Georgia Aquarium is committed to serving the brave men and women, active and retired, who have served us. As a thank you for their incredible service, we developed the Veterans Immersion Program in 2008 as a way to support the wounded heroes in our armed forces.
Georgia Aquarium is honored to provide this unique adjunctive therapy to complement current rehabilitation and reintegration programs. Participants challenge themselves with an experience outside their comfort zones, encounter enormous animals, and for some, relax and move in the water in ways they may not be able to on land.
Since its founding, the program has hosted more than 2,900 military personnel and guests who have been physically, emotionally, or mentally wounded – injuries both seen and unseen. Participants of all abilities (from quadriplegia or amputations to post traumatic stress or traumatic brain injuries) are welcome 365 days a year to swim or dive in our 6.3 million gallon gallery, Ocean Voyager Built by The Home Depot. Guests float alongside whale sharks and manta rays coming face to face with some of the ocean’s largest creatures.
These guests are supported by the largest team of Handicapped Scuba Certified Dive Masters and Instructors in the world led by a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. Each member of the Dive Team is trained to lead disabled divers and swimmers on their journey, ensuring the care and safety of these esteemed guests. Because of the inherent healing properties of water and the sheer magnificence of swimming and diving with these incredible animals, the veterans leave with a positive, awe-inspiring experience that supports the need for ongoing adaptation to life after war.