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2013-08-29 digital edition

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2013-08-29 / Community News

Local Veteran Determined to Help Others

Corporal Sean Friedrich, a veteran of the USMC who was injured in Afghanistan in 2011, and who, along with his wife, Anna, received a completely refurbished home in Giddings last March as an Honor Vet, has been working on receiving his diving instructor certification for several months. He sat for his Instructor Development Course last week and passed all sections with flying colors.

After three months at the Florida Diving Institute, he is officially a PADI scuba diver instructor, specialty instructor and emergency first responder instructor. He is now working on becoming a Scubility certified scuba instructor, which will allow him to work with and certify people with disabilities.

After completing diving technical school and the PADI Master Instructor course, Sean is looking forward to returning to Giddings, and to volunteering with organizations, such as the Wounded Warrior Project, the American Red Cross, and S.U.D.S. (soldiers undertaking disabled scuba).

Sean served for ten years in the USMC before being medically retired, following his injury in Afghanistan. An improvised explosive device (IED) exploded in his path, causing him to suffer TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) and degenerative disc disease.

His wife, Anna, who keeps the home fires burning here in Giddings while Sean commutes to Florida, said, “Diving has been challenging and rewarding for Sean. It has helped in his rehabilitation by promoting mobility and confidence, and it has helped with his physical therapy and occupation therapy care. Water is a weightless atmosphere that takes away many obstacles that he faces on land. The pressure of the water helps with Sean’s migraines, joint pains and his overall well being.”

“We are very grateful that Sean’s GI Bill is picking up all of his training costs and equipment costs while he is working toward his ultimate goal of getting his Master Certification,” she continued.

Sean is considered 70% disabled, but he is determined to not let his disability keep him from helping others. After visiting the Texas Lions camp with one of his fellow Lions, Joe Franks, Sean was determined to help others like himself.

Thank you to David Lewis for keeping us abreast of Sean’s progress.

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