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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:

Written by Jonathan Mueller, Volunteer, HOW New Jersey Chapter

kayak fishing

Photo by Valary Dornfeld

There is something so peaceful about the water. The soft rocking of my kayak, like that of a baby’s cradle, soothing me, calming me. Nothing else matters at that moment, not the pressures of my job, not the weight of my bills. For the moment, I’m one with my kayak and my fishing rod. The rhythmic swell, coupled with my concentration on working the lure, has put me in a trance. My stress has melted away. All I can hear is the soft slapping of the water against the side of my kayak and some birds chirping in the distance. You know what I’m describing. That’s why you are holding this article. You’ve felt it too. And like me, you’ve tried to explain the feeling to many others. You have even gotten some friends to go out for a paddle with you and now they understand it as well.


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