MILWAUKEE (NNS) -- Navy divers assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EODGRU) 2 took to the water at Discovery World Science and Technology Center during Milwaukee Navy Week, Aug. 7.
The divers put on a display for parents and children alike by using their equipment to dive into Reiman Aquarium in an effort to showcase the capability of the Navy’s elite team of dive specialists.
“I’ve never seen something like this,” said Debra Behrens, a native of La Crosse, Wisconsin. “I’ve never seen my children so captivated by something in my life. The demonstration that these Sailors have put on here, I think, shows us the real-world value of people in these positions. Whether they are in the armed forces or not – it takes special people to be able to do something like this.”
The divers dropped into one of the aquariums many tanks and entertained onlookers by playing rounds of rock, paper, scissors and hide-and-seek while using their two-way communication radios to communicate with patrons on the other side of the glass.
“It’s very rewarding that we get to interact with the general public and especially the kids - the kids are really excited about what we do,” said Chief Navy Diver Brett Husbeck, assigned to EODGRU 2. “A lot of people don’t understand what we do in the Navy. Diving is really dangerous, but the Navy takes extra precautions to make sure everything is done safely.”
Children smiled as the divers moved lake sturgeon and bass toward the front of the exhibit for them to see as they skillfully traversed a tank that was purpose-built to house small and large freshwater fish that are native to Lake Michigan, located on the city of Milwaukee’s eastern shore.
“We had no clue that the Navy was going to be diving here in the aquarium, today,” said Chase Piotrowski, an elementary school teacher and native of Milwaukee. “We’re enjoying this so much and it was more than we could have asked for today.”
Husbeck agreed with Piotrowski on the influence that Navy Weeks can have on the younger population.
“I was talking with a gentleman earlier who started diving for the Navy because he saw them at a dive tank display at the Wisconsin State Fair in 1958,” said Husbeck. “We’re always trying to get the word out about our program and I think that we might have some future Navy divers here.”
Milwaukee Navy Week is one of 14 Navy Weeks and consists of events at local businesses, schools, children's clubs and community organizations.
Overseen by the Navy Office of Community Outreach, the Navy Week program is designed to raise awareness about the Navy in areas that traditionally do not have a naval presence and include community relations projects, speaking engagements, and media interviews with flag hosts and area Sailors.
For more information about Milwaukee Navy Week visit www.outreach.navy.mil/Navy-Weeks/Milwaukee.
Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/navyoutreach and www.twitter.com/navyoutreach.