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Heroes on the Water folks love this time of year. The buds pop on the trees, blossoms emerge, and the fish really start biting. We emerge from our winter slumber ready to embrace our springtime events that allow us to serve more warriors through kayak fishing, camaraderie and community.

Spring also represents growth, and HOW is no exception. We are adding new chapters, volunteers and leadership every week. Which is why it is so exciting to have a seasoned HOW Nation leader now part of the chapter operations support team.

Meet Amber Helms – HOW Area Coordinator

DSC_1223-001Amber, along with her husband Rusty, and Casey Fugett started the NE Oklahoma chapter in November of 2012. In keeping with their passionate and focused style, they held their first event just a few short months later in February. Amber believes it is the passion that started and keeps the chapter going some four years later.

HOW to Put Things in Perspective

19 Feb 2016 There are no tags 1 comments

Heroes on the Water was recently subject to a study that could change the way you look at HOW and what we do. Don’t worry, this change of perspective is actually a good thing! You may be wondering why looking at Heroes on the Water differently could be beneficial. Well, we’ll tell you HOW!

N A T U R EFishing for Knowledge

Troy University conducted an 18-month study focused on alternative forms of therapy for individuals who were faced with traumatic experiences. Heroes on the Water and some of the unexplained results of our simple concept were the primary inspiration behind this study. The nature of the study not only displays the therapeutic benefits of what HOW does, but the study provides empirical data that shows just how valuable our programs are. The presentation of Troy University’s findings attracted a much larger crowd than expected, proving that there’s something here.

We are Their Family Now

22 Dec 2015 There are no tags 0 comments

rudy and mariaRudy and Maria Castaneda knew they wanted to help veterans, so they began their journey to create and develop a Heroes on the Water chapter in the Rio Grande Valley. They held their first event in May, and since that time have taken over 100 warriors and families out on the water. They have become an integral part of the community, speaking to various organizations and colleges. More importantly, they are dedicated to supporting the large community of veterans and active-duty military service folks in the area. Why?

“As a Veteran I go to the VA and I have seen other Veterans who are suffering from combat, so I knew there were a lot of people we could serve,” said Rudy. “I told the wife there are so many people in the area who would love to go kayak fishing, but cannot afford their own kayak, so let’s start a Heroes on the Water chapter.”

Would You Take a Warrior Fishing?

27 Oct 2015 There are no tags 2 comments
For those who enjoy it, there is nothing better than a day of fishing and relaxing – connecting with the outdoors, telling a fish story or two, and enjoying the company of like-minded friends. For our nation’s warriors and their families, it’s more than an enjoyable day. It’s a rehabilitative, sometimes life-saving, event.


Heroes on the Water provides free, therapeutic kayak fishing to our veterans and active military and their families because we understand the impact. We are aware that 22 veterans commit suicide every day. That is unacceptable. So we decided to do something about it. And now we are challenging you to do something too.


Check out this short video to see first hand from those who have experienced the impact of kayak fishing explain why it is important. Then go to our page and commit to taking a warrior fishing. It’s simple – scroll to the Honor and Memorial giving section, select an amount, and even select a chapter or someone to honor with your donation if you choose.




Take a warrior fishing. You will be giving the gift of peace, giving thanks to those who help keep us free, and maybe even save a life. Give today!


Faith, Family & Fishing

13 Sep 2015 There are no tags 1 comments

Jeremiah 5For Jeremiah, life is a trifecta of faith, family and fishing. The third one came later, but now, it’s something he can’t imagine living without.

After serving his country, Jeremiah came back a changed man. His memories of recovering downed U.S. military aircraft were all too vivid. In one such recovery, two helicopters had collided in flight. His friends, fellow warriors, had been on board. The experiences caused chronic post-traumatic stress—which, paired with a traumatic brain injury—worsened after his return.

Calming the Storm

Jeremiah needed an outlet to calm the storm. Heroes on the Water provided that. He could surround himself with nature’s best and connect with fellow heroes. “When I’m with another veteran, whenever they’ve been there and they’ve felt it, when they’ve walked that mile in my shoes, they can relate,” he said. “Everybody is accepted. And it gives you a sense of peace that you’re not alone.”

Great things started to emerge. He formed friendships, found peace, reconnected with his family Jeremiah 4and felt empowered again. “[HOW has] kind of been my bridge to getting back into society,” said Jeremiah. During this transition, he found a new passion in leather crafting, and enjoyed it so much that he started providing leather crafting and laser engraving workshops. Like kayaking, it’s low stress and immensely fulfilling. Now, he teaches and inspires other veterans to learn the craft.

Bringing Families Together

Today, HOW has become a way of life for Jeremiah and his family. “My wife loves it when I go fishing, because I come back a little happier, a little more unwound,” said the hero. “It brings families together, so that they can feel the joy that we do out of this program, too.”

To support warriors like Jeremiah, donate today, September 17, for North Texas Giving Day!

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