Veterans Assist at USS Arizona

A view of the USS Arizona Memorial that also shows the wreckage of the USS Arizona under the waters of Pearl Harbor.

The National Park Service Submerged Resources Center and our partner institution Pacific Historic Parks - USS Arizona Memorial are bringing a program to WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument that will involve our wounded service members in the scientific study, interpretation, and protection of one of our nation’s most important memorials to military service and sacrifice - USS Arizona. The program will augment NPS underwater archaeologists with disabled veterans trained as scientific scuba divers to assist the park service with its ongoing management responsibilities for this American icon.

To date, two organizations with the drive, commitment, and mandate to assist with the NPS program of research on Arizona have been identified: Waves Project and Task Force Dagger Foundation. These groups use scuba diving as a therapeutic and rehabilitative activity for returning veterans who have physical or mental scars from their service to our nation. These groups have seen profoundly positive impacts on the physical and emotional health of our returning heroes brought about by scuba diving - for W.A.V.E.S., up to an 80% decrease in the symptoms of PTSD for up to 6 weeks following diving.

By training our wounded veterans as scientific divers and assisting the NPS with ongoing Arizona research, we will be moving the activity of scuba diving from recreation to meaningful work on a site that has profound connections to all our service members. In addition, involvement with the NPS will highlight a path forward to a potential career that will allow these committed individuals to draw upon the skills of teamwork, task focus, and service to a greater good that they acquired in the military, in a new agency with a civilian mission.

Stay tuned for more information about this project, including photos and videos!

Last updated: March 26, 2018

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WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument
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