Get Ready for your Return To Base!

What is a “Return To Base” retreat?

A “Return To Base” retreat provides a space for all veterans and service members to reconnect around shared interest. We aim to facilitate a rediscovery of purpose so our members can reclaim the best version of themselves in service to their families and their communities.

What is the mission of Patrol Base Abbate?

Patrol Base Abbate is a national Veterans Non-Profit organization that welcomes all veterans and service members, regardless of branch of service, occupational specialty, background, or experience.  The only barrier to entry is service.  If you raised your hand and swore the oath, you have a place in Patrol Base Abbate.  Your place in Patrol Base Abbate gains you a community of service members and veterans who share the common experience of military service.  Through this community, as with the most cohesive units, we seek to cultivate lasting, meaningful connections and rediscover purpose.  We operate on four verticals- community, wellness, service, and resilience.  Through our programming, our members find their new route with renewed purpose through assistance, guidance, and mentorship from their fellow veterans.  Whenever possible, we use the healing isolation and grandeur of nature and the outdoors as our backdrop to aid our process towards resilience and rediscovery. 

The legacy of Sergeant Matthew Abbate:

The legacy of Sergeant Matthew (Matt) Abbate, Navy Cross recipient (posthumously awarded) serves as an example for all veterans. IN times of need, there is a Sgt Abbate in all of our lives who believe in us more than we believe in ourselves, who lifts us up and helps us see a higher version of self. We use his example and his legacy to guide us as a reminder of the heroes in our own lives. We use their example and belief in us to hold us accountable and encourage us towards the best versions of ourselves.

What is the mission of Helping 2 overcome (H2O)?

Helping 2 Overcome or H2O is an Adventure Based Peer Support Program at Vets Recover in Mobile AL. The mission of H2O is to help military members (active duty, veterans, and reservists) and their families to heal alongside each other through actives such as Scuba Diving. H2O works to use activities to fight isolationism, depression, PTSD, anxiety, and to combat the rising numbers of veteran suicide.

What is the Pb Abbate & H2O Dive Club?

In the fall of 2022 Helping 2 Overcome and Patrol Base Abbate teamed up to lead the very first Dive Club Return to Base. All other PB Abbate Return To Base (RTB) events have been held in Montana, this would be the first one not only not held in Montana but also held in a foreign country.

Ten (10) Veterans traveled to Eleuthera Bahamas to spend 5 days at the Island School. Over those 5 days those 10 veterans would help lay the ground work for future Dive Club Return To Bases by participating in:

  • Evening Fire Side Chats
  • Scuba Diving
  • Service Project Work (Coral Restoration)
  • Early Morning Centering Actives
  • And most importantly helping the team from H2O and PB Abbate understand and learn what was needed to successfully lead these RTB’s in unfamiliar layouts and areas.

The PB Abbate & H2O Dive Club look to build a community that reaches beyond just Return To Base Events. In the hopes of building on the mission of PB Abbate - We aim to facilitate a rediscovery of purpose so our members can reclaim the best version of themselves in service to their families and their communities. It is the goal of the Dive Club to do this through:

  • Dive Club Return To Base Events
  • Classes and Trips
  • Monthly Dive Club Meetings
  • Building Local Dive Club Chapters & Patrol Base Local Chapters

What can I expect at this Return to base retreat?

Return to base events have four requirements:

Morning wellness- in the form of yoga/meditation. These forms of physical wellness have significant impacts in mental and emotional health and progress.  Whether you continue these practices when you go home is up to you, but while we are here, we are going to practice or introduce you to these proven techniques for improving wellness.  

Service Project- Many of us found value and purpose in serving our nation, protecting the constitution, sacrificing for your unit or your fellows to your left and right.  This practice of service is something we aim to reintroduce into our lives.  We do it here at the patrol base to improve the position in service to future Return to Base members.  We do it in our local chapters.  Service brought us here, so here we will serve.  

Club activity- Daily Organized Scuba Diving Trips, Classes, and Events.

Fireside Chats- each night, we will gather around a campfire (fire danger rating permitting) and talk about our experiences, our paths, our past challenges, successes, future obstacles, and hopes moving forward.  There is tremendous healing and clarity we can achieve by simply gathering around a campfire to offload our burdens, take off our armor, and share with those that have or are waking the same path.  

Willing to be Open and Honest without Judgment

This is a judgment free zone.  The things you say and the experiences, challenges, or victories you share will serve to build collective understanding of who you are and where you are.  Being open, honest, and willing to share will be freeing, it will reduce the mental load you are carrying, and will open the door to let us in to help.  If you are closed off and isolated, we will only be able to reach into the dark trying to find you.  The more open and honest you are willing to be, the more we will be able to meet you where you are at, connect, and take steps forward together.  With this aim in mind, there can be no judgment in this patrol base.  Any negative comments or judgments levied on those opening up cannot be tolerated.  Open up.  Share with us.  This is your patrol base and this patrol base is all secure.

Past Dive Club Return To Base Locations

2022 - The Island School - Bahamas

2023 - Cozumel Mexico

2024 - Not Finalized

Requirements for Consideration to attend Dive Club Return To Base Events

  • - Member of the US Military (Active, Reservists, or Veteran)
  • - Registered Member of Patrol Base Abbate (If you have not registered please do so HERE)
    • While not a full requirement, consideration is given to those that are active in their local chapters. If you would like to find a local chapter near you please contact:
  • Valid US Passport: Most DIve Club Return To Base retreats are held in areas outside of the United States. Applicants will be required to have a valid US Passport that will have at least one (1) before the date of the retreat before it expires. 
  • Open Water Scuba Certification: Applicants will be required to have an Open Water Scuba Certification
    • Those that are not open water certified please contact so what we work to help you in obtaining that certificaiton.