In July 2014, Divers Supply teamed up with the Army’s Warrior Transition Command to support their WTU Camp at Fort Stewart, Georgia. The well known dive equipment company, owned by Army veterans, is excited to help service members enjoy the benefits of scuba diving. Complete diving equipment, from masks to fins and everything in between was supplied by Divers Supply for the Camp’s Scuba Experience. The company also sent SDI IT Bob Collins, a seasoned scuba instructor, to provide the best training possible for the soldiers.
Bob is also Handicap Scubability Instructor certified and served in the military, both Army and Navy, for over 20 years. The Warrior Transition Unit(WTU) Camp is a five day event held at numerous bases around the country for all branches of service. The Ft. Stewart camp included sessions in kayaking, rock climbing, and scuba. The scuba sessions were in great demand and filled quickly when signups were posted at the WTU. There were 25 members of the WTU enrolled for scuba classes. There were also two physical therapists scheduled to join in so they could get first-hand knowledge of the benefits of scuba for WTU members. All required paperwork and medical authorizations were sent in advance so no one was held back from attending.
The sessions were designed as Scuba Discovery pool experiences and there were four sessions planned each day, Monday through Friday. Groups were broken into six-person teams and a rotation was established. If a soldier had an appointment and needed to miss their session we rolled them into another group so everybody enjoyed equal in-water time. Some WTU members that attended were combat wounded, PTSD, or TBI soldiers.
|Photo: left to right SFC Omey Izzary, IT Bob Collins, Maj Tom Crabtree, Capt Larry Hartmann and SFC Jim McKinney.|
Since there was plenty of pool time allotted during the week, Bob discussed with Dick and Mark McNatt, owners of Divers Supply, the possibility of helping WTU members take advantage of this opportunity to fully complete their confined water training. With the owners giving their “OK,” Bob contacted SDI to sign everyone up for their eLearning course.
Every day, everyone was super excited as they gathered for their sessions. IT Bob was blessed to have four certified divers, all active duty soldiers attached to the WTU, as poolside and in-water assistants. These four ranged from Open Water level to Divemaster. The WTU Scuba Camp was a huge success and more are being planned.
|Sgt. Gordon Clark, prepares for his sessions.|