The Surf City waterway was peppered with paddlers on Aug. 19 when a slew of people manned paddleboards, kayaks and canoes to trek a 3.5-mile course for the homegrown Paddle for the Troops event.

Our Surf City residents delivered as they always do, said Dwight Torres, Ret. USMC and Paddle for Troops founder. I was honored to help with this magnificent event. Our goal was to bring attention to the sacrifices that these great Americans have made on our behalf. In addition, also pause for a moment and recognize that we are still a nation at war. The event was also intended to build a bridge between the patriotic community who support and appreciate our heroes and allow them a day of camaraderie and cheer.

Proceeds from the event exceeded $5,000, which will soon be presented to the Wounded Warrior Battalion in Camp Lejeune. Such successes also guarantee the return of the paddle event this time next year.

It has been an honor to work with our local business owners and sponsors, said Torres. A special thanks to them all, but a very special thank you to my friend Larry Rice for being my righthand man.