I am an active dive instructor on Oahu and a veteran of 12 years. I spent over 4 years deployed with TF134 in Iraq, 230 SBDE in Iraq and Kuwait during the draw down, 3rd SFG(A) SOTF-NE in Afghanistan, and TF 310 TFK. I was certified when I was 15 as a result of a swim team fundraiser in Tennessee where we won a lot that contained 2 OW diver certs. We did our pool work and gear fitting at the shop, then our OW dives in a rock quarry called lock Low Minn. After this training I had a bit of a hiatus, several years. I had access to an old school professor and instructor and a pool at UTC and jumped in to work through the kinks before a road trip to the Florida Keys with my significant other, professor grey beard, and a red Chevy truck with no brakes. We arrived, found our campsite and prepared for the dives ahead. My next dive was my first wreck, and penetration, followed by leading the next reef dive, which was a learning experience. Learning to lead a dive I think is the most significant step beyond your initial OW training. Fast forward about a decade I did the previously mentioned things and took some dive trips to awesome places between North Carolina wrecks, and Honduran reefs. I came to Oahu to go pro and go through my IDC. I honestly do not know how many dives I've done so far, and still learning every day. I’ve taught over 250 students in the last 2 years plus tours and experiences.
If you would like to nominate a veteran, or other service member, who is a certified diver, to win a free Talon Wetsuit fill out the form in the link in our bio, or visit hendersonusa.com/talon_giveaway