Buck's Scholarship 2020 Recipient
Congratulations to Eric Noon for being the 2nd recipient of Buck's Scholarship! Eric Noon was born in Hollywood, Florida. He grew up in South Florida enjoying martial arts, baseball, competitive soccer, golf, and any activity including swimming and fishing that involved being in or around water. He was exposed to the wonders of the aquatic world at a very young age, the most beautiful being Barbados. His parents shared the passion of the ocean, and it made the transition from land into the water almost effortless. He graduated high school in 1998 and moved to Orlando area to start his studies at Valencia Community College. He was enrolled in a college course for SCUBA diving when he decided he needed more discipline, so Eric joined the Marine Corps. He joined the Marine Corps Reserves so he could further his education while honorably serving his country as a diesel mechanic. He was called to active duty to serve in Iraq during the invasion of 2003 where he suffered a concussion. Once home, he realized transitioning back to “normal” was nonexistent. He was battling serious issues that were later diagnosed as PTSD and a Traumatic Brain Injury. These issues led him into some dark places that became even darker when he lost his best friend in life, his father who had served in the Navy and later became a well-respected police officer for Metro Dade PD. Eric’s dad had also battled with PTSD from Vietnam and was going to be Eric’s advocate when he returned home. This led Eric into years of instability, recklessness, relationship problems, joblessness, homelessness, and suicidal thoughts.
In 2010 Eric settled down in Tallahassee and started culinary school at Keiser University. Cooking has always been a passion of his, and he loves how it can bring the world together. Eric traveled the country using his skills to help others grow. Eventually the extremes of the industry caught up to him, and he had to take a break. Eric checked himself into an inpatient care facility in Jacksonville in order to better understand his longtime issues caused by his TBI. During this time, he learned new life skills such as yoga, meditation, and SCUBA therapy. He says, “I now find myself blessed with my newfound relationship with my God and an opportunity to take my love for the water and its healing ways. I am grateful for this opportunity not only for myself, but for those that I hope to share an eternal bond of human connection with.”
In June 2021, Eric was accepted into the leadership program for Life Worth Leading. He will begin his advanced training to work toward his divemaster certification!
He currently lives in a tiny house community in Tallahassee with his family nearby. He also has a son, Ayden, who is lives in the Space Coast area. He currently works as a traveling culinary artist. When not at work, he enjoys mountain biking, kayaking, fishing, reaching out to other veterans, and playing video games with my son online. He aspires to work toward a career in the water and says he’d love to help others so they can enjoy all the benefits scuba has to offer. Eric’s military decorations include: Combat Action Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, and Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon.