Highlights from the Summary of Interim Report

Our Therapeutic Program has completed a study that highlights HOW’s healing benefits for decreasing anxiety, overcoming depression, improving personal relationships, and alleviating symptoms of post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.


reported increase in stress management skills


reported increase in self efficacy


reported positive impacts on personal relationships

Objective and Scope

To explore the impact of HOW therapeutic kayak fishing programs on service members regarding stress-management, relationships, and self-efficacy. 

Operation Early Impact was established to research and continue exploring the impact of Heroes on the Water (HOW) kayak fishing programs on participants. HOW chose to invest into research by hiring an independent contractor to develop a line of research allowing how to understand the impact kayak fishing programs have on their participants and improving programming for the future.

The study was performed across all HOW Nation, including our Therapeutic and Volunteer Programs. The participants include those undergoing treatment with a recreational therapist with the Department of Defense or Veterans Administration as well as veterans, first responders and family members in our Volunteer Programs.

Primary Objectives

  • Develop program assessment
  • Test content validity
  • Collect data
  • Disseminate information

Demographic Summary

  • Active Duty
  • Veterans
  • Family/Caregiver
  • Volunteers
  • Chapter Leadership

Number of Seasons Attended

  • have attended 0 seasons (first season at HOW)

  • have attended 1-2 seasons
  • have attended 3-4 seasons
  • have attended 5+ seasons

Donate to Heroes on the Water

Want to support our heroes through kayak fishing and the outdoors? Your gift will go toward supporting the treatment and wellness of our veterans, first responders and their families and ensure a brighter, better tomorrow for our heroes.

Participant Testimonials

  • “It’s a great experience and opportunity to disconnect from the outside world.”
  • “HOW was one of the main things that got me through chemotherapy.”
  • “It’s therapy all around!”
  • “HOW has been my favorite event I’ve participated in during my recovery. Keep up the fantastic work!”
  • “It was the first time in over a year that my anxiety subsided for more than 5 minutes, very grateful”