08 Apr
  • By Renee
  • Cause in

Kelly McCumiskey

What can I say about diving with Dive Warriors.   At first I was very nervous. This is the first time I am meeting some of these fellow Veterans. You know that they all are certified divers.  It’s like your first deployment or temporary duty assignment. You can see my disability clearly.  What about them and are they going to be ok with me?

Once on the boat everyone talked about what branch of service they were in. Groups formed. People that took dive training classes together talked with others. After about an hour we landed in Catalina and headed to the dive shop to rent dive gear for those who need it. Then off to the dive park.

That’s when it all started. We became one unit. Everyone started helping each other. The group rounded up four tab or as we like to say temporary able body men to help carry me and my wheelchair down the sixteen stairs. Christina whom is my dive buddy hit the water first and waited at the float for the rest to arrive. In the water it doesn’t matter if you are in a wheelchair or have a hidden injury like TBI traumatic brain injury or PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). We are the same. One unit taking care of each other. No one left behind.

Some of us were only able to do one dive, some three. What is great about our military training can also be a curse. We are having to learn there is no shame in not being able to do what we were once able to do. This is a hard lesson for us. Thru Disabled Veteran Scuba Project and Dive Warriors you are trained that you are not a failure if you cannot dive every dive.  So I could say it was fun and had a great time but it was so much more. Thank you Brad.

— Kelly