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This Marine Spent 51 Days Rowing the Atlantic. Now He's Crossing the Pacific

Veteran has now raised more than $1 million for service dog charity K9s for Warriors


spinner image Veterans row across the ocean
Paul Lore (standing) and three fellow veterans rowing the Atlantic in their 28-footer Courageous last year.
Foar From Home

A former Marine who rowed across the Atlantic to raise money to provide service dogs for veterans is now tackling the Pacific.

Paul Lore, 61, who served in the Marines for eight years in the 1980s before spending 30 years as an air traffic controller, set off from Monterey, California, on June 12 and is due to reach Hanalei Bay in Hawaii in late July after rowing some 2,800 miles.

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As a warm-up last year, Lore and three other veterans — one each from the Army, the Navy and the Air Force — who made up the Foar from Home team took 51 days to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic, from the Canary Islands to Antigua, raising $900,000 for K9s for Warriors.

This time, Lore, a father of four who is based at Fernandina Beach on Florida’s Amelia Island, has brought together an international team of two male and two female rowers from the U.S., the Netherlands and Switzerland to form Team Ohana.

The Pacific Challenge row will raise money for K9s for Warriors and also the Children’s Tumor Foundation, which works to expand research and care for neurofibromatosis (NF) and related tumor disorders. 

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Lore, who expects the Pacific row to take between 38 and 44 days, decided to support the foundation because a friend suffers from NF, in which noncancerous tumors grow in places that cause deafness, blindness and paralysis. The friend underwent seven surgeries in a single year.

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Paul Lore is now retired in Florida.
Courtesy Paul Lore

K9 for Warriors is the nation’s largest provider of service dogs to military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury or military sexual trauma. It has trained 9,000 dogs and has had only one loss of life among those it has served.

An average of 17 veterans die by suicide in the U.S. each day, with veterans 1.5 times more likely to commit suicide than nonveterans. 

“We wanted to rewrite the veteran suicide narrative, and to let people know it’s not a shirt or a slogan,” Lore told AARP Veteran Report. “These are our daughters and sons that we’re losing. Sometimes we’re losing our aunts and our uncles. And the dog program works.”

He admits that he was not an expert rower when he and Foar from Home began training with the crew coach at Florida’s Jacksonville University.

“The funniest part is when we went to the first training session,” he said. “I’ve got bone on bone in my right knee. My other partner had a belly and was smoking. Another partner is tall and lanky. In our first media appearance, we were just clowns on the water — just doing circles and trying to keep the boat straight.” 

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But they completed the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge in 2022, and the $900,000 raised for K9s for Veterans sponsored six dogs and enabled the organization to build a new kennel at its Florida headquarters. Team Ohana will use the same boat as Foar from Home — Courageous, an 28-footer built in England by Rannoch Adventure.

spinner image paul lore during his time as a marine
Paul Lore during his time as a Marine in the 1980s.
Courtesy Paul Lore

The team will row 24 hours a day, with two people rowing at a time, unless rowing becomes temporarily impossible due to strong headwinds. As an unsupported row, the trip will include no follow-me boat or other assistance vessel. 

As of early May, Team Ohana had raised almost $100,000 for both sponsored organizations and was working tirelessly to attract more donations. “We’re not rich with big sponsors,” Lore said. “We’re a grassroots community push. We just want to inspire people to think of the impossible and do the impossible.

“The most challenging thing is not actually rowing the ocean,” he said. “The most challenging is getting a team, a boat, funding and a community to the starting line.”

You can subscribe here to AARP Veteran Report, a free e-newsletter published twice a month. If you have feedback or a story idea then please contact us here.

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