Scuba diving for soldiers comes to Myrtle Beach
Mon, 28 Oct 2013 00:44:27 GMT —
On Sunday, The Veterans Benefits Foundation (VBF) had its first wounded war veteran go through its Disabled Veterans SCUBA Therapy program on the East Coast called "From Battles to Bubbles."
Cliff Gobel, 28, was the first to participate in the program.
Gobel suffers from PTSD and a traumatic brain injury he sustained during his third deployment to Iraq.
Although Gobel wasn't sure what to expect from his first-time scuba diving, he said being in the water made him feel physically and mentally better.
"You're not hurting, you're not in pain. My knees didn't hurt anymore. My back didn't hurt anymore," said Gobel. "Totally free. Everything on your mind and the problems in your life just go away," Gobel says.
Gobel was guided by a certified diving instructor every step of the way in a dive tank at NU Horizons Dive and Travel in Myrtle Beach.
While there, he learned how to put the scuba gear on, breathe properly underwater, and how to descend and ascend up through the water safely.
William Furgione, CEO of VBF, said there was a lot of information about the benefits of scuba diving for war veterans, but there were very few groups actually making this opportunity available to veterans.
Furgione encourages any veteran interested in the SCUBA program to contact them.
The program is free for veterans, but they will need permission from a doctor to participate.