WOUNDED WARRIORS RETURN TO BONAIRE FOR THE 9TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR
During this week, wounded troops and their significant others will complete the final steps in the scuba diving certification process. Representatives of the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association’s (DEMA) Be A Diver Program, the Handicapped Scuba Association, Oceanic and the North American office of the TCB will be on-site to work with the group. All accommodations and diving are complimentary and will be generously provided by Captain Don’s Habitat. Each year the people of Bonaire warmly welcome this group and show them their greatest assets; the renowned marine park with its pristine waters and genuine Bonairean hospitality.
“We are excited to again welcome these veterans, who have risked their lives for their country, to Bonaire,” commented Ethsel Pieternella, Director of Tourism Corporation Bonaire. “Bonaire has always had a close relationship with the U.S, and hosting their veterans for a week of rest, relaxation and scuba diving is one way of our giving back to those who have given so much. We are fortunate to work in an industry that has taken up a firm position on helping these brave men and women continue their healing process through scuba diving. We are grateful to all our sponsors here and stateside for their continued support of this week. With Bonaire’s calm waters and easy access to shore and boat diving, scuba diving in Bonaire is probably one of the best therapies for people to be able to disconnect from their injuries and enjoy themselves underwater.”
This year, eight warriors who have suffered life-changing physical injuries which they received in combat while stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the families that stood by them, will have a dive vacation of a lifetime. The “carte blanche” style vacation that is offered to the warriors is made possible by the generosity of industry partners and others. Blue Water Divers, BonaireTalk, Caradonna Dive Adventures, Inc., Dive Training Magazine, Henderson, Oceanic, OmniCom Media Group, Rum Runners, Scuba Pro and the Wounded Warrior Project to name a few, have donated items ranging from masks, fins, snorkels, wetsuits, life support systems, etc., to considerable financial contributions that cover all meals and activities.
The warriors and their partners will have a full itinerary beginning with the completion of their PADI and HSA dive certification. Once certified, they will continue diving throughout the week, both from the dock of Captain Don’s Habitat and via boat dives to Klein Bonaire and some of the other 86 official dive sites found on Bonaire. The group will also enjoy shopping, sightseeing, dining and experiencing the best Bonaire has to offer. The highlight of the week will take place when the Bonaire community gathers to meet these extraordinary troops and their companions at a reception held in their honor at the offices of Lt. Governor Mr. Edison Rijna.
In addition to Captain Don’s Habitat providing accommodations and diving, the following organizations have contributed to the overall success of Wounded Warrior Bonaire Week: 9Line LLC, Adams Unlimited Public Relations & Marketing, Blue Water Divers, Bonaire KFC, BonPhoto, BonaireTalk.com, Bonaire Quad Tours, Bonaire Guided Motorcycle Tours, Bonaire Tours & Vacations, Budget Rent A Car Bonaire, Buddy Dive Resort, Captain Don's Habitat, Caradonna Dive Adventures, Inc., CIEE Bonaire, Cressi, Destinations Weddings & Honeymoons Magazine, Disabled Sports USA, Diver’s Diner Bar & Restaurant, DEMA/Be a Diver, DiveNewswire, Dive Training Magazine, Elements Bonaire, Father Edward J. Giorgio, VA Post 689, Henderson, H.S.A. International Training Center of New Jersey, Islands Magazine, Iron Order Motorcycle Club – Bonaire (Caribbean Pirates Crew) James Howard Creative Group, Joe’s Grill House Bonaire, Jewel of Bonaire, LeisurePro, Mail Unlimited, Marlboro High School Retired Teachers Group, MIVABO, Mr. & Mrs. Hugh Foskey, Mr. & Mrs. Giamporcaro, OCEANIC, Omnicomm Media Group, Oracle Trucking, PADI, , Princeton Tec, Rum Runners, Scuba Diving Magazine, Scuba Pro, Scuba Toys, Sport Diver Magazine, Taxi Association Bonaire, Tourism Corporation Bonaire, Wounded Warrior Project.