Task Force Dagger Foundation, ECU partner to provide rehabilitation diving for veterans

-News release by Department of Defense

Task Force Dagger Foundation working in partnership with East Carolina University is developing a program that seeks to provide rehabilitation opportunities for Special Operations veterans through the underwater archaeological study of WWII maritime heritage in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. These grant funds will provide Task Force Dagger Foundation (TFD) with more opportunities to expand existing dive rehabilitative therapy programs which serve to provide retired Special Operations veterans with a new MISSION PURPOSE FOCUS.

TFD has teamed up with ECU’s program in maritime studies and the Florida Public Archaeology Network to develop and undertake a maritime heritage education program for wounded Special Forces veterans that will be hands-on and introduce veterans to the history of WWII and its underwater maritime heritage. The program will be held in the Mariana Islands on Saipan from late July to early August. It will cover classroom topics such as underwater archeology, artifacts, ship and aircraft construction, conservation, and heritage laws. After the classroom training, veterans will hit the water and practice their underwater archaeology skills by diving and recording WWII underwater heritage from the Battle of Saipan.

ECU graduate student Aleck Tan runs a metal detector over an object while Dr. Nathan Richards supervises. (Contributed photo)

ECU graduate student Aleck Tan runs a metal detector over an object while Dr. Nathan Richards supervises during a recent trip to Saipan, where ECU has partnered with Task Force Dagger Foundation to provide retired Special Operations veterans with dive rehabilitative therapy programs. (Contributed photo)

“This program reaches an audience that has an intimate knowledge and background on the subject of war, conflict, and materiel remains,” said Dr. Jennifer McKinnon, associate professor at ECU. “There is an assumed awareness and appreciation that only needs fostering to understand how this heritage is meaningful and needs to be protected.”

Keith David, managing director, said, “What is important about this event is that it demonstrates to these veterans that no matter how badly they are wounded or injured, they can have a productive and fulfilling life. It is all about having a MISSION – PURPOSE – FOCUS for their life.”

This project stands to be the first of its kind that engages wounded veterans in the recording, understanding and appreciation of WWII maritime heritage in the Pacific. The plan is to hold the educational program yearly with returning and new recruits to feed into a program of archaeologically-trained diving veterans.

Without your donations, we cannot achieve our mission supporting the U.S. Special Operations Command’s service members and their families.

The Task Force Dagger Foundation’s three core programs: (1) Immediate Needs, (2) SOF Health Initiatives and (3) Rehabilitative Therapy Events provide resources and healing for Special Operations Forces (SOF) members and families. Our SOF Health Initiatives provides program recipients care and treatment that is designed to treat the problem and not the symptom through functional medicine and other treatment modalities that are holistic in nature. Task Force Dagger Foundation supports Army Green Berets, Rangers, Civil Affairs, Military Information Support Operations, Army Special Mission Units, Navy SEALs, Air Force Special Tactics/Operations and Marine Special Operations and their families. These are some of the units that comprise the U.S. Special Operations Command.

Since 2009, we have supported USSOCOM with more than $3.5 million of support to 3,100 SOF service members and their families. The Task Force Dagger Foundation’s overhead rate is 10.91 percent.

-Contact: Task Force Dagger Foundation Office, 214-420-9290, info@taskforcedagger.org or http://www.taskforcedagger.org