We recently connected with Ray Bennett II and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Ray, thanks for joining us today. So let’s jump to your mission – what’s the backstory behind how you developed the mission the drives your brand?
Ray Bennett II and Javier Rosa formed the Diving Devil Dogs in 2016, to give other veterans a mission they can get involved with them selves. Our outreach involves treating veterans who suffer from PTSD and/or Anxiety through the use of Scuba Diving. There are many attributes that scuba diving has, that are similar to Yoga or other relaxation therapies involving breathing techniques and centering with one self. All veterans who come through our program turn around and assist us with future events. We also understood that not all veterans would want or like scuba diving, we have other branches of the Diving Devil Dogs that may appeal to a wider range of vets. We partner with the Lt. Frank Luke Jr. Museum and tour their antique military vehicle collection around to car shows, parades and air shows. Our newest branch of of our organization is the Driving Devil Dogs, this branch schedules and routes monthly Overlanding trips. These events are sure to allow any veteran the chance to do something they would enjoy. Our mission is to continue our growth into new realms to offer more veteran and their families opportunities to participate in.
Ray, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
My name is Ray Lee Bennett II, I did not set out to start a Veteran Non-Profit it just happened. Javier Rosa, the Vice President and Co-Founder, reintroduced me to Scuba Diving. Both of us are Disabled Veterans of the United States Marine Corps and diving together, Javier noticed a considerable change in me. We figured out that the environment I was in while scuba diving, allowed me to bring my guard down enough to smile, laugh and to even carry out a conversation. Seeing this change we decided that we wanted other veterans to have the opportunity to feel safe and bring their guards down as well, so we started the Diving Devil Dogs.
Can you tell us the story behind how you met your business partner?
I knew Javier for many years, but with my demeanor and reluctance to carry out conversations I kept to myself most of the time. It wasn’t until 10 years later that my wife prompted me to ask Javier about Scuba Diving, she had seen pictures and videos he had posted on social media. I didn’t want to talk to him about it, so she said she was interested in trying it and asked me to go with her. So I did, I loved it and Javier and I became best friends.
Any stories or insights that might help us understand how you’ve built such a strong reputation?
I feel what helped in building my reputation in the market is the face-to-face interactions with anyone and everyone we come into contact with. We maintain our organization at a level where we can meet and speak to each and every veteran who comes into the organization. We are also Marines and we strive to maintain the Marine Corps bearing, if we say we are going to do something or be somewhere, you can bet your life that we will always show up ready to go.
- Website: www.dddus.org
- Instagram: #divingdevildogs
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/www.dddaz.org
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQAl_Y4pxvHUcIuGz2e2KlQ
Ray Lee Bennett II Javier Rosa Javier Rosa Jr. Keith Schwennesen Jimmy Richardson Santiago Ruiz Willy Hunter Joe Bird Dennis McKinnie Gabriel Gemmett Sean Brennan Rio Hiett (Madison Rising)