Waves of Valor gets veterans on surfboards riding the waves


By Laylan Connelly

It didn’t matter that Otis Hopson is legally blind, the result of an injury sustained serving in the Vietnam war decades ago. And so what if he is turning 71 in a few months? Or that the Mississippi native had never been in the ocean.

On Saturday, he became a surfer.

“The young people say, ‘This is awesome,’” said Hopson, still dripping wet and all smiles after riding some waves – and suffering some wipe outs – in Huntington Beach on Saturday morning, Sept. 9. “Totally awesome.”

Hopson was one of about 40 veterans who were treated to a day of surfing at the “Waves of Valor” event put on by the nonprofit Team Red, White and Blue, which helps veterans get together for social and physical activities to help enrich their lives.

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