Honoring a Veteran Biography Archives - Waves Project

Honoring a Veteran Biography

Reaching a Milestone

WAVES Project has been training in the Southern California since 2011. We became a 501(c )3 nonprofit in 2013. In the beginning, training veterans across the country wasn’t really a thought. Being in Southern California, we had a veteran rich community to train. As we began to develop an internet presence with our website and…

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JD Chiniaeff

JD Chiniaeff grew up on the water, going to the beach or water skiing on the rivers and lakes. “I never knew my dad had gotten certified as a diver in the sixties until I was in my early twenties. He kept asking me when I was going to get certified and I kept saying…

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Dave Fitzgerald

Dave Fitzgerald began his diving career with WAVES Project in 2018, his chosen dive buddy was his son Alex.  After his Open Water Certification, he began volunteering and continuing his dive training. Dave has worked his way up to the level of Dive Master, helping train other Veterans and leading fun dives to keep them…

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Stop, Breath, Relax…

Occupational Therapists incorporate deep breathing exercises to help promote relaxation and coping techniques to help assist with keeping you centered and focused. Deep breathing is a great mindfulness technique to help with reducing stress and feelings of anxiety. OT’s can use these tools to help assist with self-regulation and resetting your fight or flight response,…

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WAVES Project – Palmdale

WAVES Project Palmdale serves veterans with disabilities in LA County led by Instructor Jeff Carlon. Jeff is a U.S. Navy Veteran, served with the US Forest Service from 1993 to 2001 then moved to the Burbank Fire Department in 2001 where he is serving as a Fire Captain. Jeff is the Medical Unit Leader for…

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“I was compelled to share my truth”

After seeing our Social Media post about our accomplishments in 2021, U.S. Marine Corps veteran and WAVES Project diver, Rafael Monroy contacted WAVES Project to share his feelings and the impact of our program on his life. “I was compelled to share my truth about the chart that showed 392 veterans lives that were positively…

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2021 in Review

After the challenges of the previous year, 2021 brought with it new opportunities & growth. The following summary highlights our training and organizational accomplishments. In January we kicked off the year inspecting and servicing all of our SCUBA training gear. All regulators, computers & buoyancy compensating device (BCD) were inspected and serviced by WAVES staff,…

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Wounded veterans experience therapeutic benefits of diving while helping Dry Tortugas National Park

KEY WEST, Fla. – Dry Tortugas National Park hosted volunteer divers from the Wounded American Veterans Experience Scuba (WAVES) Project who spent a week helping the coral reef ecosystem at the park and in return received therapy, healing and relief from their service-connected disabilities. Seven veterans traveled to the remote Dry Tortugas archipelago, from Oct.…

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WAVES Project Women Veterans Volunteer at Biscayne National Park

Five female veterans of the US Armed Services joined the National Park Service for a week of removing marine debris from Biscayne National Park, July 5-11, 2021. The veterans were sponsored by the Wounded American Veterans Experience SCUBA (WAVES Project), non-profit established to provide opportunities for veterans with service-connected disabilities and their families to experience…

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Run for Remembrance 9/11/2021

WAVES Project Veteran Jeff Houser This September 11th marks the 20th anniversary of a day that changed so many lives. In an effort to raise funds for the WAVES Project, a non-profit organization, I’m running the Surf City Half Marathon in remembrance of all those that lost their lives that day and the many years…

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Wounded Veterans Support through Mission Oriented Diving

What is Mission Oriented Diving? The WAVES Project Mission Oriented Diving program provides wounded veterans support and the opportunity and support to take part in service projects in various locations throughout the US. Projects we are currently involved in with the National Park Service Submerged Resources Center include: Lake Mead – mapping project at the…

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Bonnie R. Casler

March is Women’s History Month and WAVES Project is honored to spotlight one of our “Women of WAVES” trailblazers.  Bonnie Casler, MSG, (Ret) joined the Army in 1977 after graduating from college with a degree in Education.  She was the last graduating class of WAC (Women Army Corps), which was dissolved as the Army became…

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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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