The ocean is magical. I know that I feel something special with each interaction…I feel blessed. Then there is the connection with nature, the thrill of exploring, the linking of past and present on shipwrecks, the feeling of weightlessness, and disconnecting from the stresses of the world that brings me back time and time again.
So, what if the ocean brings you more than just a spiritual experience? What if it makes your broken body less confined by the rules of gravity? What if, after sacrificing so much, you are given back a moment of pure freedom? To the Service members in the SUDS program, the ocean is special for an entirely different reason.
The goal is to provide them with a challenging and rewarding activity that builds confidence
Soldiers Undertaking Disable Scuba, or SUDS, provides wounded military with a rehabilitation alternative; learning to scuba dive. The goal is to provide them with a challenging and rewarding activity that builds confidence, and provides them with a sport they can enjoy during their rehabilitation and the rest of their lives.
While I've never been in the military, and I can never imagine the challenges these soldiers have and will forever face, SUDS is a program that holds a special place in my heart. After all, these service members have foregone their personal safety to serve our country. Probably more than I will ever do. So, if there is something Duck Diver could do to support SUDS, we’re in.
...other than spreading the word, what could we do?
SUDS is based at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (MRNMC) in Bethesda, MD and Duck Diver is in Florida, so other than spreading the word, what could we do? Well, just that…get the word out the best way we can. Their previous website, just like everything else, was created by volunteers. Not bad, but out-of-date and lacking some serious SEO. So we offered our services (free of charge, of course), and it was humbly and eagerly accepted.
We set out to create a simple and user-friendly website that they could be updated easily. We went with a WordPress site. Over the last few years, what was once a source considered only for blogs, has become an excellent platform for websites of all kinds. It is easy to use, SEO and Social Media Marketing friendly, and there is room to grow. The result was a website that provided them with everything they need and more. The best news of all is that their traffic increased almost instantly, which hopefully resulted in more donations.
This program is funded entirely by the donations from people like you. As SUDS Graduate, Lance Cpl. Josh Bleill states during an interview about diving, “It makes you weightless in the water, so it really takes away from any obstacles you have on the land”…and if that is not a worthy cause, I don’t know what is. Duck Diver’s donation was a virtual new home, but what they gave back was much more…another reason why the ocean is magic.
We encourage you to take a look at the new and improved SUDS website, www.sudsdiving.org, and help spread the word.