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COLLIER COUNTY | Local foundation throws therapeutic boat ride for veterans

Posted at 7:53 PM, Nov 06, 2023

NAPLES, FLA - Over one hundred veterans recently set sail in Naples on a short boat trip ahead of Veterans Day.

The voyage, organized by the Freedom Waters Foundation, provided a unique opportunity for veterans to come together and meet others who have served in the US military.

The free event featured a live group sing-along, food, and water views from the upper deck.

The non-profit says its mission is to enhance "the lives of children, individuals with special needs, and veterans by providing therapeutic boat experiences".

Debra Frenkel, the Founder and Executive Director of the Foundation, underlined how these therapeutic boat outings create a sense of safety and comfort for those they serve.

"Many veterans return home without trusting either the military or civilians. What we have created is a venue where they can find trust among both civilians and fellow veterans, said Frenkel.

"It's their comfort zone, offering camaraderie, respite, rest, and a feeling of safety. It's a perfect place for veterans to enjoy themselves," Frenkel added.

Frenkel has dedicated more than two decades to this mission.

"What touches me the most is when veterans stop me and say, 'Thank you so much for what you've done. This is the nicest thing anyone has done for me,'" Frenkel explained.

Beyond helping veterans, the Freedom Waters Foundation says it also supports children with disabilities, individuals facing lifelong illnesses, and others who may not have had the chance to enjoy therapautic boat outings.