Former Lance Corporal Benjamin Hetrick, USMC
Ben’s life changed forever when he was in a motorcycle accident in 2012. The crash caused a complete break of his spinal cord at the T-12 vertebra, paralyzing him completely from the waist down. His ordeal reminds us of the dangers faced on the road daily. However, Ben has not let his limited mobility keep him from enjoying what life has to offer. As a regular participant in adaptive sports, he’s ready to take on a new challenge with the Dive Pirates: Adaptive Scuba Diving.
Ben joined the United States Marine Corps Reserves in March of 2010. Stationed with an artillery battalion in Texas as a motor vehicle operator, his service was cut short by his injury. In September of 2013, he was honorably discharged. Despite this tragic turn of events, Ben refused to let it slow him down. With the love and support of his family, he went back to school and got his degree. Within months of the accident, he was married his wife and currently works for Raytheon in McKinney, Texas. His is an engineer and designer.
Benjamin Hetrick always held an interest in scuba diving. However, it wasn’t until word reached him of adaptive diving, through Dive Pirates, that he gave the sport serious thought. Today, he stays in shape through hand-cycling and enjoys adaptive sports such as wheelchair rugby, adaptive rowing, and sled hockey. Scuba diving will be just another hurdle for him to clear easily.
Ben’s story is truly a celebration of life after injury. With the help of friends, family, faith, and grit, he exemplifies resilience. He is taking on his underwater adventure with Adaptive Dive Buddy Mike Knapp of Blue Sea Adventures.