Veteran Spotlight Former Marine founds non-profit to help other military veterans through sailing.


Josh Johnson a former U.S. Marine found himself struggling after transitioning to civilian life after his service. He said it took him 14 years to really find something that truly helped him, and what he found was sailing.

Josh started out learning how to sail at the Carolina yacht club and joined a team where he raced 19 foot lightning sail boats.

Over at the Carolina Yacht Club, I joined their fleet and I started racing And I realized after a couple of years that, boy, this is kind of what I’m missing. I’m missing the camaraderie. I’m missing the teamwork. I’m missing that that common goal of a group of guys, girls that really want to achieve something and and be better, not by yourself, but with a group of people. So that’s really kind of what got me in the sailing is that I was unknowingly giving myself therapy by sailing.

—  Josh Johnson Founder of Freedom Sailing

He then decided he wanted to help over veterans in the healing process of physical, mental, and emotional trauma. He did this by creating a non-profit that takes Veterans Sailing. Freedom Sailing builds camaraderie, teamwork, and unity through sailing. Freedom Sailing also helps build a supportive, safe and understanding community that is willing to help each other during the process of adjusting to life changes and hardships.

This 4th of July weekend Josh and the Freedom Sailing sailboat will be in historic downtown Wilmington sailing with veterans daily. If you happen to see the 7ft in diameter logos on the Cape Fear River Josh urges you to tag them in a photo.

So if you see us, I would love for you guys to do take a picture, tag us on Instagram and Facebook or any other place you want to tag us. We would love that.

—  Josh Johnson Founder of Freedom Sailing

You can find Freedom Sailing on Instagram at @freedom_sail4vets and on Facebook @FreedomSail4Vets

Josh is thankful for the community that has helped him create Freedom Sailing, but he’s hoping to expand and be able to help more veterans in the future.

“The best way to get involved with us whether you’re a veteran, you’re a civilian, or you’re a volunteer or whatever, is to You can go to the join our team page and you can sign up as a participant or a volunteer. We can’t do what we do and we can’t affect the people that we affect and we can’t change the lives that we’re changing without the help of our community. So we have many sponsors and I can’t even start to name them all, but two sponsors that really, really helped us out a lot. And they’ve been there since since the day we started was Fred Teachey of Cabot Realty and Richard Lytle of Caliber Home Loans. Those two guys have have helped us out immensely, and we really couldn’t do what we’re doing without the help of those guys and many, many, many others.”

—  Josh Johnson Founder of Freedom Sailing

Thank you Josh for your service, and your commitment to continuing to help the community.

You can find more about Freedom Sailing on their website here or their facebook here.

Kolby Bass

Kolby Bass

Lifestyle | Gratitude | Dachshunds