Joe Hoffman is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served one tour in Iraq and two tours in Afghanistan. He is the first in his family to serve our country in the military. Joe was a 0341/ Mortar Man- 0369 Infantry Unit Leader, Security Advisor/Shift Sergeant, Platoon Sergeant/ Personal Security Detachment and a Senior Mortar Advisor/Instructor.
“Every day I will wake up with pain throughout my body and it is a chore to get out of bed and get the day started. I am very quick to explosive anger and I find myself being hyper-vigilant when I am around large crowds and environments to which I am not accustomed,” said Hoffman.
When asked how he heard about WAVES and the impact our organization has had, Joe said, “I was at the local Vet Center in Temecula and one of the counselors mentioned a chili cook off at a local winery. I attended the event, met the WAVES crew, and immediately felt like this is a great idea. My experience has been nothing but amazing. I truly love every aspect of the WAVES Project and the people that are involved with the program. I will always be a part of this program and will do whatever and whenever I can to help the program. The amazing work they do and how they help out the Veteran Community is truly inspirational and addicting.”
Joe has become a WAVES volunteer and is helping give back to other veterans. “Ever since I started diving with WAVES it has helped me out tremendously in every aspect of my life. I look forward to every event and every dive opportunity like it is a mini vacation. When I get to go out and dive with fellow veterans it is so much fun feeling that camaraderie and friendship that you cannot get with other people. I have made new lifelong friends who share the same compassion as I do with diving and I would not give it up for anything,” said Hoffman.
“My wife Olga and I are truly grateful and cannot thank the WAVES Project enough for the opportunities that they have provided for us. With my experience in the Marine Corps and the problems that I have accrued over the years, I can help facilitate the great experience that WAVES provide to those that would benefit from it. I can honestly say that WAVES has helped me mentally and physically and I can share that experience with others that are looking to become a part of this great organization.”
With funding from our WAVES Project partner Serving California, Joe and fellow Veterans are continuing their training by achieving their Advanced Open Water certification and Handicapped Scuba Association Dive Buddy certifications.
Article contributed by Ron Fonstad.