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‘It Takes an Island to Cross an Ocean’: OU Alumnus to Row 3,000 Miles to Raise Funds for Veterans

‘It Takes an Island to Cross an Ocean’: OU Alumnus to Row 3,000 Miles to Raise Funds for Veterans

Paul lore poses on a boat in front of a hanging Ameican flag

It’s billed as the “world’s toughest row,” but OU alumnus Paul Lore and three other veterans are focused on their mission – take on the Atlantic Ocean in a rowboat and raise funds to support veterans and their mental health.

On Dec. 12, Lore’s team, dubbed “Foar From Home,” will embark on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge – a journey that will take them from the Canary Islands 3,000 miles west to Antigua. Casting off in a 28-foot rowing boat that will only be powered by their own strength, the team expects to be at sea for about 50 days. They will row for two hours, and sleep for two hours, constantly, 24 hours a day. The rowers will battle sleep deprivation, salt sores and other physical extremes while they work together to ensure they reach their destination safely.

It’s a grueling undertaking – more people have climbed Mount Everest than have completed the Talisker Whisky Challenge. But for Lore and his teammates, overcoming the physical demands of the race is far from the main reason behind the trip.

“We are embarking on this endurance journey to raise awareness and funds for PTSD and veteran suicide – partnering with organizations that are making a discernible impact in this area,” said Lore, who earned his master’s degree in public administration from OU in 2011.

Foar From Home teammates four men pose for photo

OU alumnus and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Paul Lore (second from right) and his Foar From Home teammates.

For Lore, who served two tours in the U.S. Marine Corps, and his rowing teammates, it’s a deeply personal cause.

“Every day we’re on the ocean for this unsupported row, we will be pushing for each stroke, for each mile, for each day – we will get up and put in the work to achieve the goal,” he said. “While this is the hardest endurance challenge the four of us will face, it pales in comparison to what warriors with PTSD face every day.”

The Team and Their Mission

In addition to Lore, the Foar From Home team includes Billy Cimino, Cameron Hansen and A.M. “Hupp” Huppmann, veterans of the U.S. Army, Air Force and Navy, respectively. Of course, not unlike with any military foray, the team also includes numerous people working behind the scenes. This “army” of supporters includes spouses and a land support team, including a psychologist, nutritionist, rowing coach and more.

To date, the Foar From Home team has raised more than $577,000 to benefit K9s For Warriors, which pairs service dogs with veterans who have post-traumatic stress or other service-connected trauma, and the Cross the Line Foundation, which helps veterans navigate the often complex transition to civilian life.

The team coined the phrase “It Takes an Island to Cross an Ocean” early on in their campaign, and their fundraising successes have proven this to be true.

Foar from Home teammates rowing on a boat

Lore (right) and his teammates prepare for next month’s 3,000-mile rowing challenge.

OU Veterans’ Assistance

To help veteran students as they navigate the transition from military service to college life, OU offers a number of resources that provide support and opportunities for veterans to connect.

Article by Jerri Culpepper

Article Published:  Wednesday, November 3, 2021