For 2021, we are tentatively planning three-four “challenges” for CW/IVs. In June, we’ll return to Key West for our annual SCUBA Challenge supporting Mote Marine Labs in their quest to restore the coral reefs in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Expect to follow that with another Mountaineering Challenge, either in Colorado or possibly returning to Alaska’s Denali range. Later in the year, we’ll return to the seas again supporting a Sailing Challenge out of Galveston TX. In all these, we will continue to build on past research efforts working closely with academia, the O&P community, research organizations, and diving medical professionals seeking ways to avail the CW/IV community and their families the benefit of past and future research efforts through our Challenge activities. All our Board members, officers and support staff are strictly volunteers. Administrative expenses have been minimal, so your contributions have gone directly into supporting programs benefiting our Combat Wounded or Injured Veterans.
Through sponsoring vigorous challenges while supporting data gathering efforts that further medical O&P/PTSD/TBI research that offers meaningful purpose for our CW/IVs to not only inspire themselves, but others similarly challenged, we are undaunted in pursuit of our mission.
CWVC had originally planned three 2020 Challenges for combat wounded/injured veterans (CW/IVs) – SCUBA in June, Mountaineering in Aug, and Sailing in Sept. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the CWVC Board of Directors met several times to weigh the potential benefits to be derived from research efforts planned for the challenges against the potential risks that might be incurred if the challenges were to be conducted. In the end, we decided to cancel all Challenges and focus on planning for 2021. Factors weighing on decision included costs (some of which might be non-refundable); availability of facilities, housing, logistics support, expedition expertise; whether sufficient number CW/IVs would be able (or desire) to participate given C-19 related health issues; C-19 resurgence across country (e.g., Florida, Texas, other states); requirement to quarantine depending on participant point of origin; likelihood of a C-19 vaccine not till early next year.
Despite 2020 Challenge setbacks, CWVC was able to respond to a time-sensitive request for support from the Army’s Special Forces Underwater Operations School in early June. For more information, see:
- Scuba Challenge – Underwater Prosthetics Research and Reef Restoration Project
- Alaska Challenge (Ice climbing/mountaineering/backpacking/pack rafting/prep for Aconcagua)
- Sail Challenge – Dry Tortugas