Academy of Scuba is Now Operation Blue Pride’s West Coast Training Facility for Disabled Veterans

See What New Partnerships Mean for Operation Blue Pride

Phoenix, AZ, March 23, 2014 – Academy of Scuba announced today it has been selected as the West Coast training site for Operation Blue Pride (OBP) scuba certification program for veterans. OBP is a nonprofit organization out of Chicago focusing on scuba dive training for veterans who are severely mentally and physically injured. Diving is part of their rehabilitation and helps them integrate back into society while providing them with a sense of adventure and accomplishment.

Once scuba certified, veterans will help with conservation projects through Operation Blue Pride. Currently OBP is working on a new partnership with Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. AWSC’s vision is to increase knowledge of Atlantic white sharks and change public perception to conserve the species and ensure biologically diverse marine ecosystems.

Operation Blue Pride and Atlantic White Shark Conservancy will be raising funds to send OBP veterans on white shark research and tagging trips with four veterans joining each trip. Academy of Scuba is slated to start training veterans in May 2014, and is looking to train over 50 people in the next 12 months.

Specially trained staff at Academy of Scuba will work with the specific needs of the veterans. Staff at Academy of Scuba have been trained by the following agencies: Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA), NAUI Adaptive program, and the SDI Scubability program.

Academy of Scuba has multiple locations in Phoenix Arizona, that is easily accessible from the West Coast and their facilities allow dive training year round. Operation Blue Pride is using Scuba Emporium, out of Chicago, for the East Coast training facility.

“The two new locations give OBP the opportunity to go above and beyond its original amount of veterans to certify. Both locations bring years of experience with a true passion to help veterans and do whatever they can do to help our returning veterans without exploiting them. I am really looking forward to this year’s new partnership,” said Chris Maddeford, from Operation Blue Pride.

“What’s great about this program is that they get scuba certified which is a great first step, but it’s only the beginning because the good they can do with the conservation programs through Operation Blue Pride will benefit them and the oceans,” said John Flanders, CO at Academy of Scuba.

“OBP is eager to get our veterans enveloped in this exciting partnership to continue our mission of having returning combat veterans help save our oceans’ marine life, while self healing,” said Madderford.

“I think it’s invigorating,” Flanders said. “When you have someone who has gone through a traumatic situation, and they get in the water, it’s great seeing the spark in their eyes. These veterans are amazing and they want to prove to themselves that they can overcome obstacles. The sense of pride they show sends shivers up your spine and can bring a grown man to cry.”

To watch an informative and motivational video of Operation Blue Pride click here. ( )

About The Academy of Scuba™
Academy of Scuba Inc., with multiple locations in Arizona, is a PADI Five Star IDC Training Facility, a DAN Training Center/Business Member, a DEMA Member, and a member of the Better Business Bureau. The Academy of Scuba is an industry innovator for developing, implementing, and reinforcing advanced level Scuba diver training programs. The Academy of Scuba focuses on training with an emphasis to create “great divers”. The sole purpose of the Academy of Scuba is to not just put people in the water, but to keep people in the water. The Academy of Scuba assists divers in increasing enjoyment, adventure, and safety through better education and more frequent dive experiences. Visit Academy of Scuba at

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