Over a million injured military veterans who served in the United States Military are hurting and need our help.
Five years ago, Heroes on the Water (HOW) was founded with a single purpose: to help wounded warriors relax, rehabilitate, and reintegrate with society through kayak fishing and the outdoors.
Compared to previous wars, injuries far outnumber deaths in the recent war on terror. As a result of modern technology, spe- cifically protective clothing, helmets and the advances of aeromedical evacuations, injured military personnel are surviving and returning home to the United States with both visible and invisible injuries. A majority of them return physically and emotion- ally devastated, uncertain about their future–and vulnerable for the first time.
Jim Dolan, a veteran Air Force pilot and founder of Heroes on the Water (HOW), speaks from experience: “In combat you depend on the guys in your unit. They are your family, the band of brothers. They understand what you are going through and provide support for each other. When it is all over and you go home, nobody can fully comprehend the experiences you’ve had.
There is a period of withdrawal. What we hope to provide through these outings is a chance for these guys and gals to feel like they belong to something again. I know it sounds corny, but kayak fishermen are also a band of brothers.”
Originally, Jim hoped HOW would give the wounded veterans a break from the rigors of rehabilitation by sim- ply taking them kayak fishing for a day. It turned out to be much more.