Heroes on the Water helps local veterans from all branches of the United States Military and first responders to unwind using the therapeutic qualities of fishing from kayaks. What looks like a day trip of paddling and fishing is in fact something much deeper and long-lasting. Our unique kayak fishing program allows the participants a chance to decompress from the stresses associated with combat and the physical rigors of rehabilitation. There is also the sense of camaraderie at these events, some find that special brotherhood.
Started at Brooke Army Medical Center in 2007, Heroes on the Water (HOW) now serves military personnel at other US Army Warrior Transition Battalions, the Marine Wounded Warrior Regiment, Air Force Wounded Warrior and Navy Safe Harbor, as well as VA medical and rehab facilities around the country and medically retired veterans. Nationwide over 32,953 Veterans and family members have participated since 2007. In 2016 our local NWest (WA) Chapter served 161 Veterans and 71 Family Members.
Washington State (Puget Sound) visit www.HeroesOnTheWater.org for other chapters across the country. Currently, there are over 80 Chapters Nationwide in 35 states and growing.
“Spend a day on the water with a group of soldiers & first responders and you will understand the passion behind this program,” commented Jim Dolan, HOW National Coordinator (retired). “The injured soldiers are literally captains of their own kayaks – moving around on their own at their own pace, experiencing nature up close and earning bragging rights for their catch for the day. Kayak fishing is therapeutic for anyone, but particularly for military personnel recovering from injuries and trauma. Our mission is to give these heroes a chance to enjoy a challenging outdoor sport that allows them to decompress from the stresses related to combat or other traumatic events and from the physical and mental rigors of rehabilitation and join the kayak fishing band of brothers.” Studies show a 56% Reduction in overall stress, 62% Reduction in hyper vigilance and 63% Reduction in avoidance behavior.
Request to join our Closed Community Group page for Event Info and Sign Ups at https://www.facebook.com/groups/HOWNW.EVENTS/
Find & Follow us on Twitter @HOWNWest and Instagram #HOWNWest
KOMO 4 News: http://komonews.com/news/local/veterans-find-new-hope-through-kayaks-fishing-poles
Northwestern Outdoors Radio Show https://youtu.be/W-khadwMaLA?t=20m5s