I guess this all started in 2015 when Dive Guardians' founder, Randy, decided he wanted to give back and help disabled veterans in some way. So, he joined a group of friends using SCUBA Diving to help veterans rehabilitate from service connected disabilities.
Well, in addition to being a military veteran, Randy is also a 24-year veteran of Law Enforcement. During his long career as a first responder, he witnessed the negative effects that experiencing repeated traumatic events over a career has on a first responder. he watched as many brothers and sisters develop drug and alcohol problems, become both suspects and victims of domestic violence, and suffer from depression. He also knew more than one First responder who chose to take their life due to depression and Post Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSd). Then, in 2016, a fellow first responder and friend, took his life leaving behind a wife, three children, and a grandchild.
Randy thought about his friend a lot after it happened and tried to make sense of what he did and wished there was some way he could have maybe intervened and helped him before he chose to take his life. The problem was, Randy had no idea his friend was going through this as he kept it to himself. Additionally, most organizations out there, including the organization he was currently with are designed to help only military veterans and not First Responders. Randy loved helping veterans but there are many organizations out there that cater to this specific mission. The reality is, first responders develop and experience PTSd, General Anxiety disorder (GAd), and have a wide array of physical disabilities as well but there are very few organizations out there catered to them. So, in March, 2018, Dive Guardians was born.
Dive Guardians is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit consisting of dive professionals and dive enthusiasts. We create an environment that uses SCUBA diving to nurture healing and self-improvement. We exist to assist our first responders that, due to the nature of thier profession, have experienced traumatic events. Dive Guardians helps our First Responders rehabilitate through the use of SCUBA diving and the overall therapeutic properties of water. SCUBA diving has been proven to be ideal in helping people rehabilitate from various physical and mental injuries such as, PTSd, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Dive Guardians is an organization that fosters comradery, teamwork, and friendship. When you get accepted into Dive Guardians, you become part of a family. Each qualified candidate that is accepted into Dive Guardians will experience the freedom of SCUBA diving for FREE.