This year has been a remarkable year of growth for Heroes On The Water and specifically the Coastal Bend HOW Chapter. We continued to spread the word about who we are, and what we do for veterans and active duty military, and our numbers steadily increased. Because of the financial support provided by Casting For A Cause 2013, we were able to equip our chapter with kayaks, gear, and a trailer. We committed to at least one outing a month in 2014 (which we are meeting) and our number of participants continue to grow. Our volunteer base has grown as well. We have been able to have a shore crew at a few outings that prepare lunch while we are on the water, and
recently we have added a Safety boat as well to keep an eye out while we paddle.
For this year’s tournament, we had HOW Chapter representation from all over Texas, as well as Louisiana and Virginia. We met on Thursday before the tournament for a big group paddle…the wind did not cooperate, nor did the fish, but our mission isn’t always about filling the stringers with fish. Sometimes just being on the water is enough. The camaraderie, the conversation, the healing, it happens without trying if you provide the right setting. Kayak fishing is that kind of setting. It provides a calm one on one with nature, allows the warrior to disengage from daily stresses, and puts them in a comfort zone with their brothers and sisters.
Lone Star Kayak Fish Series, Texas:
Pulling double duties, Werner Paddles Pro Staff Jeff Herman was acting as a tech rep at the LKS tournament, Saturday June 7th. While talking paddle design he was also handing out raffle tickets, the catch was the only way to get a “Werner raffle ticket” was to land a redfish during the tournament and release it alive. Out of 78 entrants, 24 anglers brought in and released a live red.
Sonny Mills, Jeff’s teammate at Werner caught and released his reds alive and lucky enough ended up winning the raffle drawing. With a smile and a lot of class Sonny did what he felt was only right. He came to the stage accepted the $475 paddle and immediately donated it to Coastal Bend Chapter of Heroes on the Water.
It was a great win for a great organization and an immense feeling of pride for everyone at Werner Paddles. It is an honor to have Sonny Mills as part of our family. Thanks to Jeff Herman for thinking up such a great raffle that ended so well.