A Park County Search and Rescue volunteer and Powell resident embarked Thursday on a row across the Atlantic Ocean with other veterans.
Carl Christensen left the Canary Islands, just off the coast of the African continent, as part of Fight Oar Die.
As many people prepare the holidays, one Colorado native is spending them at sea. Evan Stratton is from Denver and served in the Marines. Last Thursday, he began a 3,000-mile journey across the Atlantic — in a 28-foot boat — for the annual Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
Listen to the December 15th episode of The American Veterans Show to hear our feature.
More people have climbed Mount Everest than have rowed across the Atlantic, the Fight Oar Die website roars its defiance.
Fight Oar Die, an all-veteran rowing team, will be one of 33 teams to attempt that crossing this year as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, a 3,000-nautical mile race from the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean, kicking off on Thursday.
“It’s about motivating veterans to continue to be better and continue to live,” said Luke Holton, an Auke Bay resident and a former soldier, in a phone interview. “I’ve been out for 10 years, and it’s good to get back into that team environment where there’s one goal in mind.”
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Evan Stratton, and his three other crew members, set sail Thursday to row across the Atlantic Ocean — all 3,000 miles of it.
“We didn’t know each other seven months ago,” John Fannin, one of the crew members, said. All four of the men are U.S. Veterans.
“More people have been and climbed Mount Everest and been in space than they’ve ever rowed an ocean,” Stratton said about the trans-Atlantic ocean row. They work in shifts, three hours rowing and three hours sleeping non-stop or days.
“We’re shooting for 40 [days] but really just trying to get there in one piece,” Stratton said.
For the second year in a row, Mobile Bay has served as the training ground for a crew of military veterans preparing to row across the Atlantic. On Wednesday, the city showed how enthusiastic it was about the mission.
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A team of veterans is training in Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico for a race of a life time. They’re going to row more than 3,000 miles crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
It’s a clever play on words that illustrates the simple wisdom of the actual phrase “fight or die”. Fight or die. Fight against that which holds you back. Fight against the insecurity or the uncertainty of life or perish. The old Latin proverb made famous by Virgil, “audentis Fortuna iuvat” or “Fortune favors the bold”, reminds us that life is not for the timid as they (the timid) are soon relegated into obscurity and insignificance.
When Carl Christensen came home from piloting nuclear submarines overseas, his service didn’t end. In some ways, it had just begun.
Wanting to continue serving his country, the Navy veteran has enlisted in a different type of service — bringing awareness to the mental health needs of soldiers.
“I’m a veteran that feels I haven’t done enough and wanted to do what I could to help out,” he said.