July 28, 2021

Blind veteran thanks Dive Pirates for underwater adventure in Cayman Brac

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Dive-Pirates-eLogo-100x100From Dive News Wire

Retired Staff Sgt. Michael Malarsie tells his story of the battlefield, life after injury at 11th Annual Dive Pirates Gala

“I was the third soldier in formation as we crossed a small bridge and the first soldier in line stepped on an IED buried in the road; it detonated, instantly killed him, the soldier behind him and hit me in the face and neck and threw me off the bridge,” said Retired Staff Sgt. Michael Malarsie, saying the southern Afghanistan landscape was the last thing he saw before a medic pulled him out of the water and asked him if he could still fight. Providing cover fire while the medic tended to others, the fact that he would not see again had yet to set in, until he came to in the hospital and he heard it from the doctor.

malarsie-dive-pic-with-gregg-and-travisMalarsie will be sharing his story as the keynote speaker at the 11th Annual Dive Pirates Ball February 27, 2015 in Houston, Texas. A 2014 recipient of the Dive Pirates Foundation, Malarsie went diving with 10 other recipients with mobile disabilities, as well as about 70 other instructors, dive buddies, and past recipients as the Dive Pirates celebrated its tenth year anniversary. Training through the Scuba Schools International (SSI) Classified Diver Program, Malarsie dove with an instructor and two dive buddies, exploring the sensations of the underwater world along the Cayman Brac Reef.

malarsieMalarsie will be addressing many of the past and present recipients, as well as the many donors and volunteers who work tirelessly to prepare for this year’s recipients to have the same opportunity to experience the joy and freedom of diving. What’s being called Dive Pirates 2.0, the Foundation is rolling out four trips this year to better accommodate its recipients and its chapters with more diving options, taking recipients to Utila, Honduras, Kona, Hawaii, Cozumel, Mexico and Cayman Brac.

“When something like this happens it’s difficult, I can understand why many people go through depression and anger, all sorts of things; but when I learned what happened to the rest of the guys on that patrol I knew I had no right to feel sorry for me, I am so lucky only to be blind, and I’m going to take their sacrifice and what they gave up to save my life and I’m going to turn my life into a tribute to them,“ continued Malarsie as he touched the metal bracelet on his arm, engraved with the names of the men who did not survive that day January 3, 2010.

“I was so close to never having an opportunity to go and do anything again, to experience new things and now I take every single chance I can get and it’s absolutely changed my life, one of the best things that’s ever happened now.”

If you would like to sponsor a recipient you can directly donate to the recipient of your choice so he/she can join the diving community and the mobility of diving. Tickets are still available for the Dive Pirates Ball at www.divepirates.org.

Dive Pirates

Dive Pirates is a group of volunteers that believes in supporting our community with our passion of scuba diving through the Dive Pirates Foundation, a 501 c 3 not-for-profit public charity. Dive Pirates supports, trains, equips, and provides dive travel to individuals with disabilities through Classified Scuba Diving Based on camaraderie, compassion, freedom to dive, and the Code of Conduct, Dive Pirates will support, train, equip, and provide dive travel to individuals with disabilities through Classified Scuba Diving. Dive Pirates will create a community of Disabled Divers that will dive and travel in the mainstream world of Scuba Diving through education and overcoming obstacles.

Malarsie dive pic with Gregg and Travis
For more on this story go to: http://www.divenewswire.com/blind-veteran-thanks-dive-pirates-underwater-adventure-cayman-brac/

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