Courtesy of Michael Pankow, FORCE BLUE, New York.

FORCE BLUE has given former combat divers and Special Operations veterans a chance to learn about and explore coral reefs, one of the most critically endangered ecosystems on the planet, and to adapt their training and teamwork to aid in its protection.

Since October 2017, FORCE BLUE has deployed on three separate coral reef restoration missions to the Florida Keys and Puerto Rico with the likes of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Ocean Conservancy, National Fish & Wildlife Federation, and the Coral Restoration Foundation.

Jim Ritterhoff has informed politicians in Washington D.C. of these successes. “With new deployment requests coming to us each day – for everything from marine debris and ghost net removal to sea turtle rescue operations and shipwreck mapping – our next mission is to recruit and train a second dive team.

This August we will be training a new class of recruits – six Special Operations combat veterans, each with a compelling story of service, sacrifice and the difficulty in transitioning back to civilian life after years of war.”

On June 8th, FORCE BLUE will launch a fundraising effort that will enable individuals to sponsor these six men through their FORCE BLUE training. Donations go directly toward putting these veterans combat divers back into the water.

For more information, visit www.forceblueteam.org.

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