Heartbeat is so appreciative to the Haggen Foundation for their generous donation of $5,000. This donation was part of the Cultivating Community Together Campaign. Thank you so much for your support of our programs.
Snohomish Tribune article on Heartbeat’s Morale Building Programs By MELANIE RUSSELL
Heartbeat’s Scuba Warriors go out on a chartered boat dive to advance their learned skills, have fun in a pain free environment and destress, Scuba Warrior’s Instructors were also on board. Everyone had a great time and this is one of the benefits of this program.
Heartbeat’s Scuba Warriors boat dive Oct 9, 2015 , Everyone had the best time, a whole new world underwater and a very nice change for our Warriors
KING 5’s Drew Mikkelsen reports.
Joan Kinsey, KING 5 EVENING3:28 p.m. PDT September 2, 2015
(Photo: KING 5 Evening)
Des Moines, WA. — In the calm waters of Puget Sound the healing begins for a team of veterans scarred by war.
“I had a light case of TBI, traumatic brain injury”, said scuba diving Mike Biggs. “Kind of went through a state of depression, not being able to function that well.”
Biggs suffered his injuries after serving three tours in Iraq. For Ken Young it’s a similar story.
“One of my injuries was a traumatic brain injury which was pretty severe, cognitive difficulties. I have sensory loss,” explained Young.
Adjusting to civilian life while dealing with so much hurt seemed insurmountable. But, then these men found support in a brotherhood called SWAT, Scuba Warrior Alumni Team.
Biggs said, “Part of diving is the buddy system. You’ve got to learn to stick together and start talking.”
The local, non-profit organization, Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors backs the team, their training, and open water dives.
Both Biggs and Young became scuba instructors for the program and now lead other veterans into a liquid space where weightlessness clears the mind and eases pain.
Scuba Warrior, Jordon Scott said, “Under the water I feel weightless, I don’t have knee problems, I don’t feel my back problems. It just puts me in a playful mood.”
Biggs added, “For me there are times I will just float and just meditate.
Young said, “I’m in the water something changes, I come out a new man. I can think clearly, I feel like my brain is working quicker, I can feel hot and cold which normally I don’t. I can smell which normally I don’t. Now it’s hard to tell I have a condition.”
From land, Young’s daughter, Cassandra can see the positive changes , too. She’s witnessed how time under water can heal most wounds.
“And it’s really helped everyone in my family and it really makes him so happy and it makes me so happy,” she said.
The battle isn’t over yet for the Scuba Warriors, but with every dive, they experience new-found freedom.
“I love it , I get out there I get excited. Diving is my life here,” said Biggs.
Heartbeat’s Scuba Warrior Program has many great stories of huge impact and success. One is the essay which describes why Wounded Warrior Ken Young wanted to get into our Dive Control Specialist limited Scholarship Program. Scuba Warriors had already put Ken thru the Basic Open Water Course, the Advanced Course and the Stress and Rescue. His essay is outstanding and the video link is one he had taken of him and Scuba Warrior Instructor Mike Biggs.
Click here to read the Dive Control Specialist Program Essay by Ken Young
Scuba Warriors in the News from Office of Public Affairs at Madigan Army Hospital on JBLM
Heartbeat is very honored to be among some of the best organizations listed on this press release and video for our Scuba Warrior Program. We are extremely grateful to have been given a grant from Infinite Hero Foundation for Scuba Warriors!
The news release regarding our latest round of funding is now out via PR newswire and we are actively pitching media regarding the announcement. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/infinite-hero-foundation-announces-2014-grants-281743191.html
See the IHF brand video below that was created to accompany the press release:
We are very excited to be able to also take Scuba Warriors starting in the Spring of 2015 to Wounded Warrior Regiment East, Camp Lejeune North Carolina to serve our Wounded Marines! Stay tuned!!
Steven Giddens interned with Heartbeat for 10 weeks as part his coursework at Sterling College in Vermont. Below is an excerpt from Steven’s “SCUBA Therapy” story that appeared in Sterling’s Spring 2014 issue of Common Voice. (more…)