October 2009: U.S. Iraq War Veterans as well as British Iraq War Veterans Partake in the Semi Annual Barry University/ IAHD "Try SCUBA" Event.
In a collaborative effort between Barry University's Sport Management – Diving Industry (SMDI) Program and The International Association for Handicapped Divers (IAHD), the semiannual Try Scuba event in Key Largo, Florida took place. This event allows people with varying degrees of physical disabilities to dive in a controlled setting under the supervision of IAHD certified instructors. Barry professor Sharon Kegeles, an IAHD instructor, took SMDI student-majors to work with these new divers in the pool. Most of these Barry students are certified IAHD Dive Partners, which means that they have received training in the care and guidance of handicapped divers. The responsibilities of the students included assisting divers in and out of the water, helping with scuba gear, and accompanying them underwater to make sure they were safe, comfortable and having a fun experience. Not only did Barry University SMDI students work closely with United States Iraq War Veterans, but this event marked the first time British Armed Forces Iraq War Veterans participated.
The turnout for the event was excellent, weather was great, all of the dive operations went smoothly, and the Barry divers were able to get valuable hands-on experience in an open ocean setting with divers possessing differing ability levels. Because the event has been so successful, it will now be occurring bi-annually, with the next event planned for sometime in May, 2009.