First Lady Mary Pat Christie Recognizes 21st New Jersey Hero
Michael Ricci, a combat-decorated veteran who served in Vietnam and sustained permanent injuries, began Operation Beachhead three years ago as a means to bring adventurous and challenging therapy activities to disabled U.S. military veterans. This year, the surf clinic program has expanded to include people with disabilities. Ricci, who has a Master’s Degree in Counseling, has guided veterans for over 30 years on issues of substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder and has been active with disabled veterans organizations throughout the years.
Mrs. Christie spent the afternoon at an Operation Beachhead event, learning how Michael’s organization has transformed the lives of veterans. Through his surf clinic program, Michael provides veterans and people with disabilities the opportunity to participate in adaptive sport activities including surfing and kayaking.