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Dan McCabe



Hello! My name is Dan McCabe and I am an Army veteran from Memphis,

Tennessee currently residing in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. In 2006 I enlisted in

the Army after graduating high school and was honorably discharged in

2013. At the time, I had the rest of my life planned out and felt secure with

my decision to transition into civilian life. Like many veteran’s experience,

life threw a curve ball my way and the plans I made had to be adapted.


Fortunately, my time in the military taught me a great deal about

camaraderie, resilience and showed me the real-world benefits of hard work.

While these skills and character traits may be easy to build, sharpen, and

maintain in the service, they are exponentially more difficult to adhere to in

civilian life. When my original path did not work out as planned, I was not

sure what my next step should be. It took a few years to figure out, but I

decided to go to college and get my degree. In 2016 I enrolled in Embry-

Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) and found it to be one of the best

decisions I have ever made. It was there that I came across some of the best

people I have ever met. James Maxwell and Chris Crawford were a few of the

many student veterans I formed friendships with that have led me to where I

am today. I found strength and comfort in the fact that we were all going

through our own unique struggle and it became clear that we could all work

to support each other. This group support eventually turned into an

organization on campus named the Student Veterans Organization (SVO)

designed to specifically benefit student veterans but was welcome to all.


Initially, I was invited onto the founding board as one of the two Community

Relations members in the SVO. Later, after being elected to the position of

President of the organization, I had the opportunity to make many positive

changes that I am proud of. With hard work and dedication, myself and the

board members were able to develop our SVO ultimately becoming a

recognized chapter of the Student Veterans of America. After my time was up

as President, the board and members elected Chris to become President of

the organization to further the work we had started. James Maxwell was the Vice President and worked with Chris to help make this possible.


Throughout the time that they continued building the organization my

personal bond with them grew. James was one of the most active members

of the SVO and often discussed the work he was doing with Dive Therapy.

When he explained the ways that diving can provide therapeutic relief to aid

in the prevention of veteran suicides I was immediately moved. I became a

certified diver at the age of 12 but had not been on a dive in quite some

time. I recognized James’ organization was so novel and beneficial that I

signed up to get recertified almost immediately. James’ and my friendship

grew as he gave me a refresher course. With is knowledge, patience, and

expertise I was back under the surface in no time.


I have personally discovered diving to be one of the most beneficial activities for mental health after separating from the military and I have not stopped diving since. I literally perceive my entire world to be brighter for days after a dive. For

those struggling to maintain mental resilience, I wholeheartedly recommend

diving as a source of comfort. Had I known this available when I first got out,

I genuinely feel I may have had fewer difficult struggles. When James offered

me the opportunity to be a part of Dive Therapy, I jumped at the chance and

was overjoyed. It is both an honor and a pleasure to help those in need. In

this deeply personal journey helping others has yet again helped me. I look

forward to meeting everyone interested in using diving as a tool to better

their life. By choosing to help yourself become stronger you are becoming a

part of our group helping others at the same time. Together we can build

friendships, have great experiences, and continue to work towards ending

veteran suicide together.

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