The following letter is from Dive Heart, written by a 17 year old girl named Heather. Heather helps Dive Heart’s Military Wounded…
Dear Friend of Diveheart:
My name is Heather Triplett, and I am a 17-year old student at Oswego High School. My dad, Quinn Triplett, is a volunteer with Diveheart Military Wounded. He is an Army veteran, whose last deployment was in Afghanistan in 2006-2007.
I’ve always been really proud of my dad but was really scared and worried about him while he was away. I was also angry for the longest time…not at anyone in particular, but my world was flipped upside down when he was gone. As a young girl, I didn’t know what to do with all of these feelings.
My father started volunteering with Diveheart, and I have joined him. This has helped to dissipate my anger that I still held inside. I get to work with my father and grow relationships with some pretty incredible people.
A not-for-profit organization, Diveheart provides the opportunity for individuals with disabilities to scuba dive. It helps to build confidence and independence as well as providing therapy. We work with individuals with post traumatic stress disorder, Down syndrome, autism, spinal cord injuries, and many other forms of physical and cognitive disabilities.
The results are amazing. One of my favorite stories is about Gabe Spataro, an 80-year old Korean War veteran who is legally blind. He dives with Diveheart, and was recently able to complete an adventure that he started 51 years ago. Gabe was responsible for bringing the Christ of the Abyss sculpture over from Italy to America in the early 1960’s. It is one of the most popular dive destinations in the U.S. This is especially interesting now, at the 60th anniversary of the conclusion of the Korean war.
One of the most important things I’ve learned is that Diveheart doesn’t just help the participants…it helps the volunteers too. A most inspiring moment for me was when we attended a meeting at Hines VA Hospital. We talked to veterans who are blind, and I heard some amazing stories. After that, I felt awesome and that it was destiny that I become part of this organization. I’ve already seen the impact that Diveheart has had on the lives of so many people.
As an organization, we need your help both financially and through moral support for our divers. Being part of Diveheart will give more opportunities for individuals of all ages to overcome the tough obstacles that they were given either at birth or due to injury. There are so many ways that you can help Diveheart. Here are a few:
- Sponsor a veteran who is depressed to find a new hobby and a new perspective
- Sponsor a young person who wants to go on a trip or train for their scuba certification
- Hold your own fundraiser for Diveheart
- Sponsor a buddy ($350 will provide training for a new buddy for current programs or to start a program in a new area)
For more information about donations and ways to help, head over to DIVE HEART