Page 6 - OCT2021
P. 6

      Page 6 NEWFOUNDLAKELIFE.COM October 2021
By Donna RhoDes
BRISTOL – Former U.S. Ma- rine Michael Welsch of Shirley, MA, has a passion for swimming, and on 9/11, he combined that passion into a tribute for those who lost their lives that day 20 years ago by swimming from Wellington State Beach to Av- ery-Crouse Beach at the foot of the lake. It was a distance of ap- proximately 4-5 miles. This story is extra special because Welsch has only one leg, and just a year ago, he underwent knee replace- ment surgery on his right leg.
While stationed at Camp Le- jeune in North Carolina, Welsch had a night off and decided to head to town on a motorcycle for some fun and a few drinks. The evening ended on a tragic note, though, when he crashed the bike and lost his left leg a few months later due to his injuries.
After taking time to contem- plate what he would do next with
 Amputee Swimmer Returned to Newfound Lake for a Special Tribute on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11
his life, Welsch eventually went back to his love for swimming, conjuring up all the determina- tion of a true Marine.
Over the years, he made a list and set out to swim all of New Hampshire’s big lakes, includ- ing a most challenging swim of the entire length of Lake Win- nipesaukee. On that list was Newfound Lake, where he first swam the width one summer, then came back in 2016 to swim from Hebron to Avery-Crouse Beach. He also participated in Swim with a Mission at Welling- ton State Beach two years ago. “I love this lake. It’s just so clean and beautiful,” he said. “I wanted to get back up and swim it one more time this summer before it got too cold, so I thought I’d do it on 9/11 as a tribute to the first responders who lost their lives 20 years ago.”
However, it turned out that while it was yet again a beautiful
Mike Welsch posed for a “selfie” with his friend Ken Hughes and N.H. State Marine Patrol Officer John Johnson on Friday, Sept. 10, as he prepared for a swim from Wellington to Avery-Crouse Beach on Newfound Lake as a tribute to 9/11. What made the swim more meaningful is that Welsch, a former Marine, has only one leg.
 day on Sept. 11, 2021, the tem- peratures were a bit chillier than
Thank you for your business with The Reliable Choice, if you would like to change this ad or approve it please e-mail me back with your response, again thank you for choosing The Reliable Choice Proofreading is your responsibility as our client, any errors not found in an approved ad will be no fault of The Reliable Choice.
he had expected. “It got so cold sometimes that I wanted to quit, but I kept thinking of everybody who rushed into those burning
buildings, and I couldn’t give up,”
by his side in a kayak, supplying him along the way with food, water, and most importantly, en- couragement. “While we were out there, we’d talk about 9/11, and that really helped keep me swimming,” Welsch said. “They were wearing heavy gear march- ing all the way up into those two
 Customer ID: Imagine Tours
said Welsch. Partnering with him
for the swim was his long-time
Ad Size: BOC Page
friend Ken Hughes of Vermont. As Welsch swam, Hughes stayed
Graphic Developed by: NZ DAT
E: 05/22/2015
Can You Imagine
 Yourself Here?
Destination Wedding
& Honeymoon Planning Specialist
Owner / Operator
  Imagine Tours & Adventures, LLC
603-744-3135 Fully Licensed, Bonded and Insured

   4   5   6   7   8