Growing up so close to the ocean, the sounds of waves lapping against the shore, breezes dancing through the palm trees and seagulls flying toward the sky became the soundtrack of my childhood. Stress relief has always come by way of a peaceful walk on the sand, taking a dip in our warm waters or jumping on a yacht for an impromptu trip to the nearest sandbar. But there are people all over the world who have never seen the ocean; there are countries, capitals, cities and states that are completely landlocked. One time, while I was studying at UM, I got to drive an entire family visiting from Idaho to the beach so they could see it for the first time. Their reaction can’t be put into words. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever witnessed. Next time you’re enjoying some fun in the sun seaside, remember how blessed we are to have one of the world’s most marvelous backdrops right in our own backyard. Let’s try to enjoy every minute of it and take in the view with gusto.
Mark Stephens served his country for 21+ years in Army Special Operations. He now serves his fellow Nation’s Special Operations members and their families through Task Force Dagger Foundation, which is there for them when the government, the VA or other insurance isn’t.
The 2019 Key Biscayne Chamber Of Commerce Installation Dinner was sponsored by Baptist Health of South Florida and attended by some of the community’s most involved leaders.