by Ryan McDonald
Rough waters and overhead surf didn’t stop a group of military veterans from throwing themselves into the waves of El Porto this week, thanks to the Jimmy Miller Foundation and an assist from the Los Angeles Kings.
The foundation hosted veterans from the West Los Angeles Veterans Hospital Groups Monday for a morning of ocean therapy. Instructors from Camp Surf provided tips on technique and kept the vets safe, while a pre-surf yoga session from Yoga Glo got everyone warmed up.
The foundation, named for a beloved local lifeguard and surf instructor who lost his life to mental illness in 2004, is devoted to ocean therapy. It has been a pioneer in using surfing to assist veterans and active-duty soldiers deal with the rigors of combat and helping them prepare to return to civilian life. The foundation hosts events throughout the year in the South Bay and at Camp Pendleton in San Diego County.
“The idea that the ocean could heal us was not really talked about at the time,” said Kris Primacio, ocean therapy coordinator for the foundation. “Thirteen years later, we are still thriving.”
The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation wants to recognize and celebrate the life of an amazing and generous lady, a true South Bay “local”. Ruth Phelps included the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation in her will so we can continue to offer Ocean Therapy our veterans and children groups.
Ruth Phelps was born in Southwest Los Angeles on December 9, 1913, attended El Segundo High School and then graduated from UCLA with a teaching credential for kindergarten and elementary grades. Her eight years of teaching included time at Colton, Redondo Beach and West Los Angeles. In 1979, Ruth retired from a 36-year career with Standard Oil (now Chevron) at the El Segundo Oil Refinery. Ruth began at Standard Oil as a file clerk, then a secretary and progressed to working vacation relief wherever needed.
Ruth was an avid traveler. She documented her trips to London, Oslo, Banff, Higgins Lake and of course, her beloved Hawaii. She was a volunteer at the Food Pantry at LAX, an active participant at the Westchester Senior Center, and a committed member of Covenant Presbyterian Church. Ruth was a rabid UCLA fan, and she followed all UCLA sports teams. Go Bruins!
We honor Ruth and her generous contribution, and for supporting us as we support our veterans and children. What an awesome legacy! If you would like more information on how to include the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation in your will, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
All star cast included Peff Eick, Lt. Col. Steve Mount and 10 Marines, including 3 first timers!
Laughter was the best medicine at this Ocean Therapy session. See everyone at THE JIMMY on Sunday!
JMMF board member Andy Dellenbach coaches a first timer with guest instructors Brad and Jerry.
Safety instructor Kyle demonstrates the way to stand on with board with a first time Marine surfer.
(Here is a new article from GrindTV.com in which Sephan discusses his experience with JMMF)
STEPHAN JENKINS donated time this week to the JIMMY MILLER FOUNDATION at CAMP PENDLETON in SAN DIEGO, where a number of wounded, ill or injured MARINES attached to the WOUNDED WARRIOR BATALLION were hosted. For each “Ocean Therapy” session, there is a discussion about a theme related to trauma and recovery and how it relates to the ocean. After the discussion there is a 90-minute surf session followed by a closing circle. JENKINS spent the morning teaching MARINES how to surf, and in essence sharing his love for a sport that has provided him with so much personal joy over the years.
click here for more images of the day at Camp Pendleton
“Surfing is foundational to my life. Still it doesn’t feel complete until I share it with others,” JENKINS said. “Sharing it with service members who have carried their trauma home and seeing what it does for them completes it for me. There is no place I would have rather spent my birthday.” For more information on “Ocean Therapy” and THE JIMMY MILLER FOUNDATION, check out its official homepage jimmymillerfoundation.org.
THIRD EYE BLIND will release its brand new seven-song album, “We Are Drugs,” this FRIDAY (OCTOBER 7th). Check out a stream of “Company Of Strangers,” on SOUNDCLOUD.
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