If you know a military veteran or someone supporting them, surely you know not all wounds are physical. Dealing with mental trauma is just as much of a challenge. Thankfully, the water provides abundant opportunities for therapeutic activities (see The Science is Clear: Boating is Good for Your Health & Mind).
In honor of Veteran’s Day, here are several outstanding boating and fishing charities helping our heroes heal.
1. Heroes on the Water
Founded in 2007, Heroes on the Water primarily uses kayak fishing to benefit veterans and active-duty military personnel. It holds events focused on improving their lives and their family dynamic. What’s more, the veterans and military personnel need no prior experience in kayaking or fishing, and activities are adapted to those with physical needs.
To learn more or donate, visit Heroes on the Water.
2. One More Wave
A retired Navy SEAL started this surf-therapy non-profit for wounded and disabled military vets. Specifically, it provides them with custom-made surfboards and gear, as well as much-needed community. Since 2015, it has worked with more than 500 veterans around the country, in states like California, Texas, Florida, Hawaii, and Virginia, among others.
To learn more or donate, visit One More Wave.
3. Take a Vet Fishing
What started in 2007 as a way to get veterans in Connecticut out on the water for some fun is now a non-profit helping our heroes dealing with traumatic brain injury, PTSD, alcohol and substance abuse, and more. Events, free of charge, treat veterans to transportation, equipment, food and beverages, and whatever assistance they need to fish in saltwater and freshwater in the state.
To learn more or donate, visit Take a Vet Fishing.
4. Tight Lines for Troops
This is an annual—and free—fishing tournament for vets of every generation in Michigan. Purple Heart recipients, POWs… you name it, they get boarding priority from dozens of boat owners who donate their time and craft to create a memorable experience. More people line the shores when the fleet returns, too.
To learn more, participate or donate, visit Tight Lines for Troops.
5. Warrior Sailing
This is a program of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy’s sailing foundation. It helps wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans develop skills, simultaneously improving their physical and mental health. It further reconnects them with the camaraderie and teamwork they had during their military service.
To learn more or donate, visit Warrior Sailing.
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