Recreation therapy supports rebuilding skills, mood improvement, stronger social connections and better quality of life. At Heroes on the Water (HOW), we utilize recreation therapy via kayak fishing to our entire community. Part of that community is our Therapeutic Programs that work with recreational therapists to bring healing to our heroes in treatment. 

Our Therapeutic Programs collaborate with the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) utilizing dedicated program coordinators. We partner with the DoD and VA recreational therapists to facilitate a comprehensive recovery journey for those in treatment. These therapeutic recreation services are provided at no cost to veterans and active-duty military personnel. 

Below are the programs and centers our Heroes on the Water Therapeutic Programs collaborate with: 

Soldier Recovery Unit (SRU)

The SRU is a critical component of the U.S. military’s commitment to supporting soldiers in their journey to recovery from injuries, illnesses, or wounds sustained during their service. SRUs are specialized units designed to provide comprehensive and personalized care for soldiers as they rehabilitate and reintegrate back into duty or civilian life. Services of the SRU include:

  • Medical care and rehabilitation 
  • Behavioral health support 
  • Adaptive physical training 
  • Transitional support programs 

Soldier Family Assistance Centers (SFAC) are located near military treatment facilities and offer a range of services to support wounded, ill, and injured soldiers, and their families. 

HOW Therapeutic Programs that work with SRUs: BAMC | Ft. Riley | Ft. Belvoir | III Corps SRU 

Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment (WWR)

The WWR is dedicated to enhancing the recovery and rehabilitation of injured Marines, ensuring they receive the necessary care and resources to overcome physical and psychological challenges. Established in 2007, the regiment provides services include:

  • Medical care coordination 
  • Adaptive sports 
  • Non-medical care management

The WWR focuses on the physical aspects of recovery, mental and emotional well-being, ensuring the Marine and his/her family receives the support they need to rebuild their lives and continue to contribute in meaningful ways. 

HOW Therapeutic Program that works with WWRs: BAMC 

Center for the Intrepid (CFI)

Nestled within Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, CFI is a vital hub for service members wounded in combat. Since its establishment in 2007, it has provided advanced rehabilitation and innovative therapy services. Services of the CFI provided include:

  • State-of-the-art prosthetic technology 
  • Physical and occupational therapy sessions 
  • Prosthetic limb fittings 
  • Adaptive sports programs 

HOW Therapeutic Program that works with CFI: BAMC 

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

The VA uses recreational activities as a therapeutic tool to improve the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social well-being of veterans. VA recreation therapy services are available at VA medical centers, outpatient clinics, and community-based outpatient clinics across the United States. Certified recreation therapists work closely with veterans and facilitate therapeutic activities individually and in group settings.  

Within the VA, there are several programs that our therapeutic programs work with:

  • Domiciliary Care 

    The VA Domiciliary Care Program offers residential rehabilitation and supportive services to eligible veterans experiencing homelessness, mental health challenges, or substance abuse issues. Through counseling, education, and vocational rehabilitation, the program empowers veterans to regain stability and independence in their lives. The Domiciliary Care Program is available to both inpatients and outpatients and plays a crucial role in supporting veterans’ transition to successful community living.

  • Learning Enrichment Center (LEC) 

    The LEC provides educational opportunities and support for veterans seeking to enhance their skills and knowledge. Through workshops, programs, and resources, it enables veterans to pursue academic and personal growth, whether for continued education, employment skills, or personal interests. Through its culture of learning, the center helps veterans thrive beyond military service. This program is available for outpatients.

  • Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation 

    The VA Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation program offers specialized care and support to veterans struggling with substance abuse issues. Through a combination of medical treatment, therapy, and counseling, the program aims to help veterans overcome addiction and supports their journey to sobriety. 

HOW Therapeutic Programs that work with the VA: Lyons VA | Topeka VA | Des Moines VA

Kayak fishing recreation therapy within these programs plays a vital role in supporting soldiers and veterans through their recovery, enhancing their well-being beyond medical treatment. These activities promote physical fitness, improve motor skills, increase social interactions, boost self-esteem, reduce stress, and ultimately contribute to overall enjoyment and satisfaction in life.  

See study results on the effectiveness of HOW’s Therapeutic Programs:
Operation Early Impact

Sources:
U.S. Army – Soldier Recovery Units (SRUs)
U.S. Marine Corps – Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment (WWR)
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) – VA programs and services 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.