This film will tell the incredibly moving story of how three severely wounded, combat veterans are now fighting to save our oceans and sharks, and in doing so, are saving themselves.
"The reason that I've done 150 dives in the last four months is because it's the first and only time since 2003, when I was blown up, that I haven't been in any pain at all, without medication. I am not diving because it's fun, I'm diving to escape the pain in my life..."
Chris and our other military heroes have felt the healing power of the ocean firsthand. This is inspiring them to do whatever they can to protect this precious resource for future generations. And no one knows better how to serve and protect than our nation’s brave veterans. "The oceans are helping to heal the wounds of war, physically and mentally, in a way that has never been done before,” stated Chris. “We have gone from a state of hopelessness to having a mission we believe in."
With your support, the Operation: Blue Pride Team will create a film to inspire millions, enrich the lives of severely wounded veterans, and help save our oceans.
-Manufacture DVDs, market and distribute the final product
-Enter film festivals
The Mission: Background
Our oceans are in serious trouble. The latest studies show that 100 Million sharks are killed each year, reefs are disappearing, and overfishing is severely depleting fish stocks worldwide.
Our ocean’s well-being impacts everyone on the planet–we are all connected. The ocean serves as our “life support system.”
While our oceans face difficulties, severely wounded combat veterans also face significant challenges when they return home. A staggering number of these heroes will take their own lives (in 2012 suicides outnumbered war deaths). Our veterans often face a brutal day-to-day existence.
Ocean conservationists Jim Abernethy, Sue Chen, George C. Schellenger, and Shawn Heinrichs came up with a plan to take a group of severely wounded, combat veterans to the Bahamas in order to introduce them to the sharks of Tiger Beach, and a new mission: To help save the ocean. Three remarkable veterans signed up: Sgt. Chris Maddeford, Captain Marlene Krpata, and Sgt. Stephen Jackel. Now award-winning story-teller Jennifer Nolan has joined the team as well to reach the largest audience possible.
Thanks to generous support from NOVA Medical Equipment, founded by Sue Chen, Operation: Blue Pride Team launched their first OBP expedition in October, 2012. It was a week filled with tears, laughter, and joy. The week was also filled with majestic tiger sharks—including the resident celebrity shark: Emma (a 14-foot tiger shark). Emma is the only tiger shark with her own Facebook page, Twitter account, and website. She is quickly becoming the world's most photographed wild animal. Even the legendary Sir Richard Branson joined the expedition to dive with Emma, dozens of other sharks, and our American heroes.
Risks and challenges
We believe the riskiest part of the Operation was undertaken by NOVA Medical Equipment and Sue Chen. We've already completed digital filming and photography for the mission at Tiger Beach in the Bahamas, now we just need to raise funds to produce the highest quality film and tell the world.
We hope you will help us get the word out. Thank you for telling your friends, family, and veterans you know about this time sensitive mission. We are eager to help create a worldwide army of people who want to save the oceans. Onward.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)