Veteran Scuba Diver Chamalcan Salazar

Chamalcan Salazar

As a United States Navy Veteran who proudly served for 10 years, I gave much to defend my great nation. I served until I was no longer able to, due to my injuries. After my medical discharge, I battled with depression, anxiety, PTS, TBI, insomnia, chronic pain, and other  issues. Medication after medication trials induced weight gain and my self-esteem diminished as time went by. My ability and motivation to do daily tasks faded until I no longer desired to participate in many activities I used to enjoy. I was informed about the dive program through ASPIRE center and I decided to give it a try since I was told it would help with some of my issues. To my surprise from the very first day (pool portion of certification) I noticed that my sense of accomplishment and ability to perform in physical activities began to increase. After my first open water dive I noticed that I was able to sleep a bit longer, my anxiety had lowered from pre-dive, depression had decreased and my confidence had increased. I am now a PADI certified diver and I feel proud that even with all my disabilities, I was able to accomplish something most never get a chance to do. I feel confident and most important I feel that making diving a part of my life will help me cope with my disabilities on a daily basis. Thank you to The Nice Guys (nonprofit who paid for our certification ), Ocean Enterprises Foundation (non-profit), Kym Larsen, Ben Bramer, and Travis Adams for their dedication to this program. They are key components of this program that makes it successful for veterans like myself.

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