Advancing National Service

How a Fishing Trip Can Change a Disabled Veteran’s Life

January 13, 2014
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How a Fishing Trip Can Change a Disabled Veteran’s Life
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
Heroes on the Water specializes in working with veterans suffering from PTSD and brain injuries.

The saying goes that if you teach a man to fish, it can feed him for a lifetime. As the organizers behind the non-profit Heroes on the Water know, it can do even more than that.

Founded in Texas in 2007, Heroes on the Water aims to help rehabilitate disabled veterans by giving them relaxing opportunities to kayak and fish. The group now has 40 chapters throughout the country, and specializes in working with veterans suffering from PTSD and brain injuries.

Tom Welgos, who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, founded a chapter of HOW in Osceola, Fla., and runs regular monthly fishing and kayaking excursions for his fellow vets. “By meeting once a month it gives them something to look forward to and plan ahead for, which is something guys with PTSD need,” Welgos told Ken Jackson of Around Osceola. “In the kayak, you propel yourself, and then you fish, and the physical action of that is better for rehab than just standing on a boat or a dock and fishing.”

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