Wounded vets help preserve history, enhance recreation at Lake Mead
BOULDER CITY, Nevada — Volunteer divers from Wounded American Veterans Experience SCUBA and the Task Force Dagger Foundation worked with the National Park Service Submerged Resources Center and Lake Mead National Recreation Area staff Oct. 13-18.
The veteran volunteer teams are continuing work on a multi-phased project to map an aggregate plant submerged in Lake Mead. The plant was built to sort and clean rocks for the concrete used during the construction of Hoover Dam.
Both non-profit veteran organizations have shared with the National Park Service how important this volunteer dive project is. It helps veterans heal from physical, emotional and psychological injuries obtained while serving our nation.
According to the non-profit veteran organizations, preliminary studies have shown a single dive can help alleviate physical pain from injuries, post-traumatic stress and other symptoms for several weeks. One veteran shared that he used to be treated several times a year in a hyperbaric chamber and no longer needs that treatment, because he finds the same relief from diving.
Divers from both organizations have also shared how much it helps to be part of a team, feel needed and have the camaraderie of a team working on a mission again — although this time it is in a national park.
“This area of the park is a popular diving location for recreational divers and has been for years,” said Superintendent Margaret Goodro. “Many visitors do not even realize an 8-acre former aggregate plant is in the Hemenway Harbor area of Lake Mead. We will use the data from our veteran volunteer diving teams to create way-finding signs and accurate information about the history of the facility.
“We are humbled to be able to work with veteran volunteer divers and provide this unique opportunity for healing at Lake Mead National Recreation Area,” she added.
Melina Barr-Nicolatus, trustee from the John C. Kish Foundation attended one of the dive operations to view the work being done firsthand. The Kish Foundation donated $10,000 to support veteran diving programs at Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
“We are grateful for their support and the time Trustee Barr-Nicolatus took out of her busy schedule to come to the park and observe the veteran divers during the operation,” said Park Partnership Program Manager Roxanne Dey.
NPS Submerged Resources Center works with Lake Mead National Recreation Area staff several times a year to study and monitor other important submerged cultural resources including the B-29 Superfortress in Lake Mead and an historic aerial ferry in Lake Mohave.
Information provided by NPS