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We provide veterans, active-duty special operations personnel, and military families with opportunities for community-focused growth and engagement via planned expeditions, community activities, and partnerships with local businesses.
We involve veterans in group expeditions that span across the United States, community outreach, and diving excursions to the serene waters of the deep to find those moments of freedom and support they need.
We offer ways to re-establish contact with old friends and get help from each other, day or night. We challenge the unhealthy perception of needing to stand alone and have it all together.
We encourage participants to come back each year and join our community! We know that events won’t fix the challenges that we face everyday, but instead, building a community of people who have gone through similar experiences has proven to us, highly beneficial.
Why Join Us?
Please join us in honoring The Fallen by helping to save and support the lives of service members, veterans, and Gold Star families.
I invite you to be a part of our mission. I invite you in helping us make sure that they are still around to see a child walk for the first time, celebrate a spouse’s birthday, cheer at a graduation – or be at a friend’s wedding. The need to Salvage lives is great. But, with your support, the need will be met and military substance abuse and suicides will be part of the past.
As an Honorary Founding Member, 100% of your contribution will save lives. Operational costs are already covered. That means EVERY dollar goes to the mission so any amount helps. Please make your generous contribution today!
Salvaging Lives & Families
A large problem that our team has identified, specifically when service members leave the military and return home, is that they tend to lose the connections they had with their military family who went through life-changing experiences with them. Often times, we don’t realize how important those bonds are until it’s too late. The support element that was always there for you when you needed it has disappeared. Our goal is to change that. To build back that connection and to be there for anyone at any time. They fought for us, let’s fight for them.
Remembering The Fallen
The life of a service member after combat is far from easy. In life you deal with relationship challenges, difficulty finding work, mounting debt, and of course, the psychological impact of our combat experiences. People assume we are “tough guys” who can withstand any adversary. But back home, the forces that challenge us Veterans and Active-Duty service members are numerous, ambiguous, and often unexpected. We haven’t run drills that prepare us for the struggles we will face. The support we were familiar with in the field is greatly reduced, and perhaps even absent.
He was supposed to be at my wedding.
It was 2009, and I was in Afghanistan as a Reconnaissance Marine fighting the Taliban. Although I was aware of ever present danger, I was unprepared for the deaths of two close friends from a hidden IED. I felt their absence back at camp as their belongings were packed up and shipped home. The reality of lives taken without warning hit me like a ton of bricks. But, this is war. I could rationalize the loss. And, I knew we would soon be back in the safety of the U.S.
But, death followed us home.
In three years: eleven combat veteran deaths, all self-inflicted by substance abuse or suicide. There was no readiness, no understanding of the reason. This time, no rationalization due to surrounding dangers. Only pain, anger, and disbelief.
News of Matthew’s death, who died from a substance abuse overdose, shocked me so much that it changed my life and our friends’ lives forever.
I was enjoying a wonderful dinner with my fiancé when the call came. One of my best friends, Jayson, told me of Matthew’s passing. I broke down. We were close in Recon and had deployed to Afghanistan in the same company. Back home, we often got together with our fellow Recondos.
He was supposed to be at my wedding.
I could never have imagined having to withdraw Matty’s invitation from the stack to be mailed. How could this be? What did I miss? There was no warning. Everything seemed fine. We had just talked a couple days ago. Matthew knew how much I was looking forward to him seeing me get married. Why did he make this fatal choice? Why do these avoidable deaths keep happening?
Eleven friends. All gone. All without warning. All by their own doing.
After traveling to California to say goodbye, I asked Matthew’s mom what happened. She said, “He needed to stay close with you guys. You were the only ones that really knew what he was struggling with in his heart and head. I think that would’ve benefited him.”
How awful we all felt from those words. I was hurt. We all were hurt. And, we felt abandoned. But, I also felt something had to be done. But, what? What could I offer that wasn’t already being provided by the government and multiple organizations?
Two days after receiving the fateful news of a friend gone forever, I went scuba diving. The tranquility of the ocean, of being in an environment cut-off from the realities of life on land, proved to be a therapeutic escape. I thought if a diving excursion with the right support group could be that impactful for me, perhaps it could also help struggling service members feeling overwhelmed by their battles at home.
Believe me, the life of a service member after combat is far from easy.
Life is often complicated by relationship challenges, difficulty finding work, mounting debt, and of course, the psychological impact of our combat experiences. Society assumes we are “tough guys” who have it all together and are able to withstand any adversary. But back home, the forces that challenge us Veterans and Active-Duty service members are numerous, ambiguous, and often unexpected. We haven’t run drills that prepare us for the struggles we will face. The support we were familiar with in the field is greatly reduced, perhaps even absent.
They fought for us. Now, it is time we fight for them. You can join us in the battle.
Salvage USA provides Active-Duty Special Operations personnel, Combat Veterans, and Gold Star Families, with the financial support, trip planning, equipment, and instruction they need to be stronger together once again. We will involve them in group expeditions that span across the United States, community outreach, and diving excursions to the serene waters of the deep to find those moments of freedom and support they need.
Salvage USA offers ways to re-establish contact with old friends and get help from each other, day or night. We challenge the unhealthy perception of needing to stand alone and have it all together.
Salvage USA celebrates the families that bore the burdens of their loved one’s service. We honor the identity and value of each service member by reaffirming their purpose outside the military through community involvement and career development.
Those who fought, are worth the fight!
Marine Combat Veteran Founder, Salvage USA®
Lastly, please help spread the word by sharing our story with your family and friends.
Join The Fight!
There are multiple ways that you can help us fight for those who fought for us. You can volunteer for a local community event, join us in leading an adventure excursion, be available to support a family in grief, do business with the partners who support us, and/or make a donation online.