Underwater Veteran’s Memorial

Underwater Veteran’s Memorial

On Friday, February 2, 2018, one of our Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge participants was in attendance for the unveiling of Circle of Honor dedication.  Thank you to Andrew Lourake for sharing pictures from this awesome event!

Pinellas County is adding a “Circle of Heroes” to its existing Veterans Artificial Reef. This new addition will feature 24 life size military statues to honor our veterans. The plan is to deploy these new statues in the Gulf in 45 feet of water off Dunedin. In 1999 Pinellas County Artificial Reef Program construct a new artificial reef in the Gulf 10 miles west of Dunedin. At the base of this reef was a concrete monument with a bronze plate that read:

“This reef is dedicated to the men and women of our armed services, whose dedication and sacrifice have made this country what it is today, the land of the free and the home of the brave”.

The buoy that marked this reef had an American Flag flying that was periodically replaced when necessary. Since that date, countless veterans have had their ashes placed in the water at this buoy.

In June, the Pinellas County Commission allocated $50,000 to start work on the construction of an underwater memorial that will be called a “Circle of Heroes”. The plan is to have a circle of life size concrete military statues placed on the sea floor in 45 feet of water 10 miles offshore from Pinellas County. While there are numerous memorials around the country to honor our veterans, this would be the first “underwater memorial” open to divers. This project would be unique in the country and hopefully make Pinellas a “dive destination”. The attraction would not only take advantage of the underwater art projects that are occurring all around the world, but would also be a unique memorial to our veterans. Having a reef designed especially for divers would also be the first of its kind in the country.

This new addition would be added to the existing artificial reef that has become popular with anglers and divers. Under four mooring buoys, there will be the
“Circle of Heroes” that will feature life size concrete statues in a circle 100 feet in diameter. In the center of this circle will be a concrete monument with bronze emblems of the Army, Navy Air Force, Marines, and the Coast Guard.

The first nine statues will be ordered in the coming months from a firm in South Dakota that sells military statues that are used in parks and cemeteries around the country. The remaining 15 statues will be custom made to our specifications. The first nine will include an airman, a Korean War era solder, a marine in dress blues, a female nurse, a Vietnam solder, an Iraq freedom fighter, a female solder, a Navy sailor, and a “no man left behind” statue. Local veterans groups will help chose the remaining statues.

Some possible custom made statues could include statues of General George Patton (complete with twin 45’s), General Douglas MacArthur, and General Norman Schwarzkopf. Additional statues could feature an EOD solder with an IED in his hand, a wounded marine on a stretcher with a corpsman kneeling next to him. Another statue could feature a Navy sonar man at a console. an airman working on a jet engine, a navy seal in scuba gear coming out of the water, and a wounded warrior in rehab on parallel bars.

The $50,000 from the Pinellas County commission will cover the cost of the first nine statues and the center monument. The remaining funds will be sought from the Pinellas Tourist Development Council and the Florida Legislature. The custom statues will cost between $12,000 and $15,000 each, and the deployment by barge and crane will cost around $100,000. The total cost of the project will be around $450,000.

In recent years underwater art has become very popular around the world. The life size statue of Christ in the Florida Keys has been visited by thousands of divers every year for over 50 years. This underwater veterans memorial is expected to not only honor our veterans, but also make Pinellas County a “dive destination” for diving tourist from all across the country and around the world. 

This new memorial is projected to be deployed by late summer of 2018. For more information about this project, contact Dr. Heyward Mathews, Oceanographer at St. Petersburg College, @hmathews.tampabay.rr.com

Reveille Golf Tournament

Reveille Golf Tournament

reveille-golf-flyerOn October 3, 2015, the Reveille Summit Golf Tournament will be held at the Avila Golf and Country Club to raise money for Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge.  The par 71 course spans 6,926 yards and caters to all levels of play. The scramble will include prizes of the highest quality for multiple categories. With a limit of one hundred and twenty people, time is of the essence.

Awards dinner at the prestigious country club will follow.

Complimentary transportation to and from the Renaissance Hotel will be provided.

You can download the flyer here.

Derby Lane is hosting a poker tournament to benefit CWVC!

Derby Lane is hosting a poker tournament to benefit CWVC!

Click to view printable sized flyer

Click to view printable sized flyer

Derby Lane in St. Pete is generously hosting a Poker Tournament to raise money for CWVC!  If you are in the Tampa/St. Pete area, you can help support the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge at this Derby Lane Memorial Day Benefit Poker Tournament.

Prizes include cash and a $5000 Vegas Package!

$10,000 Guarantee

Memorial Day – May 25, 2015 @ 1:00 PM

Derby Lane Poker Room
10490 Gandy Boulevard
St. Petersburg, FL 33702
(727) 812-3339 ext.216

Tournament Details:
Buy-in:$200 ($130 + $10 + $10 DT + $50 Donation)
Units: 10000
Blinds: 30 min
Add-on: Optional $10 for 5000 units
Bonus: First place wins cash and a $5k Vegas Package

Update Aconcagua

Update Aconcagua

The team departed Mendoza Friday bound for Penitentes. The CWVC Aconcagua Challenge team spent the night at the ski resort at nearly 8500’ last night, so this move up by mini bus is an important acclimatization day and night for them. As you can see from the photos with water bottles in hand, they are doing a good job keeping hydrated. as this helps their bodies acclimatize better.

Saturday they had already hit the trail where they passed by some scenery with an alpine lake, over small bridges, tall trees and into higher alpine and dry river bed landscapes. Our team of combat wounded and injured warriors have already started the ascent on Aconcagua. Safe travels team and we look forward to receiving daily updates.

Some of the pictures shared with us by Caitlin (Alaska Mountaineering School) are below: (Thanks Caitlin!!!)