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Commentary: There’s Always One


As in years past, Operation Shore Fun provided powerboats for veterans injured serving their country. Photo by Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images.

For the fourth rear in a row, longtime marine writer Tony Esposito covered the New Jersey Performance Powerboat Club’s Atlantic City Rally for speedonthewater.com. Per event tradition, Saturday’s free powerboat rides for veterans, many of them injured in combat, and their families, followed Friday’s on-water jaunt from Toms River to the Golden Nugget Resort and Casino host venue. Called Operation Shore Fun by NJPPC president Dave Patnaude, the boat rides for veterans are an essential part—maybe even the most essential part—of a fine weekend.

An outdoor café overlooks the dock area where the veterans, with help from volunteers, board and debark for powerboats rides. The rides began in the mid-morning and ended in the late afternoon. According to Esposito, everyone from the veterans to the boat drivers was delighted with the way things went.

Strike that. Not everyone was delighted. In fact, one man who approached Esposito was downright annoyed with the engine noise coming from the powerboats as they idled while they picked up and dropped off their passengers—many of whom had to be picked up themselves to get in and out of the boats—at the docks.

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