I just had to pass this along. For those that don’t know me, I wear a "Killed In Action" bracelet in memory of a good friend of mine I stationed with that was killed in the Oklahoma City Bombing. She was a gorgeous girl, both inside and out and I miss her as much today as I did the 19th of April 1995. I NEVER take off my bracelet. It’s black anodized aluminum. And, because I never take it off, it’s pretty worn from the years. But, I am never seen without it.
This past weekend, we had a small group go to Florida for our yearly manatee visit. Our trip starts on Friday and we dive a Spring on the way to Crystal River where we spend the next two days. This year, our Friday stop was Blue Grotto in Williston, FL. We got there, signed in, got our fills and did our first of two scheduled dives. During our SI, I knew I put back on my wetsuit, so instead of turning it inside out to take it off, I actually slid it down my arm trying to keep it from turning out. A little tight, but no big deal. After awhile, and since we never really warmed up during the SI, we decided to blow off the second dive and head on down to Crystal River. We changed out of our suits, rnsed them off at the rinse station, packed out gear and headed down the road. After we arrived in Crystal River, we went to dinner at "The Ale House" that is part of the The Port Hotel and Marina. As we were sitting at the table, I reached to my wrist to play the bracelet like I have done thousands of times over the years and there was no bracelet to be found. I reached up my arm as far as I could and I realized it wasn’t there. I felt as though someone had just punched me in the chest. My heart sunk. I thought about and I realized that when I took my wetsuit off without turning out, it must have slipped the bracelet off my wrist without me feeling it. There was nothing I could do about it then and I knew I had a spare at home, so I figured I would call Blue Grotto after I got home.
Monday morning came and as soon as they opened, I called Blue Grotto. I told them what had happend and asked them if anyone had turned in the bracelet by chance. I knew it was long shot, but I also knew it wasn’t something would want to steal because there is no monetary value to it, only a stong personal one. Plus, if anyone actually figured out what it was, maybe they would think the owner would really want it and thry would turn it intot he office. Unfortunately, no one had turned it in. The guy at the desk (I unfortunately did not get his name) asked where we parked and took down my name and number in case anyone did run across it. I thanked him and hung up. About 10 minutes later, my phone rang. It was the guy from Blue Grotto. He had went to where we were parked, looked around and actually found my bracelet in the sand!!! He said if I would give him my address he would mail it back to me. Today is Thursday and my bracelet came in today’s mail!!!
Although this might sound like a small thing to most of you, you cannot imagine how much it meant to me for him to go out and look for my bracelet and then mail it back to me. I am very grateful for the people at Blue Grotto and we will going back there not only because it’s a cool place to dive, but to also support them because of the way they treated me. Thank You Blue Grotto!!!