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“Especially my kids noticed the positive residual effects of kayak fishing.”

Randy Hay is an active duty sergeant based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. And like many warriors, he strives to live a positive life in spite of bouts of anxiety and a diagnosis of PTSD. Looking for a way to gain some peace and perspective, Randy was intrigued by the posting he saw on the Northwest Kayak Anglers website, so he sent an email to Heroes on the Water asking about an upcoming event. He received an immediate response and signed up to go.Randy - My Encouraged Me

That was in April of 2014. It only took one event for Randy to be “hooked.”

“I was surprised at how accommodating everyone was. They were very organized, and very kind, welcoming everyone as they came in. “

Randy went on to say:

SRA Kristen Ray Umbehagen

In Heroes on the Water our goal is find peace out on the water. The first day that Kristen Umbehagen came to the Emerald Coast Chapter she had been referred to the Chapter by her commander who knew the benefits HOW bring to the active duty service member dealing with operational and combat stress. Kristen’s job is one of the most stressful in the Air Force, and this was compounded by the lost of two of her closest high school friends in car accidents in the same month.

On her first trip out she had a 30+lb Jack Carville struck her line, hooked on to a freight train of a fish her boat spun around and 10321143_522896561149045_4595969594990235660_oher line began to spool. She could be heard from the beach hooting and hollering. In less than 3 minutes her rod was stripped clean. Her HOW Wingman was able to wrestle a sister fish to the Kayak and handed the fish to Kristen. He was proud of how long she stayed with one of the toughest fish to catch on light tackle. It was after that trip Kristen came in with a smile on her face. She was hooked and loved the way fishing made her feel. It also gave her the strength to ask for help.


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