Sarasota News Leader

11/08/2013

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SECOND CHANCES Dustin Magner (front) rows with instruction from Jason Moskowitz. Photo by Rachel Hackney FOR WOUNDED VETERANS, BENDERSON PARK MAY PLAY A KEY ROLE IN FOSTERING A NEW LEVEL OF NORMALCY IN LIFE By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Amid the bustle of athletes preparing for competition and the white tents dotting the shore, this particular group, at first pass, seemed no different than any other. With some injuries obvious and others not so much in evidence, they were guests of USRowing for the 2013 Masters National Championships held at the Sarasota County park Aug. 15-18. With a closer look, though, it was clear these men and women were not in the typical The "mission" of the volunteers with them, Lycra "uniform" seen on many of the other if you will, was to help initiate an adaptive people striding purposely past rowing ves- rowing program through coordination with sels. These men and women were present a national organization called Operation at Nathan Benderson Second Chance. Park because of the It's about making them feel normal. On Aug. 15, as the uniforms they wore championships were months or years past Paul Blackketter about to get under way, President — as soldiers and Maj. Kevin Kenney, a Marines in service to SunCoast Aquatic Nature Center Association 26-year veteran of the their country.

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