“But the time I spent in your tank was the first time in four years that I had absolutely zero anxiety. I couldn’t think about anything other than those beautiful creatures and just how blessed I was to be in the water with them”, said a veteran and former Veterans Immersion Program participant at Georgia Aquarium.
The idea of swimming with sharks may seem terrifying, however we think otherwise. Georgia Aquarium’s Veterans Immersion Program welcomes veterans 365 days a year to swim in the Aquarium’s 6.3-million-gallon Ocean Voyager exhibit and relax alongside amazing marine life, such as whale sharks and manta rays.
Since 2008, our Veterans Immersion Program has provided a unique therapy experience to veterans that have been physically, mentally, or emotionally wounded. The Program went from serving 50 active duty military and veterans in the first year to serving almost 500 in 2018 alone. It was designed to support wounded warriors in a way that promotes emotional healing through a positive experience in the water. We work with military hospitals and Veterans Affairs organizations, along with chaplains, rehabilitation coordinators, and psychiatric units. We also work with public programs like Wounded Warrior Project and Disability Dive programs.