Returning military now fight for the environment - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Returning military now fight for the environment

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) — They fought for our country and now they're getting ready to take on a new battle - saving the environment. 

The organization is called Force Blue and it's on a special mission to restore wildlife. 

A video courtesy of Force Blue says it all. It's bleak, lost its color, and lacks sea life. That is what a dying coral reef looks like. Fixing it, is now one Marine's mission.  

"If we don't do something, because they're in crisis, if we don't save them it's gonna have immense after effects for the rest of our world," said Rudy Reyes. 

Reyes is a former marine - a scout sniper who did tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Africa.  

He says life after the military wasn't easy, but one day several of his friends took him SCUBA diving. He had done dives for missions in the past, but this was different.  
"In the most beautiful ocean in the world, 85 degrees, 120 ft.-visibility - I'm seeing all these beautiful God's creatures, in the reefs and in the wrecks, and it started healing me," Reyes said. 
And he wants to pass that healing on, it's why he started Force Blue; a charity for former members of the military that takes them diving to repair coral reefs. 

"We are now using our aquatic skills, our sub-surface skills with rebreathers and high-end dive equipment to rebuild and replant coral reefs around the world," said Reyes. 

"They are a mission who needs warriors, and we are warriors that need a mission." 

Reyes says having a mission is so important once you're out of the military, especially since that's all they know. 

"When we don't have that framework, there's an emptiness in life. There's a vacuum in your life and the pain of having an emptiness. And a feeling that maybe your best years were behind you," Reyes said. "It drives men into depression." 

Rudy hopes his new program drives out the depression through diving.  

"My brothers need this," Reyes said. "They can get some healing and commune with nature, because that makes us feel good. Makes us feel connected."

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