Wendy Rigby –
One of the unfortunate legacies of the war on terror is a new generation of wounded warriors.
An innovative program at the Center for the Intrepid is helping young amputees dive back into living after a life-changing injury.
On the banks of the Comal River in New Braunfels, groups getting ready for a dive are a common sight.
But if you looked closer at the group gathered to dive on April 26, 2012, you would notice this group was different.
Many of them were missing limbs, stark reminders of the price they’ve paid in the war on terror. Michael Caspers, 25, lost his lower right leg to an IED in Afghanistan.
“You can look at it two ways,” Caspers said. “You can either let your injury get you down.
You can say ‘woe is me’ and feel sorry for yourself. Or you can just accept it and then just drive on.”
Adaptive SCUBA started six years ago. John Duggan who has been diving since 1957 wanted to help returning troops.
“I just want to share it with them,” Duggan explained. “I mean, I’m 72, so I want to get as much done as I can before I get too old to do it.”
“We basically teach them how to adapt and overcome without any special equipment,” explained Mark Heniser, a physical therapist with the Center for the Intrepid.
This is the nineteenth class of adaptive SCUBA for wounded warriors.
It’s a program that has brought joy and self-confidence to 250 divers, men and women from all over the country rehabilitating in San Antonio.