Adrenaline – (noun) –
- a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, especially in conditions of stress, increasing rates of blood circulation, breathing, and carbohydrate metabolism and preparing muscles for exertion.
- a chemical in the body that ALL combat veterans ultimately miss, and seek out, after returning to the civilian world.
Shark-infested waters off the coast of Jupiter Florida, July 4th, 2017 – What do you get when you take Gruntworks, a sitting United States Congressman, a bunch of veterans and wounded warriors, some guys called “Shark Addicts”, then add a few sharks? You get a day of adrenaline, fellowship, and a successful fundraiser for The Renewal Coalition.
Early on the morning of July 4th, 2017, Beau Brumfield, owner of Gruntworks and one of the founders of the Veterans Of South Florida (VOSF) grabbed a bunch of veterans and his local Congressman, Brian Mast, (himself a wounded warrior) and headed out to the waters of South Florida for a meet up with Shark Addicts for an adrenaline-charged day of diving with sharks. The day included a Helocast into the water, feeding and swimming with the sharks, as well as a fundraiser for The Renewal Coalition that raised over $3000.00 to continue their work in healing local area veterans. Additionally, this event raised over $2000.00 for the VOSF, a non-profit organization bringing together veterans in South Florida.
The event was dubbed “The Dive For Freedom” with over 18 veterans taking part in this Independence Day dive. Local TV station CBS 12 (click here for the news article) was on hand to record the events and interviewed several veterans participating.
Veteran John Rourke told CBS 12 “It’s an opportunity for veterans to get back into the water. We love the feel of that adrenaline rush.”
Congressman Mast, a wounded veteran and Representative for the Florida 18th Congressional District (including Jupiter, Florida) stated “This is a way for us to come together. We have a little bit of unity, a little bit of fellowship together and just be there for one another.”
After the dive, the veterans headed back to the Square Grouper Tiki Bar in Jupiter for a silent auction benefiting The Renewal Coalition, whose mission is to “change the lives of injured warriors, caregivers, and their family members.” Gruntworks raised over $3000.00 for this local veteran charity. A rifle was also raffled off, with over $2000.00 raised for the Veterans Of South Florida.
Gruntworks owner, Beau Brumfield, a combat veteran of the Gulf War, summed up the day’s activities in an interview with CBS 12:
“Life kind of gets mundane sometimes so those guys getting out here today is a great thing. That includes being with our brothers and sisters which makes that adrenaline rush feel even better.”
Our mission is never over when we leave the military. Taking care of our brothers and sisters does not stop when we hang up our uniforms. You don’t need sharks as a reason to get together with your fellow veterans (although sharks add to the experience). Get together with your local veterans groups, non-profits, and service organizations to keep in contact with those of us that live lives of service to our fellow veterans.