As in any industry; there are financial, social and political divisions within surfing. The big companies are locked into a perennial arms races in everything from wetsuits to headphones to socks.

I could go on-and-on about the pros and cons of the corporate side of our sport; but when it comes down to it, we are all still surfers. Furthermore, we Americans are connected by the freedoms afforded to us.

So when a global surf brand like Billabong gets behind a unifying cause like its local Wave Warriors Surf Camp, it provides us with a unique perspective of the surfing community and the value of our freedoms.

On May 26, the dedication of Billabong’s Ken Hunt, his crew and Jason Borte came to fruition when they hosted dozens of wounded veterans at their camp as part of the annual Steel Pier Classic contest.

The boys – including volunteers from our shop – ensured these heroes enjoyed an day in the surf that too many of us take for granted. While we worry about little things like ducking the next big set wave; our veterans are worried about ducking enemy fire.

Despite your political opinions on our foreign conflicts, the fact is that these men and women lay it all on the line to protect the United States and the way of life we’ve come to love and celebrate.

So on this Memorial Day weekend, we salute our vets – wounded, unscathed and deceased – for your sacrifices. Big thanks to Billabong for bringing the surfing community together to provide an uplifting experience for those troops.

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