Veterans Helping Veterans – Oregon Dive Center supports local veterans
(DiverWire) The staff at Salem Scuba in Salem, Oregon was pleasantly surprised last month when officials from the local Kroc Center Recreational Facility called asking the store to participate in a local event being offered to military veterans.
The way store manager Allen Rolfness describes things, “We work with the Kroc Center all the time with our open water courses. They wanted to do something for local veterans and asked if we could do some Discover Scuba programs. I couldn’t say ‘yes’ fast enough.”
The event brought participants from around the Pacific Northwest and was a major hit with more than two dozen veterans trying scuba for the first time.
Located in the state capitol of Oregon, Salem Scuba has a large contingent of active and retired military members as regular customers. Rolfness said he talked to many of them about participating in the event. “It was very much ‘veterans helping veterans’. We even had an active military colonel in the pool helping out.”
Rolfness observed that while to his staff and volunteers the event was just another DSD program, to the veterans who participated, breathing underwater for the first time was a life-changing experience. “We can’t wait to do this again next year,” he said.