Scuba Diving Soldier Who Lost Both Legs
Soldier Scott Schroeder wears two prosthetic legs and a false arm following a devastating roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan – but that hasn’t stopped him enjoying a spot of scuba diving.
The chief warrant officer has had special flippers attached to his legs so that he can explore undersea worlds once again.
He lost his limbs seven months ago when an IED exploded beneath his transport vehicle. The week-long series of dives, in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, is part of a recreational therapy program.
Making a splash: Scott Schroeder pauses above an impression chunk of coral:
Adapted: Schroeder propels himself along using special flippers attached to his prosthetic limbs:
He learnt to scuba-dive back in the 1980s, but his injuries mean that he is having to relearn his skills.
His wife Laura and teenage son Zach have joined him this week. They’re both novices, but hope to earn their first scuba-diving certificate.
Laura explained how his passion for the activity whetted her appetite for it, too.
She said: ‘Every time we go on a vacation, one thing he wants to do is go diving, but he won't do it because we're not certified. So now, when we go on vacations, we can certainly go out with him.’
We are family: Scott Schroeder was joined this week by his son Zachary (left) and wife Laura in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary off Key West:
The trip to Key West was organised by Task Force Dagger Foundation, a Texas-based charity founded in 2009 that’s dedicated not only to helping soldiers recover from injuries, but providing assistance to their friends and family.
Selfless Schroeder contacted the organisation before he was injured, to offer help to wounded combatants.
He said: ‘I originally thought I was going to be on the giving end. Here I find I'm on the receiving end of the foundation, and I'm blessed that they were there to help me and my family.’
Schroeder emphasises just how important the chance to bond with his family has been. He said: ‘We're in a hospital environment all the time, and to come out here as a family is a great thing. Emotionally, we're recharging and rehabilitating.’
The week-long project has been embraced by the Key West community. Hotels have given reduced-rate accommodations, while dive shops and restaurants are providing complimentary trips and meals.
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Re: Scuba Diving Soldier Who Lost Both Legs
Haha, that's awesome I always like seeing people who keep doing their hobbies/careers after being through so much.