- Published on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 13:20
- Written by John Tapley
- Hits: 508
By John Tapley
Earlier this summer, US military servicemen joined together in camaraderie and the thrill of diving for an exciting getaway week at Captain Don’s Habitat on the tropical island of Bonaire. This amazing event was presented by the island, global scuba gear manufacturer Oceanic, The Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA), and many other sponsors, and was hosted by The Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization which strives to support and empower disabled veterans.
After spending many years with the Wounded Warriors, Oceanic President Dan Emke, a veteran himself, felt a rush of inspiration and became compelled to enhance the program even further. His company created the new USA line of diving gear: masks, fins, and snorkels emblazoned with red, white, and blue. A percentage of the funds from each product, 7%, will go to a $250 grant which sponsors an incoming disabled veteran who completes certification through an Oceanic Authorized Dealer. So far the program is doing very well with 35 veterans served and the company expects to assist over 400 within the next year. Oceanic will reveal more patriotic gear at this year’s DEMA show November 14 to 17 at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ken McNaughton, a corporate executive for with the Ominicom Media Group, met with the warriors at Bonaire and also grew inspired by their personal accounts and perseverance. In a generous show of respect, McHaughton offered to purchase life support scuba equipment for the program and also donated complimentary computers, buoyancy compensators, and regulators on behalf of his company.
The program is an extension of an already prosperous relationship between Oceanic, their retailers, and Wounded Warriors. One retailer of note, ScubaToys of Carrollton, TX generously provided adaptive training to the servicemen at no charge while Oceanic donated masks, fins, and snorkels.
Oceanic is looking forward to spreading its philanthropic efforts through establishing an even greater network of authorized dealers. In addition, they are actively searching for specialized instructors who can meet the needs of their students. To find out how you can help our country’s disabled veterans through this fantastic program, see Oceanic’s website at www.oceanicworldwide.com or e-mail President Don Emke at