Honoring a Veteran Biography

Waco Merchant

One of the people who began working with the WAVES Project in the early days is Waco Merchant – US Marine Corps veteran and an SSI Assistant Instructor. Waco is also a veteran who received injuries to his body while serving, including cracked vertebrae and injuries to his knee and shoulder resulting in several surgeries.…

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Sergio Velasquez

Sergio and wife Mirlein in Iraq

Sergio Velasquez enlisted in the US Marine Corp in 1997 where he met his wife Mirlein who also served. They are both retired and have built a beautiful life together. He says the WAVES Project gave him hope that there were other forms of help than therapy and taking medication.

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Kristopher Moorehead

Kristopher Moorehead joined the US Coast Guard in 2006 – his grandfather served in Vietnam and was a big influence on him, Kris says he is the main reason he wanted to serve. He served for 7 1/2 years defending our coast and was stationed all around the United States and US territories . He…

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Richard Silva

In 2000 at the age of 28, Richard approached his wife about his need to change up life a little. “I had a great deal of pride and a deep sense of patriotism and knew it was time for a change”.

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Patrick Runion

Patrick served in the Marine Corp for 4 years completing several deployments to Afghanistan. Many members of his family have served, including his grandfather who served during WWII. Now an active diver and WAVES Project Volunteer.

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Daniel Gililland

Danny served in the U.S. Army, as a 19K Armor Crewman where he was a tank driver, loader, gunner, tank commander and designated marksman.

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Michael Atkins

Michael Atkins joined the US Coast Guard in 1992 out of a desire to serve our country. He says he chose the Coast Guard because of their mission. After serving 20 years and 2 months he was medically retired.

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Joseph Hoffman

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…

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Juan Ramirez

Juan Ramirez is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in two tours of duty in Iraq. He is the first in his family to serve our country in the military. Juan was a quality assurance evaluator and chef, as well as a prison guard and provided security detail for convoys. “My disabilities make it…

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Matty McCasland

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…

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Brenton Beever

When Brenton was first introduced to our group he made quite a first impression, he is a guy that is about the size of a small mountain. He sports a bandana, multiple tattoos, and a resting countenance that is to some; off setting. Over the several days of classes, pool dives, and ocean dives we…

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Steve Moss – Volunteer Bio

Steve Moss is a 58 year old, happily married, father of 2, living in the Temecula Wine County.  Steve served our country for 10 years in the US Air Force as a Aircraft Loadmaster, Air Lift Control Element member, and Mission Support Team Chief.  He entered the Air force out of his hometown of Abilene…

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Nico Detour – WAVES Bio

Nico is a well set up young man in his mid-20s.  Raised in San Dimas and Irvine California, as well as in Roswell New Mexico.  He graduated from High School from Woodbridge HS in Irvine.  One of Nico’s primary adult influences, or mentor, while he was growing up was a US Marine. It’s not surprising that Nico followed…

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