By: Jon Klukas
When I look back over my nearly three-decade military career, there are two things that I wish I could do more of. First it would be to continue to evaluate, mentor, and train deep-sea divers in a way that not only ensures mission success, but more importantly, ensures the safety of these brave men and women. The work we do can be dangerous, but through proper training and leadership, you can mitigate much of that risk. I truly loved this part of the job and miss the people. The second thing that I would love to go back and do more of is our missions in conjunction with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) where we recovered those Missing In Action (MIA) from past wars in order to provide closure for their families. My involvement in this mission was waterborne recovery operations, diving on downed aircraft to recover remains. For those who may be unaware, the U.S. Government commits assets and funding to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation. It was truly an honor to have participated in several of these missions and humbling to see the closure that the repatriation provides for the families of those missing.
This brings me to our “Why” – the reason we started our company or why we exist. We formed Copper Collar Group so we could continue to serve, lead, and mentor. This service starts with our area of expertise as deep-sea divers and our desire to help our selfless and brave first responders who have a collateral mission that involves diving and maritime operations. As Navy Divers, we were lucky enough be able to train constantly and have the resources, experience, and knowledge to be set up for success. At CCG, we serve first responder diving teams by sharing our vast knowledge, experience, and training so they can not only complete their missions but do so in the safest way possible. We truly care about those that we serve – that call to service didn’t end when we retired from the military, it simply shifted to serving our first responder diving teams across this great nation.
Providing consultation and training to our first responders helps to not only make them safer and more efficient, it provides funding that we contribute to charitable organizations dedicated to supporting veterans, first responders, and an organization called Project Recover. Project Recover is a charitable organization dedicated to bringing our MIAs home from past conflicts – a responsibility we all share as Americans. With over 81,000 Americans still missing from WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, Gulf Wars and other conflicts, it takes a collaborative effort between the U.S. Government, researchers, and charitable organizations to maximize the results. Project Recover is second to none in these efforts and it is our honor to humbly support them.
Why did we start Copper Collar Group? The answer is simple – SERVICE. We are blessed to live in communities and in a nation where selfless volunteers protect us both at home and in faraway places. Our mission, our “Why”, is to serve our communities and our nation and to honor those who voluntarily put themselves in harm’s way and those who made the ultimate sacrifice – all so we may rest securely in our homes. As Americans, we have an obligation to never forget these brave First Responders and Military Heroes. At CCG, our commitment is to continue to serve the Military and First Responder communities and their families in any way that we can. This is our duty, our core belief, and our promise. We encourage every American to join us and show their appreciation and support for these brave heroes as well.