Water. It's as peaceful as it is therapeutic, but for disabled veterans, it's a chance to get their freedom back.
“Water is a great equalizer. We get these guys and these ladies in the water, and we’re all equal,” Martin Hampton said.
The Trident Veteran Adaptive Program, otherwise known as TVAP, has aimed to help those veterans whose lives were drastically changed while serving.
“Before they were disabled, they were healthy, they were young, they were protecting us, they were serving, and then in an instant, that was taken away from them,” Hampton explained.
However, underwater, those who can't move find themselves feeling free again. Hampton recalled his time with a veteran who's a paraplegic. “He said, 'For the first time, I feel like I’m standing and talking face to face with another man.'”
Last year, the first time the TVAP program came to Nashville, 26 veterans participated, but next month, they want more. The weekend-long event is completely free. “Family can join in, caregivers can join in, spouses can join in, significant others, we’re open to everybody. Whatever it takes to get you in the pool, we’ll do,” said Hampton.
A little time spent in the water could mean a lifetime of changes. “The only thing you need to bring is a towel and a good sense of humor,” Hampton said.
The event has been scheduled for the weekend of February 24. For anyone interested in participating, visit them online to sign up.