We honor every man and woman brave enough to put on a uniform, leave home and family, to put their bodies and minds on the front lines. Those front lines, thousands of miles from home, are where we ask our Veterans to defend our American freedoms and values. The repercussions on those lines are deafening — we don’t hear them from the comforts of our home.
For the Veterans that return, odds are they left something on those very lines they were defending. They don’t return with the body, soul, and mind they left home with. But what they do come home with is an internal noise – a noise so loud yet they can only hear.
Veterans don’t return with the body, soul, and mind they left home with.
What can we do to thank them for their sacrifices? What is one way we can help them quiet the noise? Nature.
In Florida we have the most diverse, beautiful, year-round outdoor environment in which to immerse. Research shows being in nature reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it reduces blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and production of stress hormones. You can never have too much.
While there are many Veteran support organizations, there is a Veteran support group that provides nature therapy! Heroes On The Water (HOW) specializes in using the connection to nature to help Veterans heal. Their mission is simple yet powerful: to help warriors relax, rehabilitate, and reintegrate through kayak fishing and the outdoors.
Paddle – Fish – Heal
Heroes On The Water has chapters all across the United States. If you’d like to learn more about their mission and accomplishments click here. To find one close to you, here are the Florida chapters:
- Emerald Coast Chapter – Facebook / Donate
- Northeast Florida Chapter – Facebook / Donate
- Sarasota/Bradenton Chapter – Facebook / Donate
- South Florida Chapter – Facebook / Donate
- Southwest Florida Chapter – Facebook / Donate
- Space Coast Chapter – Facebook / Donate
- Tampa Bay Florida Chapter – Facebook / Donate
- Treasure Coast Chapter – Facebook / Donate
So be inspired to help a Veteran! Do it from the comfort of home by donating to a Veteran organization, volunteer with a local chapter, or facilitate the nature therapy yourself. Give a Veteran friend or family member the gift of time spent outdoors. We live in Florida, surrounded by nature, which rebuilds the mind, body, and soul!
Photo Credit: All the great photos in this article are from Heroes On The Water Florida Facebook Pages – share, like, and support the chapter closest to you!