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Combat veterans swimming with sharks this Independence Day

Wounded Veterans Relief Fund, Shark Addicts team up for 'Dive for Freedom' event
Posted at 3:12 PM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 15:12:15-04

JUPITER, Fla. — They fought by land, air, and sea for freedom, and this weekend veterans will have a chance to enjoy a day on the open waters.

Purple Heart recipients and combat veterans will embark on a deep dive shark expedition Sunday with Shark Addicts, a shark dive group.

"We've been doing this for six years," said Mike Durkee, executive director of Wounded Veterans Relief Fund. "We love going out there and we take different vets out each year and they absolutely love swimming."

Shark Addicts is partnering with the Wounded Veterans Relief Fund to host this year's "Dive for Freedom" event as a way to express gratitude and give these military heroes a dose of adrenaline and comeradery for which they may be yearning.

"This is a cageless dive," said Durkee. "No tanks. It's just basically just mask and snorkel out there and you have about four to six different species of sharks swimming around you. There may be up to 15 to 20 sharks at a time."

The community is invited to kick off the festivities by attending a pre-party fundraiser Saturday at the Bluepointe Bar & Grille in Jupiter at 5 p.m.

More than $5,000 in donations have been collected to support the veterans and their families.

"It is absolutely incredible, just seeing the faces of the veterans," said Durkee.

The Dive for Freedom will take place this Sunday.

For more information about the event or to donate, click here.