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Amelia Islander

Foar From Home

Jul 06, 2020 02:04PM ● By Tom Barrett
By Karen Miller • Photo by Sherry Carter

Foar From Home is an ocean-row team composed of four veterans from Fernandina Beach, each rower having served in a different branch of the military: Billy Cimino, Army; Hupp Huppmann, Navy; Cameron Hansen, Air Force; and Paul Lore, Marines.
In December 2021, these four ordinary guys will take part in an extraordinary event: rowing across the Atlantic Ocean from the Canary Islands to Antigua in order to raise awareness and donations for PTSD and veteran suicides. It is estimated that 22 veterans die by suicide each day and countless others are now victims of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.
The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge begins in early December 2021, with 30 to 40 row teams participating from around the world. The race brings together teams from across the globe, who gather in the race village of San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands. The atmosphere is electric as people help each other prepare for the challenge of the mighty Atlantic Ocean, all with the same objective—to cross an ocean in nothing but a rowing boat.
However, the four veterans can’t make this journey on their own. They are asking their hometown of Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Nassau County, and anyone else committed to the cause to team up with Foar From Home and come along with them on this extraordinary journey to effect change for veterans in need.
“We have a land support team of over 55 volunteers now, people who are helping us achieve our goal,” says Huppmann. “They include fitness trainers, rowing coaches, nutritionists, a boat maintenance crew, and the like. We’re hoping to amass
a group of corporate sponsors and individual donors, too, and support from our community. It takes an island to cross an ocean!”
“We can’t stress enough how important this project is to us,” says Lore. “When leaving the United States Military Service, our veterans, both men and women, face many challenges and issues while transitioning back into civilian life. Unfortunately, many veterans struggle with identity issues, financial problems, housing issues, cognitive issues, and issues from PTSD.”
“Foar From Home wants to take a bite out of the high suicide rate by running a significant awareness and donation campaign that will raise $500,000 to make a significant contribution for what veterans need now,” says Hansen. “We want to change the life of a veteran today, not tomorrow.”
“Foar From Home is part of a bigger non-profit organization for veterans called the Cross the Line Foundation,” says Cimino. “Cross the Line raises money for other organizations that help veterans, like K9s For Warriors and Fire Watch, Northeast Florida’s fight to end veteran suicide. We also hold other fundraising events, like a paddle from St. Marys to Fernandina Beach, a silent auction at The Green Turtle, and a special luncheon at the American Legion. The Cross the Line Foundation is only successful because of the amazing community support we receive. We would not be able to contribute to veterans’ causes without your help.”
The four veterans hope to make the 3,000-mile journey within 50 days or so; the record for the race is 29 days, and most crews complete the race in 50 to 90 days. These four rowers will row all day and all night, two hours on, two hours off, in rotation so that each rower can get the rest they need. They have much to do to prepare for the journey, including fitness training, sea survival training, and ocean first-aid classes.
Foar From Home’s challenge wouldn’t be possible without support from their families, especially their wives, Lulu Huppmann, Starla Hansen, Katie Cimino, and Ruth Maestra. “We call them ‘The Steady Oars,’” laughs Lore. “They’re the steadfast ladies keeping us men on course.”
For more information, to make a donation, or to become a corporate sponsor, visit www.foarfromhome.com. To learn more about Cross the Line Foundation’s resources for veterans, visit www.crossthelinefoundation.com. To learn more about the race, visit www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com.