Heroes on the Water helps our nation’s warriors, and veterans from all branches of the United States Military, 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 longer-lasting. Heroes on the Water was founded in 2007 and today offers its services all over the United States. Their program is a very unique form of outdoor therapy for veterans.
The kayak fishing program allows participants a chance to relax from the stresses associated with PTSD and the physical effects of rehabilitation. These veterans are able to relax in a scenic setting while on guided fishing trips held in local communities with other veterans much like themselves.
Veterans from our residential program recently participated in the HOW program. By spending a day fishing and kayaking in Chisholm Park, the men were able to connect with other veterans and were left with a sense of peace and tranquility that is often hard to come by when adjusting to life as as civilian.
“Our residents absolutely loved it,” said CEO Tom Griffin. “It’s a great program with many benefits.”
Participants in the HOW programs typically receive basic kayak fishing and paddling instruction. Everyone is welcome out on the water – there's a wide range of skill sets, from beginners to experienced paddlers. Adaptive kayaks, kayaking accessories, and angling equipment is offered on an as-needed basis to accommodate a participants’s particular needs.
This program is unique in that it’s a long-term activity, not a one-time event. HOW’s local chapters encourage veterans to participate in these fishing trips as often as they can. It’s clear that the HOW local programs provide so much much more than just fishing and kayaking; these veterans are able to focus and relax during a stressful time in their lives. For more information on the Central Florida Heroes on the Water program, or to see what the chapter is up to, check out their Facebook page.