The WAVES Project and SRC plan to assess their experience at Lake Mead National Recreation Area as they look for future opportunities at Lake Mead and other national parks. The WAVES Project is currently working with veteran-owned dive shops in Denver, Phoenix, San Diego and San Dimas. Rubin’s goal is to duplicate the program in various major cities throughout the United States, including Las Vegas.
In the interim, U.S. citizens with permanent disabilities can obtain a free pass to national parks at any Lake Mead entrance station, and veterans in Southern Nevada can visit the Veterans Affairs Southern Nevada Healthcare System. It offers a variety of services and classes to help veterans on their pathways to recovery.
“I am always amazed to see and hear the stories of veterans who participate in opportunities such as this,” said Peggy Kearns, director and CEO, Veterans Affairs Southern Nevada Healthcare System. “Therapeutic recreation provides an avenue that helps veterans maintain their physical, mental and emotional well-being.
“Whether it’s through one of the many arts and crafts, sports or exercise programs the VA offers, or via outside initiatives such as The WAVES Project, activities such as these help veterans with illnesses, disabilities and other conditions use leisure in ways that enhance their quality of life,” she added.
Kearns viewed the WAVES Project dive at Lake Mead National Recreation Area from a boat via an underwater camera. She was joined by Col. Mike Davis, vice-commander, 99th Air Base Wing, Nellis Air Force Base, and Dr. Andy Kirk, chair, UNLV History Department.
The event was made possible with support from Forever Resorts and Aramark, two of the park’s concessioners who help provide diverse visitor experiences and routinely support military and veterans.