Featured Image Credit: Andy Newman via Florida Keys News Bureau
By Natalie Helbling
Dolphins have a way with their fins. Recently, a group of 30 veterans who are a part of the Wounded Warrior Project splashed around with dolphins as a new type of therapy. The veterans who participated in this excursion were on the annual Soldier Ride that takes place across Florida. Stopping to swim with dolphins was a well-deserved break! The Dolphin Research Center located in Marathon, Florida welcomed these heroes with open arms… and fins.
From missing limbs to PTSD, these brave warriors had an amazing opportunity to swim around with some of the most intelligent marine mammals. The dolphins were extremely interactive with the veterans and definitely made an impact on their new friends.
Vietnam veteran Armando “Mandy” Rodriguez is the Dolphin Research Center’s co-founder and in an interview with the Florida Keys News Bureau commented, “Every animal is magic, and they accept you for who you are. That’s a big deal for us warriors. Look, every wound is not a physical wound. There are a lot of wounds that can’t be seen, and that’s where the dolphins come in.”
Dolphins are one of the most social animals found in our oceans. They are known for their delicate human interactions, and can brighten up anyone’s day. The veterans enjoyed their time with these swimming saints, as the dolphins relieved stress and accepted each individual as they are.