Heroes on the Water holds first event of season
By Caitlin Boland

Danny Richards, participant, and Jeff Payne, guide, are shown above. Payne shadowed Richards and helped show him the ropes of kayak fish
Veterans and their families descended on the McDuffie Public Fishing Area on March 11 to kayak fish as part of Heroes on the Water (HOW).
According to Kristen Ray, HOW event coordinator for the Ft. Gordon chapter, HOW is a nation-wide nonprofit organization that helps soldiers and veterans from all branches of the military to unwind using the therapeutic qualities of kayak fishing.
“What looks like a day trip of paddling and fishing is in fact something much deeper and long-lasting,” Ray said. “The unique kayak fishing program allows the participants a chance to decompress from the stresses associated with combat and the physical rigors of rehabilitation. Warriors enjoy these benefits while on guided fishing trips held in local communities around the country.”
Ray added that the program helps them adapt the newly-learned skills to their new abilities. The program uses adaptive kayaks, accessories and angling equipment to help veterans on an as-needed basis to accommodate a soldier’s particular needs.
“In the nutshell, the mission is to help warriors relax, rehabilitate and reintegrate through kayak fishing and the outdoors,” Ray said. “The organization is important to veterans and their families, due to the health benefits that are provided.”
According to Ray, to date, HOW has served 31,582 warriors and family members. Out of those, more than 31,000 people, 56 percent saw a reduction in overall stress, 62 percent saw a reduction in hyper vigilance and 63 percent saw a reduction in avoidance behavior.
FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS, see the full story in the March 16 issue at The McDuffie Progress. To have The McDuffie Progress delivered to your home or business each week, simply call 706-595-1601 to subscribe. Or, follow the link on our home page to subscribe.





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