Kelly grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, and joined the US Navy as a corpsman at the age of 25 in 2004. She deployed aboard the Mercy hospital ship in 2008 and spent time in Okinawa, Japan, but her most harrowing experiences occurred during a six-month deployment to FOB Jackson in Sangin, Afghanistan, from 2010-2011.
One More Wave team riders Mike Rozier and Kelly Talavera receive their customized surfboards in a double board delivery!
Steve joined the military prior to 9/11, born to missionary parents in Panama and raised between San Diego and Los Angeles surfing the coast. After graduating from UC Riverside he commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marines in 1996. During his first deployment while conducting training operations in Darwin, Australia, in 2001, attached to the 15th MEU as a UH1N pilot with Helicopter Marine Light Attack Squadron (HMLA)-169 — they received the news of what was unfolding back home. Steve told the Communities Digital News, “It was a very anxious and excitable kind of feeling that we were out in the Arabian Sea and the country had been attacked and more than likely we were going to do something about it.”
Terry has lived a life of service since graduating from high school in his hometown along the northwestern part of Oak Harbor, Washington. He joined the Navy Reserve through the Sea Air Mariner program and flew aboard the C-9-31 as an aircrewman. Unable to advance he got out of the Navy after four years and enlisted in the Army as a Combat Engineer. “I really had no idea what this entailed and I was in for a rude awakening,” he laughed. After his second contract and second branch, he separated and was working as a phlebotomist and part-time EMT-B when the World Trade Center was hit on 9/11. For a third time, Terry enlisted but in the Air Force and he became a recipient of Levitow Award — given to one airman per class who exhibits the most outstanding leadership and scholastic qualities — at the Airman Leadership School.
“Normally I watched music videos on MTV while getting ready for work and I saw all the channels showed the World Trade Center on fire, I watched the second plane crash into the building and it was my call to action,” Danny said. “As a young man I felt it was my responsibility to do something, doing nothing wasn’t an option and I’d rather get into the mix putting my life on the line because that was my only option.”
Dan Cnossen is soft-spoken, humble, and embodies the values of never quitting despite the challenges that lay before him. His journey of accomplishment began when he committed to becoming a Navy SEAL officer, moving from his hometown of Topeka, Kansas, to attend the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. When he graduated in 2002, a year after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, Dan knew he was going to war.
Shorty spent her teenage years and early twenties volunteering as a firefighter in a country town located 20 minutes from Salem, Oregon. After receiving a phone call from a close friend on September 11, 2001, saying the US was under attack, Shorty felt a need to do something about it. At that time, firefighting jobs in the army were outsourced to civilians, so Shorty prodded the recruiter to find information about other jobs within the army. “He began to go down this list: Military Policeman (MP), working with the Kiowa helicopter, and then he began talking about the Apache and I thought it was so cool because it’s the only helicopter that flies inverted, so I decided to become an Apache mechanic."
Each adaptive athlete that applies to receive assistance from One More Wave has his or her own unique story. Biggs’ journey is a story of resilience and struggle that’s masked behind his positive attitude towards life, emphasized through his experiences with hardship.
Before the joining the Marine Corps, Todd aspired to become an architect as he grew up bouncing back and forth between South Carolina and Rhode Island. At 18-years-old, Todd enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1997, but didn’t travel far to attend boot camp at Parris Island. Following Marine Corps boot camp, he attended various schools end up where he ultimately attained the Military Occupation Skill (MOS) as an Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV) crewman. In the following years he deployed multiple times to Okinawa, Japan, with the 31stMarine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) from 1998-2002. During the time he was deployed to the southeastern region that brought him to several different countries. He returned to Camp Pendleton, California, to work in the Amphibious Assault Schools Battalion as an instructor.
One More Wave’s Ambassador of Stoke – Buster Kawasaki – grew up in Hawaii and after high school enlisted in the Army to travel the world and serve his country. He served as a Fuel & Electrical Systems Repairman for eight years where he worked on building the small components of engines. Buster’s service led him to New Jersey, Maryland, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Germany.