OFF WAIKIKI, Hawaii (November 13, 2015) – Nearly 100 feet below the waves off the island of Oahu, a sunken fishing boat beckons to divers seeking an underwater thrill. On Veterans Day, 12 wounded veterans dove in, to get a closer look at the Sea Tiger.
The 138-foot former fishing vessel has become a treasure trove of marine life on the ocean floor.
“I saw four sea turtles, two white-tip reef sharks, and was able to hold an octopus,” Josh Hullsiek, a wounded veteran and Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Alumnus said.
Hullsiek is one of 12 injured veterans WWP took on the Wednesday dive to help encourage camaraderie. WWP sees engagement as one of four key pillars to a wounded veteran’s recovery. Through shared experiences, wounded veterans can build a support network of peers facing a similar transition into the civilian world. The Alumni program is one of 20 free programs and services offered to wounded veterans.
While the event helped bring wounded veterans together, being under water provided another experience altogether.
“Diving is quiet and extremely calming to me,” Hullsiek said. “It is almost like meditation under water, always very relaxing.”
Hullsiek and other wounded veterans made several dives around the sunken Sea Tiger, exploring the ship and the area around it.
Hullsiek says he also had the chance to learn about upcoming WWP events and meet other wounded veterans.
“I met six new Alumni during the dive, definitely made some new friends.”
Wounded Warrior Project just released the results of its 2015 annual WWP Alumni Survey. Read about the challenges and successes of today’s generations of veterans or download the executive summary atwoundedwarriorproject.org/survey.