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Wheelchairs for the Wounded Warriors waiting on the docks
Image courtesy of Tourism Corporation Bonaire.

Wounded Warriors Receive Dive Vacation of a Lifetime on Bonaire

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** Injured U.S. Troops and their Families to Receive Dive Vacation of a Lifetime on Bonaire**

Kralendijk, Bonaire (August 13, 2014) – For the ninth consecutive year, Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB), industry partners, and the entire island of Bonaire will welcome members of the U.S. military and their families to their home away from home from August 16 -24, 2014, to enjoy scuba diving for recreation and rehabilitation.

During this week, wounded troops and their significant others will complete the final steps in the scuba diving certification process. Representatives of the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association’s (DEMA) Be A Diver Program, the Handicapped Scuba Association, Oceanic and the North American office of the TCB will be on-site to work with the group. All accommodations and diving are complimentary and will be generously provided by Captain Don’s Habitat. Each year the people of Bonaire warmly welcome this group and show them their greatest assets; the renowned marine park with its pristine waters and genuine Bonairean hospitality.

“We are excited to again welcome these veterans, who have risked their lives for their country, to Bonaire,” commented Ethsel Pieternella, Director of Tourism Corporation Bonaire. “Bonaire has always had a close relationship with the U.S, and hosting their veterans for a week of rest, relaxation and scuba diving is one way of our giving back to those who have given so much. We are fortunate to work in an industry that has taken up a firm position on helping these brave men and women continue their healing process through scuba diving. We are grateful to all our sponsors here and stateside for their continued support of this week. With Bonaire’s calm waters and easy access to shore and boat diving, scuba diving in Bonaire is probably one of the best therapies for people to be able to disconnect from their injuries and enjoy themselves underwater.”

Group shot of the wounded warriors in Bonaire
Image courtesy of Tourism Corporation Bonaire.

This year, eight warriors who have suffered life-changing physical injuries which they received in combat while stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the families that stood by them, will have a dive vacation of a lifetime. The “carte blanche” style vacation that is offered to the warriors is made possible by the generosity of industry partners and others. Blue Water Divers, BonaireTalk, Caradonna Dive Adventures, Inc., Dive Training Magazine, Henderson, Oceanic, OmniCom Media Group, Rum Runners, Scuba Pro and the Wounded Warrior Project to name a few, have donated items ranging from masks, fins, snorkels, wetsuits, life support systems, etc. to considerable financial contributions that cover all meals and activities.

The warriors and their partners will have a full itinerary beginning with the completion of their PADI and HSA dive certification. Once certified, they will continue diving throughout the week, both from the dock of Captain Don’s Habitat and via boat dives to Klein Bonaire and some of the other 86 official dive sites found on Bonaire. The group will also enjoy shopping, sightseeing, dining and experiencing the best Bonaire has to offer. The highlight of the week will take place when the Bonaire community gathers to meet these extraordinary troops and their companions at a reception held in their honor at the offices of Lt. Governor Mr. Edison Rijna.

To stay up-to-date on the Wounded Warriors Bonaire week, be sure to follow @BonaireTourism on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #WWWB2014.

In addition to Captain Don’s Habitat providing accommodations and diving, the following organizations have contributed to the overall success of Wounded Warrior Bonaire Week: 9Line LLC, Adams Unlimited Public Relations & Marketing, Blue Water Divers, Bonaire KFC, BonPhoto, BonaireTalk.com, Bonaire Quad Tours, Bonaire Guided Motorcycle Tours, Bonaire Tours & Vacations, Budget Rent A Car Bonaire, Buddy Dive Resort, Captain Don’s Habitat, Caradonna Dive Adventures, Inc., CIEE Bonaire, Cressi, Destinations Weddings & Honeymoons Magazine, Disabled Sports USA, Diver’s Diner Bar & Restaurant, DEMA/Be a Diver, DiveNewswire, Dive Training Magazine, Elements Bonaire, Father Edward J. Giorgio, VA Post 689, Henderson, H.S.A. International Training Center of New Jersey, Islands Magazine, Iron Order Motorcycle Club – Bonaire (Caribbean Pirates Crew) James Howard Creative Group, Joe’s Grill House Bonaire, Jewel of Bonaire, LeisurePro, Mail Unlimited, Marlboro High School Retired Teachers Group, MIVABO, Mr. & Mrs. Hugh Foskey, Mr. & Mrs. Giamporcaro, OCEANIC, Omnicomm Media Group, Oracle Trucking, PADIPrinceton Tec, Rum Runners, Scuba Diving Magazine, Scuba Pro, Scuba Toys, Sport Diver Magazine, Taxi Association Bonaire, Tourism Corporation Bonaire, Wounded Warrior Project.

Various images of the Wounded Warrior program in Bonaire
Image courtesy of Tourism Corporation Bonaire.

Getting to Bonaire…

Delta Air Lines operates a weekly non-stop flight to/from Atlanta on Saturdays. Starting August 22, 2014, Delta will operate and additional non-stop to/from Atlanta on Fridays.

United Airlines operates weekly non-stop flights to Bonaire from Houston, TX and from Newark, NJ (the Newark flight is seasonal). As the schedule can vary from either a Friday or Saturday departure from the USA, please visit United.com the most current flight information.

Other flights from North America generally arrive in Curacao or Aruba; Insel Air flies from Charlotte, NC and Miami, FL to Bonaire via Curacao. Flights between Bonaire, Aruba and Curacao are available on Insel Air and on Divi Divi Air which flies between Bonaire and Curacao.

Located eighty-six miles east of Aruba, the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire offers year-round sunshine, low annual rainfall, pristine coral formations and the most abundant fish population in the Caribbean. World renowned for scuba diving and snorkeling, it is also ideal for adventurers and explorers as it offers a myriad of eco-adventure activities from sea and mangrove kayaking to windsurfing or kite boarding and more. For those who want to kick back and relax, not having traffic lights on the island makes it easy to stroll into town or hop on a scooter or bike to peruse the island at their own pace. Accommodations range from full-service oceanfront resorts and condominiums to intimate guesthouses, small inns and private villas.

For 21 consecutive years in Scuba Diving magazine’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards, Bonaire has been selected as the number one Shore Diving destination in the Caribbean/Atlantic. This year, it received 10 awards. It was also voted number one for Macro Diving and Beginner Diving in the Reader’s Choice Awards and the number one dive destination for 24/7 Diving in the Top 100 Gold List. Bonaire’s Marine Park was also named one of the Caribbean’s Best Places for Snorkeling by Frommer’s. Currently, Bonaire is ranked at #5 on the list of Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards Top 10 Caribbean Islands.

For more information on Bonaire, contact the Tourism Corporation Bonaire at 1-800 BONAIRE, email [email protected] or visit Bonaire’s official web site at www.tourismbonaire.com. Follow Bonaire on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram.

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