Honoring a Veteran Biography: Matty McCasland

Matty McCasland – Baqubah, Iraq

Matty McCasland is a U.S. ARMY OIF veteran who served in Iraq in 2007-2008. He followed the honored tradition of serving our country that his family members exemplified. His Father was in the U.S. Navy during Vietnam, his Grandfather was in the U.S. Army in World War II and his brother served in Afghanistan.

Due to his service, Matty has received a VA disability rating of 80%. “My disabilities disrupt my motivation and my relationships with friends and family,” said McCasland. He goes on to say, “It’s hard to leave the house and enjoy activities I once found pleasing with friends and usually find myself doing things alone. It makes it difficult to make new friends.”

When asked how he heard about WAVES and the impact our organization has had, Matty said, “I heard about WAVES from a relative. My experience with the WAVES staff is beyond pleasurable and motivating. Everyone is happy and ready to help me and assist in numerous ways to ensure I am comfortable and ready to dive safely. I always look forward to hanging out with the WAVES staff and volunteers. It’s like an extension of my family!”

McCasland also added the WAVES SCUBA program helps with his rehabilitation. “Diving and being around other veterans helps me forget about the injuries and negative emotions I feel from being in Iraq and participating in a war.” Instead it “reminds me of the good times I spent with my battle buddies. Diving gives me something to look forward to. I’m always stoked when I go diving!”

Matty has become a WAVES volunteer himself and offers graphic design and social media skills. We welcome Matty McCasland into our WAVES Project family and look forward having him help us to “help a wounded warrior reach the water”.

Submitted by Ron Fonstad