CWVC Honored with Victories for Veterans Grant Award by the Duke Energy Foundation

CWVC Honored with Victories for Veterans Grant Award by the Duke Energy Foundation


ST. PETERSBURG, FL, October 10, 2017 – Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge (“CWVC”) was honored as a recipient of Duke Energy’s and Tampa Bay Rays’ “Victories for Veterans” program. The grant of approximately $8,800 will be used to support the “Coral Restoration Challenge,” which has been formed in partnership with MOTE Marine Laboratories (“MOTE”), located in Summerland Key, FL, to restore coral reefs in the Florida Keys.

“Duke Energy is honored to help support our veterans,” said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy Florida President. “Last year our ‘Victories for Veterans’ partnership with the Tampa Bay Rays provided invaluable services to 1,300 local veterans and we are proud to continue this investment and assist other worthwhile organizations, like Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge, Inc. We hope it will have a lasting effect on our community and is one of the many ways our company supports the men and women who have served our country.”

Challenge, Research, and Inspire

Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing the medical industry with engaged volunteers for field-based assessments and research that advances treatment for wounded veterans through challenging expeditions and purpose-based events. Research is conducted in extreme conditions that push current treatments and devices beyond the normal use, creating new ideas for better treatments.

During CWVC’s annual SCUBA-related research on prosthetics and orthotics, CWVC and MOTE conducted joint operations to restore the reefs by planting coral that MOTE has grown in a nursery. This exercise allows the veterans to participate in a mission to save a great natural resource. The Coral Restoration Challenge will further this effort to address the significant decline of the reefs, which are needed to protect coastal areas and provide valuable habitat for fish and invertebrates.

Other Challenges that have been accomplished by CWVC veterans include:

  • Climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro (mission objectives: Prosthetics, TBI, PTSD)
  • Descended into the Grand Canyon (mission objectives: Prosthetics)
  • Climbed Mt. Aconcagua (mission objectives: Prosthetics, TBI, PTSD)
  • Denali Expedition (mission objectives: Prosthetics, Double Lung Transplant study)
  • More challenges and information can be found on the website:

Our veterans inspire those that have been recently injured or are facing new challenges related to their injuries by visiting VA hospitals to tell the story of how they have overcome similar obstacles and are now doing things like climbing mountains and SCUBA diving.

In addition to inspiring others, our vets who volunteer to transplant corals derive great purpose and inspiration from their assisting MOTE scientists in preserving the health of coral reefs in the Florida Keys. This CWVC “Coral Restoration Challenge” aligns itself with the views of the last Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Martin Dempsey, who said, “Veterans who have volunteered to serve their nation as military members also will derive great purpose from continuing to volunteer in their civilian life afterwards.”

About Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge, Inc.

Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge has been working with injured and combat wounded veterans since 2011. CWVC began by creating case studies and now conducts research on prosthetics, orthotics, and traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress with partners, such as the University of Hartford.

CWVC is a member of Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium, (“MTEC”), a biomedical technology consortium collaborating with multiple government agencies under a 10-year renewable Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC).

More information can be found at:

Media Contact:

Deborah K. Pawlowski


SCUBA/MOTE Operations Contact:

Reid Carlock
(727) 942-8415
10490 Gandy Blvd.
St. Petersburg, FL 33702


Record-Breaking Coral Planting in FL Keys

Record-Breaking Coral Planting in FL Keys

Members of the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge (CWVC) and SCUBAnauts International joined forces with half-a-dozen scientists from Mote Marine Laboratory for a one-day, record-breaking mission on a Florida Keys reef. They planted 500 corals in a day.

The number of corals planted marked the most-ever the groups have planted in a single day since they began working together in 2012. All told, the groups have planted more than 1,600 corals in an area unofficially named “Hero’s Reef” in honor of all current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Original Article

In the News: Mote Marine Lab project works to restore coral reefs

GULF OF MEXICO — Mote Marine Laboratory joined forces Monday with members of the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge and SCUBAnauts International in an underwater mission to restore Florida’s reef. More than 50 divers planted some 250 fragments of staghorn coral in Mote’s special restoration site near Looe Key.

This year marks the fourth year the groups have worked together to plant coral fragments grown in Mote’s underwater coral nursery in the restoration area. Mote established the nursery more than eight years ago to grow colonies of the threatened staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) for replanting on decimated or damaged sections of reef within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

When the colonies reach a suitable size, small fragments nearly 2 inches long are snipped off and used to create a new colony — similar to the way new plants are grown from cuttings of existing plants. Then these cuttings are then mounted on the reef so they can grow and develop into new colonies.

Mote has about 10,000 coral colonies — some 150,000 fragments — growing in its underwater nursery representing nearly 60 different genotypes.

Read more here

More Reflections from Key West – Mike Waugh

More Reflections from Key West – Mike Waugh

CWVC-scuba-Waugh-2Mike Waugh
Chapter Dive Safety Officer – NAUI/DAN/AAUS
Tarpon Springs Chapter of SCUBAnauts

Our group’s ability to plant coral on Hero’s Reef, which will have a lasting impact on the planet, had a huge effect on me. We were not just talking about doing something for the environment, we were actually doing it, with an awesome team of young men and women and crusty old veterans… CWVC-scuba-Mia-RobbySeeing Everett Foisy display a level of integrity that we all hope our children would display when he ensured the right person was recognized for being the first one in on the Navigation dive. I am also richer for personal sacrifices made. My wife and I could have easily spent that week and a half at a resort, relaxing on a beach somewhere, rather than a less than comfortable barracks. But being able to help others do things they could only imagine a week before was worth any amount of creature comforts we may have sacrificed. Finally, I learned the true meaning of Semper Gumbus, it’s all about being Fluid…