Swimming with whale sharks helps veterans heal at the Georgia Aquarium

Source: WGCL

If you've been to the Georgia Aquarium you've likely seen them, whale sharks. Wednesday, the Georgia Aquarium lets veterans under the sea, swimming side by side with the whale sharks.

It's their Veteran Immersion Program.

"At first I was scared because you know it's the unknown," Vicki Davis, a vet who participated in a Wednesday evening swim alongside her husband, said.

Combined, the couple spent more than four decades in the military and served multiple deployments to the Middle East.

"I've been deployed three times, two times to Afghanistan, one time to Iraq," Charles Davis said.

"I was deployed twice. Both times we were extended for 15 months," Vicki Davis added.

While fighting for your life and the lives of the soldiers in your unit is painful, so is the transition back to civilian life.

"The transition sometimes is hard because when you go out there you have a mission and then when you come home, I had to come back and be mom again," Davis said.

But during her swim with some of the most fascinating marine life, Vicki had a mission again.

"You don't know what's ahead. The only thing that allows me to do it and feel safe is because I had my battle buddy, which happens to be my husband," Vicki Davis said.

During the 30 minute swim you do come face to face with whale sharks, but also in the 6.3 million gallon salt water tank, you spot manta rays, sea turtles and thousands of other fish.

"It's the battle of the unknown," Charles David said. "Just trusting, trusting our guide," he added.

And with that trust, veterans surrounded by whale sharks, find peace.

"I feel free. For that moment that I was out there, I was happy," Vicki Davis said.

The Veteran Immersion Program is free. Click here for more information on the program.

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