United States Navy veteran and West Conn alum A.M. Huppmann set out to sea last week as a participant in the 2021 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge to raise awareness of the challenges faced by veterans, including high rates of suicide and PTSD.
Huppmann is a member of Foar From Home, one of 35 rowing teams crossing 3,000 miles of the Atlantic Ocean from the Canary Islands to Antigua to support a variety of causes. Foar From Home was formed in 2019 and includes veterans from the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps. The teammates all reside on Amelia Island, Florida, which influenced their mantra: “It takes an island to cross an ocean.”
Funds raised by the group will be donated to Florida-based charity and veteran service organization K9s for Warriors, which provides highly trained service dogs to military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma; and Cross The Line Foundation, to start a vocational or college endowment to assist veterans and their families during job, career or life transitions.
Huppmann enlisted in the Navy in 1984 and completed a range of Cold War-era deployments, strategic ballistic missile submarine deterrent patrols and extended combat cruises in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He retired from active duty with the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer in August 2004 after a 20-year career.
After returning to civilian life, Huppmann moved to Connecticut and enrolled at WCSU as a nontraditional student in 2016. He was able to fast-track the last two years of his studies into two semesters, graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management in spring 2017.