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Veterans prepare to dive into a lake.
Six wounded veterans helped the National Park Service preserve the nation’s history and culture at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. At the same time, they found healing.

NPS Photo | Brett Seymour

Wounded Veterans Find Healing at Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Six wounded veterans helped the National Park Service preserve the nation’s history and culture at Lake Mead National Recreation Area Nov. 7-9, 2017. At the same time, they found healing.

The vets are part of the Wounded American Veterans Experience SCUBA Project, an organization that helps veterans overcome combat injuries through scuba diving. Just before Veterans Day, they teamed up with the National Park Service’s Submerged Resources Center to conduct their first dive within a national park.

“We have a lot of precious resources underwater in national parks, and we need to look at them, inspect them and keep track of them,” said Dave Conlin, chief of the SRC. His team visits Lake Mead National Recreation Area regularly to assess the multiple artifacts that lie beneath Lake Mead and Lake Mohave.

On Nov. 8, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Air Force veterans dove on an aerial ferry that now lies at the bottom of Lake Mohave. The ferry was suspended by cables above the Colorado River in the 1930s and was used to transport cars, people and goods from one side of the river to the other.

As the team surfaced from their dive, they bonded at the back of the boat over their experience. They shared their appreciation for diving and how it has helped them overcome their personal battles. For Jeff Pickard, diving has helped him find relief from pain. Read more about their story.

Veterans in Parks Program

Join veteran colleagues to promote job and volunteer opportunities within the National Park Service.

The Mission Continues
The Mission Continues is a national nonprofit organization that empowers veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact. Their operations in cities across the country deploy veteran volunteers alongside non-profit partners and community leaders to solve some of the most challenging issues facing our communities: improving community education resources, eliminating food deserts, mentoring at-risk youth and more. Through this unique model, veterans build new skills and networks that help them successfully reintegrate to life after the military while making long-term, sustainable transformations in communities and inspiring future generations to serve. Find out more about The Mission Continues.

Operation Warfighter
Operation Warfighter is a Department of Defense internship program that provides opportunities for wounded, ill, and injured service members to participate in internships with federal agencies during their rehabilitation process. These federal internships allow wounded, ill, and injured service members to expand their knowledge, skills, and abilities in preparation for transition or reintegration to military service. Learn more about Operation Warfighter.

Each national park may also have their own group of volunteers or partners. Read about a few examples of these unique collaborations.

Veterans Continue To Serve

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    Last updated: October 10, 2018