On August 2nd, Warrior Sailing bid farewell to a beloved sailor and coach, Andrew Spaulding. A veteran himself, Spaulding willingly gave his talent, time, and humor to our mission. After battling an aggressive form of cancer, he laid to rest in his home in Connecticut.

” ‘We’ is what Spaulding lived for. He lived for his family and friends. Spaulding was always there when you needed him. Never missed a step to help a friend. He even drove 3 hours to represent so many sailing friends that couldn’t make it to my mom’s memorial service a few years back. That time and many other kind moments will never be forgotten. He laughed, danced (very good dancer), and loved with all of his heart. Sailed, served, worked hard, and smiled every day.” — Ben Poucher, Program Director

“Most veterans arrive in the Warrior Sailing Program after going through multiple ordeals. Often times we have lost our health, our careers, most of our social connections, and large pieces of our identities. When we toss 3 such veterans into a small boat with a coach to learn to sail one of 2 things happens; disaster ensues or magic happens. The sailing experience often depends largely on the coach. Ancient Polynesians always believed in some metaphysical element to sailing, that sailors are moving the world around the boat instead of vice versa. Perhaps Spaulding understood this, because what happened in the boat would transform the world around us once we got back on land. He was often much more than just our sailing coach; he was a fellow Navy veteran, shipmate, and a sort of big brother. He would joke that sailing was so easy, “you just have to be 10% smarter than the zipper.” He made every single person feel like they mattered. Every time I think of sailing, I remember him. He wasn’t just a coach who could move the boat through the water. The world would move around him. He was just that person who brought endless kindness, charm, and laughter.” — Laura Root, Warrior Sailor

Fair winds and following seas, our friend. We will miss you.