Gary Markel, Operation Cruise

Who is Your Hero?

Gary Merkel formed Operation Cruise to allow our wounded Special Operation Force veterans the ability to enjoy a once in a lifetime experience aboard his luxury yacht, One More Toy. While watching a program of wounded warriors scuba diving with volunteers in St. Thomas one day, he realized that he could make his boat available to wounded soldiers and their families. Great ideas aren’t always easy to implement, especially when it is involves the military, and working with a friend of a friend, he got in touch with the Care Coalition, a group who helps Special Operations Forces personel recover and rehabilitate with the aid of licensed counselors. Gary offered his 150′ yacht as a counseling platform.

How has your nominee’s efforts made a difference for the better?

The inaugural cruise was in February 2011, the extraordinary R&R accompanied by counseling, providing the first group of soldiers and their families an uplifting experience for the struggles they are facing in recovery. Gary hopes his example could help get other yacht owners to donate to the cause.

How will being recognized as a YachtWorld Hero further your nominee’s cause? Every bit of exposure helps, and with YachtWorld’s millions of boaters and boat owners, we hope to inspire some of them to donate in some way including:

1. Solicit Yacht Owners to Donate time on their Yachts for Wounded Special Operations Forces, their significant other and a licensed counselor.

2. Solicit donations to cover the out of pocket expenses that the owners incur ( dockage, fuel, food, beverage, etc. )

3. Solicit donations from companies for goods and services such as Dockage, fuel, food, beverage, etc.

Please share any website or online articles about your nominee’s activities.

Gary Markel of Operation Cruise was nominated by Kevin Merrigan, President, of Northrop and Johnson in the category “Marine Industry Owner Changing the World”.

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