EXTREME SEAL ADVENTURES
Web Developer credits fourteen-year project as emotional pinnacle of his career
Technical Gurus know the ins and outs of what websites can accomplish, but few know the satisfaction of helping create a series of sites that led to a “service above self” experience. Terry Young, CEO of Internet Marketing and Design based in Chesapeake, is exuberant after visiting the Warriors Rest Retreat founded by his retired Navy SEAL clients.
“Over the last fourteen years I have had the honor of creating websites for Don Shipley, a retired Navy SEAL Senior Chief,” Terry says with humility. Their adventure involved launching a civilian SEAL training program called Extreme SEAL Experience (ESE).
Both Don and Diane come from military families and served themselves. The retired Navy SEAL Senior Chief’s affinity for the culture of the Armed Forces has been ingrained by his heritage. His father, uncles, and brothers all spent time defending the country. Don Shipley, Sr., his dad, was a U.S. Air Command fighter pilot and Don’s wife Diane’s father was a member of the landing party that stormed Normandy Beach during World War II.
Don retired from the Navy after 24 years, 20 of which were with the SEALS. The Shipleys’ next adventure involved launching a civilian SEAL training program called Extreme SEAL Experience (ESE).
“I have never been more proud
to have been a part of something
so inspiring. I experienced the fruition
of my clients’ dream...”
A relationship cultivated between the Shipley’s and Terry Young and it was key to ESE’s success. “The website we created for the program placed it on page one in Google and surpassed the number of searches for the Navy SEAL program,” Terry pointed out.
“We taught both civilians and SEAL cadets and allowed them to experience an extraordinarily fun and extraordinarily tough training,” Don recalls. “The courses attracted a lot of extreme sports types, and people who wanted to challenge themselves.” Don safely trained over 3,000 people during this decade-long experience with ESE.
Ten years later, Don retired from the ESE training program. He notes, “I was getting too old and the work is very dangerous. I had time for retirement, and it was the right time to take it.”
Don and Diane asked us for a new, different website—a kind of mini-YouTube that they could control.” Terry explains. The subscription-based website Videos.ExtremeSealExperience.com was created, and quickly garnered members from all over the world. Don and Diane upload videos daily and members enjoy a community atmosphere where they can interact with each other in a fun environment.
In 2015, a fortuitous speaking engagement at the Grand National Water Fowl Association triggered a significant milestone in Don and Diane’s life. During that gathering, they learned about a piece of property on the market that was ideal for duck and goose hunting. With a vision for the future, the couple sold everything they had and bought this 80-acre farm.
“This exciting turn led to a new website,” Terry Young points out, “And when the series of sites led to ExtremeSealAdventures.org, it led to the pinnacle of my career.”
This acquisition was the fulfillment of a dream for the Shipleys, who had longed for an opportunity to provide a respite to wounded warriors and their families. They called this retreat “Warriors Rest.” In making this dream a reality, Don says, “We knew there were three things to worry about: how we are going to feed, house, and entertain them. We knew how to throw one hell of a party and were sure the details work themselves out.”
The resort atmosphere they provide for wounded warriors and their families is conveniently located near Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Bethesda Medical Center. The property came with a house and a barn that had a four-bedroom apartment with all the amenities, including a washer and dryer, fully stocked kitchen and two full bathrooms. To help improve the chances of good hunting for deer, wild turkeys, ducks and geese, space is set aside for growing millet, sorghum, and other crops that feed the wildlife.
“Giving soldiers a chance to decompress,” Don notes, “is one of the reasons why Warriors Rest exists. They can relax and go hunting, kayaking, fishing, and crabbing with other former military personnel and their families in a tranquil setting. We enjoy helping out in this small way—in comparison to the sacrifices made by wounded soldiers and their families.”
“ESA does not take a dime from our guests,” Don notes. “Our biggest expense is replanting the plot of land dedicated to giving animals a place to eat.” Donations cover this nonprofit organization’s operating expenses.
“Diane and I have been successful at everything we’ve touched through hard work, dedication, and attention to the smallest details. ESA is our crowning achievement,” Don concludes.
“Giving soldiers a chance to decompress
is one of the reasons
why Warriors Rest exists.
They can relax and go hunting,
kayaking, fishing, and crabbing
...in a tranquil setting.”
“My wife Nikki and I recently returned from a visit to Warriors Rest,” the webmaster explains. “I have never been more proud to have been a part of something so inspiring. I experienced the fruition of my clients’ dream to provide a free retreat for combat-injured military veterans and their families when visiting the retreat in the beautiful countryside of Cambridge, Maryland.”
“Don’s crowning achievement coincides with my own feelings about being part of something so worthwhile,” Terry Young exudes. “What began fourteen years ago as part of a worthwhile series of websites, culminated with immense satisfaction from a job well-done in every aspect of this project. When the Shipleys invited Nikki and me to come visit the retreat, we could not have imagined a more fitting resort for these heroes and their families.”
“Yes,” the web guru adds, “a crowning achievement.”
Extreme Seal Adventures/Warriors Rest
5701 Bar Neck Road
Cambridge, MD 21613