The US veteran community has been plagued by suicide, substance abuse, unemployment, untreated traumas, domestic violence, and a list of other destructive behaviors; remnants of adjusting to life after nearly 20 years at war. When I left active duty in 2013, I moved to a secluded community in Hawaii, & committed my existence to not becoming a statistic. The odds were against me; I carried a tremendous amount of internal anguish, coupled with abundant prescriptions from the VA, all the Jack Daniels I could ever want, & a lack of any purpose or sense of belonging.

Deepening my study of yoga, meditation, & breathing, I combined these practices with days spent in the ocean; freediving, surfing, kiteboarding, & paddling across ocean channels.It was in this partnership of my personal journey, paired with a spiritual (spirit defined as the vitality and undefinable energy that causes us to give a fuck about ourselves and others) approach to the ocean that I found the greatest healing. From this profound space of healing and growth came my desire (and overwhelming need) to share these practices with my comrades in arms.

Beneath the Surface Foundation is the embodiment of this journey; a lighthouse for those struggling to navigate the rocky waters. Our support rolodex is growing beyond anything I could’ve dreamed, & we are ecstatic to share this experience with those who need it most. We are almost at the tipping point to be able to offer this experience to those standing in the darkness.

Keep breathing my brothers and sisters ♠️

Written by: Matthew Schollard, President/CoFounder

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