Go-Fast Boats Fly Colors For Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba

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New Jersey performance-boat owners came out in patriotic style to support SUDS last month (click image to enlarge). Photos courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images.

A nonprofit organization, Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba (SUDS) offers Scuba diving certification programs through Scuba Diving International to wounded and ill servicemen and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Founded in 2007 and based out of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., the organization is funded entirely through charitable donations.

The SUDS mission is simple: “By training the warriors in a challenging and rewarding activity it can help facilitate the rehabilitation process and promote mobility. Offering this venue provides the service member with a sport they can enjoy during their rehabilitation and throughout their life. Freedom—one dive at a time.”

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Performance-boat owners “flew them proud” during the SUDS event in September—check out the slideshow above.

In early September, photographer Tim Sharkey captured a SUDS fundraiser near his home in Brick, N.J. In addition to dinner and entertainment that evening, the event included afternoon performance-boat rides for the attending veterans and their families. To honor the vets and the organization serving them, several of the performance-boat owners displayed American flags on the vessels.

Hard rain didn’t dampen anyone’s enthusiasm, according to Sharkey.

“We had Outerlimits, Cigarettes, Fountains and center consoles giving rides in down-pouring ran,” he said. “Nothing stops this event, and nothing would stop these veterans from getting their rides.”

Editor’s Note: For more information on the SUDS organization and its programs click here.