NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Dozens of “Wounded Warriors” are one step closer to healing after riding the waves this weekend.

The 11th Annual Watersports Festival for injured servicemen and women was held in the Rockaways Sunday.

As CBS2’s Ilana Gold reports, wounded warriors from around the world put their disabilities aside for the event.

“I was able to get back onto a surfboard and be like you know what surfing is the only thing that’s easier for me to do without legs,” said Brandon Dodson, a San Diego wounded veteran. “I can just sit on it and cruise on the board.”

Dodson, a former marine, had to have both legs amputated when he stepped on a bomb in Afghanistan. But now he’s learning to move forward.

And he’s one of dozens taking advantage of the physical health and wellness program sponsored by the Wounded Warriors project.

Carol Evans is learning to water ski with a severe back injury from her tour in Iraq. Now she’s thriving thanks to a special chair that allows her to water ski with minimal pain.

“My husband, he’s been doing great too,” Evans said. “He just went on the last round he had a lot of fun, it built up his confidence.”

Jerry Miserandino, a wounded Vietnam veteran from Brooklyn lost both of his hands.

“When we have special projects like this I come down and I come down and I give a helping hand no pun intended,” Miserandino said.

Despite his disability, he’s out here coaching and showing the veterans how to get past their setbacks.

“Because through adaptive sports it proves that if I can do this, then I can do anything,” Miserandino said.


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