Our Mission, Purpose, and Future Plans:
The idea for Team Iggy Vets was developed by David Lincoln, the organizer and now a director. He is a veteran of the Naval Service, in the drilling reserves, and currently on recall to active duty. He is rated at 50% disabled by the Veteran’s Administration (“VA”). He is a JAG and as a prosecutor and advisor to a Group Commander has seen how disability affects servicemembers – particularly PTSD. He loves sailing and has been sailing for 17 years, including Wednesday night racing series in Charleston SC, Mystic CT, and Guilford, CT. He recently purchased a Beneteau Oceanis 281 which is moored in Eastport, Maryland. After reading about other sailing programs for veterans, he would like to do the same and bring veterans and their families into the sport.
Currently we are administratively organizing the group. We just received our EIN and Virginia certificate of incorporation. We developed a website www.iggyvets.org and are beginning to promote the group. Since it is winter, we do not expect a lot of actual activity or recruitment until the spring. We are also determining whether to remain in Annapolis or set up permanent base in the Solomons/NAS Pax River or Mount Vernon/Fort Belvoir. All have large concentrations of veterans and dependents.
Our launch event will be a “Burning of the Socks” party at which we hope to both recruit and fundraise – http://iggyvets.org/calendar-of-events/. We doubt we will garner many outside donations until we obtain legitimate 501(c)(3) status. We will explore grants such as from Disabled Veterans of America and getting on the CFC list for donation selection.
We intend to enter into a Beer Can Series this summer. These are common races in sailing communities and are entitled as such because they are relatively informal and a good entrée into sail racing for new sailors. We will not promote alcohol consumption. We will probably have to cancel the AYC Frostbite Series participation due to a slow start and maintenance issues on the boat. Dave Lincoln is covering all expenses for the use, storage, and upkeep of the boat, L’il Iggy, for the time being. Hopefully in the future we will obtain a donation of a boat for the Team. This boat is not the fastest racing boat, but we will participate in “handicap racing.”
We seek to set up a basic sailing course to offer to veterans. The course would be through US Sailing and we would have to fundraise for books and to pay the outside instructor. This would be the first step in getting members on the racing team. David Lincoln will also teach interested members skills to maintain the boat, which are useful in everyday life – including maintenance of plumbing systems, electrical systems, maintaining hull integrity, and the like. He will also teach basic sail theory using “The Art and Science of Sails.” We will also offer free cruises on the Chesapeake to veterans and their dependents.
We do have medical personnel and we do not seek to offer medical services for disabled veterans. We will continue to emphasize this. We do seek to offer the opportunity to veterans to sail on Chesapeake Bay and develop skills and friendships to support them beyond service.
We are new and this is our vision, but we will remain flexible to the needs and desires of those interested in Team Iggy Vets.