterans and civilians of all abilities and backgrounds. She embraces their differences, which allows each individual to demonstrate their potential for making a positive impact in their lives, as well as the lives of others.

The transformation that occurs when these diverse individuals are brought together with Ricochet is truly magical. Please join us as we celebrate all warriors, regardless of their battle.

The inspiration behind this new initiative is Body Glove who donated two inflatable stand up paddle boards (ISUP's) to the program. ​ These new ISUPs are best in class, designed by champion paddler Luke Hopkins to be rigid, stable, yet incredibly convenient because they deflate and store in a comfortable storage bag.

The June 25th event is sponsored by Redfin, a customer-first real estate brokerage that represents people buying and selling homes. Founded and run by technologists, Redfin has a team of experienced, full-service real estate agents who are advocates, not salespeople, earning customer-satisfaction bonuses, not commissions

The stand-up paddle board lessons will be provided by Surf Education Academy.

For more information, contact Judy Fridono at 707-228-0679 or Or check out these links…

Ricochet's website