March 2014 - Parks & Recreation - 17

versity, and beginning divers who
aren't sure if they want to commit
to a full certification course are encouraged to get their feet wet at an
introductory pool session. The shop
also conducts daily dive charters and
offers full scuba sets for rental to certified divers. Service members have
the option to pay for their courses
with GI Bill or Vocational Rehabilitation benefits, and the Open Water
course rate is the lowest on the island at $195 for all classes, materials
and rental gear.
" This program is such a great opportunity for soldiers, especially
since the certification is good for life
and allows them to dive in Hawaii
year round, " says Ron Locklar, chief
of the Community Recreation Division at U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.

At Fort Belvoir in northern Virginia, Patriot Scuba operates the MWR
office's scuba program and employs
many military veterans as dive instructors. A private enterprise operated by a retired Navy captain and
his wife, Patriot Scuba works closely with Fort Belvoir MWR to offer
certification courses, equipment services, diving trips and more.
" We knew even before the store
opened that we would like to work
with the military, " says Merial Currer, co-owner of Patriot Scuba with
her husband, Jeff. In addition to local
dives, the company has taken groups
on extended excursions to places like
the Florida Keys, Grand Bahama,
Roatan and more.
Similar programs are offered
through the MWR offices at Joint

®

Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, U.S. Army Garrison-Fort
Buchanan in Puerto Rico, Naval
Base-San Diego in California and
elsewhere. Each offers a different
array of certifications and gear, but
all aim to provide exciting recreational experiences for the military
communities they serve.
" The goals for the program are
to provide a safe recreational outlet
to the war fighter, family members
and staff of Joint Base Lewis-McChord and to promote the sport in
which all can become ambassadors
of the underwater world, " says Joe
Kubistek, public affairs specials for
Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Danielle Taylor is the Senior Editor of Parks &
Recreation Magazine (dtaylor@nrpa.org).

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W W W. N R PA . O R G | M A R C H 2 0 1 4 |

Parks & Recreation

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March 2014 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of March 2014 - Parks & Recreation

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