Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Diving to strength.(aquatic therapy for Darrell Salzman).


Scuba gear, originally uploaded by Yooper shooter.

ArabicChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)DeutchEspanolFrenchItalianJapaneseKoreanPortugueseRussian USA, LLC

SIX months after an explosion cost him his lower right arm, Wisconsin Army National Guard Sgt. Darrell Salzman was treading water--literally.

"The hardest thing that I've had to do since the injury was actually here," Sgt. Salzman said as he floated in full scuba gear in Walter Reed Army Medical Center's aquatic-therapy pool in Washington, D.C.

"You have to tread water for 10 minutes with half a hand. That was so hard to do. A couple of times, I went underwater, but I stuck with it."

The explosion in Iraq cost Sgt. Salzman his right arm below the elbow and the ring finger on his left hand. It also damaged nerves and fingers on his left hand.

Mr. John W. Thompson, Sgt. Salzman's scuba instructor, calls water the great equalizer. Sgt. Salzman and other wounded Soldiers agree.

"Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba Diving" is a new, all-volunteer program for wounded service-members at WRAMC.

SUDS is the brainchild of Mr. Thompson, a former Outward Bound instructor who is certified by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors and by the Handicapped Scuba Association.

The goal is to challenge wounded Soldiers and give them a skill that they can continue to enjoy into old age, he said.

New to scuba diving, Sgt. Salzman is far from new to the water. "I'm in the water all the time," he said. "In the summer it's always been my life."

A homebuilder by trade, he was a lumberjack sports competitor at age 5, specializing in logrolling and boom running.

A fixture on ESPN's "Great Outdoor Games," he won 14 medals and ESPN's 2005 ESPY Award for Best Outdoor Sports Athlete. He has been both semi-pro and pro, tied for the all-time medal winner in the "Great Outdoor Games," and set log-rolling and boom-running world records.

Sgt. Salzman, 27, plans to return to college and perhaps teach industrial education or shop.

"With my injuries, I have to relearn everything," he said. "I used to be right-handed. Now I'm left-handed, but I have a damaged left hand, so I've got to relearn everything, from tying my shoes to how to pack my bag."

In the aquatic-therapy pool, Sgt. Salzman is relearning and expanding his water skills.

"I had never scuba-dived before," he said. "It's a whole other world. I can pretty much do everything in the pool that I could do before."

"The scuba-aquatic therapy has definitely boosted his confidence," said Sgt. Salzman's wife, Josie. "He can scuba dive just fine, just like any other person."

Other therapeutic programs available to wounded Soldiers at Walter Reed include fly-fishing, deep-sea fishing and kayaking.

Contributors to SUDS include the Annapolis Scuba Center, the Chatham Bay Foundation, Disabled Sports USA and PADI.

To learn more about the Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba Diving program, visit To donate to SUDS' support, visit Disabled Sports USA at www.dsusa. org and specify that the donation is for the SUDS program.

Staff Sgt, Jim Greenhill works for the National Guard Bureau Public Affairs Office.

Source Citation
Greenhill, Jim. "Diving to strength." Soldiers Magazine 62.11 (2007): 33. General OneFile. Web. 17 Nov. 2010.
Document URL

Gale Document Number:A170929033

ArabicChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)DeutchEspanolFrenchItalianJapaneseKoreanPortugueseRussian
Personalized MY M&M'S® CandiesObama on 60 Minutes DVDGreat Prices at (Web-Page)
(Album / Profile) here for the Best Buy Free Shipping OffersShop the Official Coca-Cola Store!

No comments: