by Amanda Pell
Force Blue is unlike any veteran rehabilitative program in the world. And it all started with a dive. In 2015, Jim Ritterhoff noticed that his friend, former combat diver Rudy Reyes, wasn’t his usual self. After retiring from an intense career in the Marines, Rudy was struggling with depression and anxiety.
“He still looked like Rudy,” Jim says. “But the light wasn’t on.” Jim asked Rudy to go with him to the Grand Caymans, where his friend Keith Sahm owned a recreational dive facility. Jim hoped that some time in the Caribbean would lift the veteran’s spirits — but it ended up doing much more than that.
In just five days of diving in the Grand Caymans, Rudy was transformed.