Last week the Key West Navy Color Guard and participants of the Wounded Warrior project visited the Dolphin Research Center on Grassy Key to rededicate our Veteran’s Garden. First established several years ago with the help of veterans who were participating in a group project at DRC, the garden area has been beautifully enhanced with additional plantings and a brick pathway around our waterfall area. Since its creation, the garden has been dedicated to veterans of all wars and we continue that intent today. Each branch of the United States Armed Forces is recognized in beautiful, engraved paving stones set at one of the entrances to the garden area. Recently, a veteran of the Gulf War participated in one of our Dolphin Encounter programs and presented them with an American flag flown over the city of Baghdad.
Enjoying a Dolphin Encounter at Dolphin Research Center with Merina are (l-r) Damon Ziegler, United States Marine Corps; Michael Fradera, United States Army; and Adam McCann, United States Marine Corps. The three soldiers visited on August 14th with several colleagues from the Wounded Warrior Project and Disabled American Veterans. Dolphin Research Center treated the soldiers to their dolphin swim experiences. Papa John’s of Marathon donated pizzas for lunch.
U.S. Navy personnel from Key West refold a United States flag that was presented to Dolphin Research Center with a Certificate of Patriotism from the Special Operations Task Force-Central of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. Observing the ceremony are (pictured r-l) DRC’s Chief Operating Officer Mandy Rodriguez, and staff members Adam Keaton, Thomas Darapiza, and Stuart Strickland. The ceremony took place on Friday, August 14th during the rededication of Dolphin Research Center’s Veterans Garden.
DOLPHIN RESEARCH CENTER
Twenty-Five Years of Teaching…Learning…Caring
For Marine Mammals & The Environment We Share
August 21, 2009
On behalf of Dolphin Research Center, I wanted to express our gratitude to Scott and his staff at Papa John’s Pizza in Marathon. They kindly donated, without hesitation, a large number of pizzas for the Wounded Warriors visit to DRC on Friday, August 14th. Our military heroes had a wonderful day, and Papa John’s generosity went a long way towards making the event a huge success.
Whenever we have the opportunity, we will certainly advertise how pleasurable it was to collaborate with them, and how quickly they agreed to support the Wounded Warriors.
Thank you, Papa John’s!
Armando ‘Mandy’ Rodriguez (USMC)
Chief Operating Officer & Co-Founder
Dolphin Research Center