WATCH: Wounded Warriors Spend a Day with Bottlenose Dolphins in the Florida Keys

by Taylor Cunningham
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(Photo by Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)

Last Sunday, a group of US military veterans spent the day swimming with bottlenose dolphins in the Flordia Keys. The trip was organized by the Wounded Warriors with the hope of improving the vets’ mental health.

The participating soldiers suffered from maladies such as missing limbs and Post Traumatic Stress. And with the help of the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon, FL, they were able to splash around in the open waters with their new friends.

The Center is home to rehabilitated dolphins that are “deemed unreleasable back into the wild by the Government.” And according to Fox News, it has been hosting programs similar to Wounded Warriors for over 25 years.

U.S. Marine Corps Captain Andrew Hairston was one of the soldiers who jumped into the ocean with the rescued animals. Hairston lost his left leg after sustaining an injury while serving overseas.

According to him, the dolphins have a way of easing the vet’s anxieties. And because of that, the men and women had the confidence to enjoy the new experience.

“They actually force us to step out of our comfort zone and do things that we typically wouldn’t normally do,” he said. “I mean, how often do you get the opportunity to swim with dolphins? Guys who normally don’t swim were hopping in the water to swim with them, so it’s a great opportunity to step out of your comfort zone.”

‘NCIS’ Actor Brian Dietzen Made a Documentary About Wounded Warriors’ Softball Team

In 2019, NCIS’s Brian Dietzen filmed a documentary that highlighted a Wounded Warriors Softball team that coached disabled children.

The Dr. Jimmy Palmer actor made the movie titled Lightning vs. Thunder with a couple of his “friends at AFI.”

“It’s about a camp for children with amputations, and these leg deficient kids learn how to use their prosthesis by playing softball,” he told Starry Mag.

“The counselors at the camp are members of the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team,” he added. “So, it’s a really great story about some of our veterans really helping out kids and our kids in turn building confidence and getting to meet people just like them. It was an inspiring project. I’m really glad we got to premiere it.”

The actor shared more about the documentary in a Tweet that same year.

“Excited to wake up in Washington DC today!” he wrote alongside a promo pic. “@AFIDOCS will hold the world premiere of the film ‘Lightning vs Thunder’ made by my pals @ajschnack, @NathanTruesdell, and myself. It celebrates the @WWAmpSoftball and their efforts to bring kids and vets together.”

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