Marine Corps Cpl Kevin Dubois, a Veteran who was injured during his second deployment to Afghanistan, and Kayla Dubois, completed their Open Water Diver Certifications yesterday. CplDubois was injured in 2011 while securing a makeshift landing zone near Sangin, a Taliban hot spot. A hidden explosive detonated, taking both of skilled sniper Cpl Dubois’ legs at the hip.
Operation Blue Pride, a New England basedall volunteer nonprofit (OBP), and the Boston Police Harbor Unit and Dive Team had the incredible opportunity to train Kevin and Kayla in 4 pool sessions and 4 open water dives here in the Northeast.
The Boston Police Harbor Unit and Dive Team consisted of Sergeant Mike Coyne, the commander of the BPD Dive Team, OBP Alumni Sergeant John Burrows, OfficersTom Finn and Hector Gonzalez, along with Officers Kevin Smith, Steve Merrick, Michael Fayles and Jeff Tobin. The OBP Team was ledby their Executive Director and InstructorNancy Grodberg, PADI Course Director Laura McCallion and PADI IDC Staff Instructor Peter Lewandowski, and OBP Alumnus Matt DeMarof the Leominster Fire Department.
OBP became active in New England in 2014 with a mission to introduce Veterans, Active DutyMilitary, and Gold Star Families to scuba diving at low or no cost, and regardless of physical or psychological injuries. OBP’s programming enables Veterans to participate in scuba training that is adapted for each individual’s needs.
Since 2014, OBP has certified 275+ Veterans and expanded its programming to include shore and boat dives, advanced/specialty dive classes, professional level scuba training and adaptive instructor and buddy diver training.OBP is funded through private donations, grant funding from the Department of Veteran Affairs (adaptive sports grants), Scubapro, and the support of the New England dive community.
Every dollar donated to OBP goes directly to the support of our veterans. To learn more about OBP, enroll in a program or donate to their mission, please go to their website at http://www.operationbluepride.org.