Looking out for Service Members

The mission statement behind ArmyBassAnglers(ABA) is "SUPPORT. DEFEND. FISH." Heroes on the Water (HOW) strives to help wounded warriors relax, rehabilitate and reintegrate through kayak fishing and the outdoors. ABA announces its support of HOW through a multi-year sponsorship to raise funds for HOW's recreational and therapeutic activities for its twenty one National Chapters.

ArmyBassAnglers will conduct awareness operations on behalf of HOW across the country, which will help support HOW's multi-pronged operations at all 21 of its base program operations and provide much-needed funds for recreational and therapeutic activities for HOW program members.

"We're proud to join forces with ArmyBassAnglers," says Jim Dolan, an avid angler and national director of Heroes on the Water. "What impresses me about this organization is its strong belief in continuous personal commitment to help other soldiers through outdoor recreational activities, and that falls right in line with our purpose."

One wounded Army Captain describes his recovery process as, "sort of a tricky thing; it messes with you physically, emotionally, and mentally. The HOW program provides a safe outlet and emphasizes what we 'can do' versus what we 'can't do.'"

According to Dolan, this new partnership will provide wounded military personnel from across the country the opportunity to discover the incredible and therapeutic opportunities kayaking and fishing can bring.

"Having served as the first program director and founder of HOW several years back, it is very rewarding to see how far the program has come and how many service members it has helped over the years under Jim Dolan's leadership," says Cody Roberson, founder and president of ArmyBassAnglers. "I'll never forget my first HOW outing on the Blanco River, fishing for trout with the soldiers from BAMC's WTU and Warrior & Family Support Center. Words can't explain the experience and power of mother nature while you're on the water. It's as simple as that. So when HOW approached me about joining forces to assist in bringing HOW to the national stage, it was a no-brainer."

ABA consists of 12 pro staff anglers, all of whom are active duty or retired U.S. military. The group currently fishes Bass Champs on the World Fishing Network, as well as numerous grass roots events. ABA also gained national prominence as the ceremonial launch boats for the past two Bassmaster Classics, while raising national awareness for Returning Heroes Home, a 12,000 square foot rehabilitation center funded solely by private donations that provides space for wounded soldiers, allowing them to spend private time with their friends and families when they are not actively participating in their rehabilitative treatment.

Heroes on the Water (HOW) works closely with Returning Heroes Home and other similar facilities to take wounded veterans on kayak fishing trips in their sleek, low-profile boats.

"While fishing, kayakers feel a part of nature," says Dolan. "This pleasant interlude in quiet surroundings often results in a therapeutic breakthrough for the veteran and an unexpected bonus for the HOW volunteers. It's an incredible feeling."

When asked about his group's professional status, Roberson says, "We don't consider ourselves professional fishermen, but professional soldiers who just happen to be really good, avid anglers with a far greater mission. Getting these guys out on the water, whether it's in a kayak or skeeter it doesn't matter to me, that's my mission accomplished."

For more information about ArmyBassAnglers, visit www.ArmyBassAnglers.com.

For more information about Heroes on the Waters or to make a secure donation, visit www.HeroesOnTheWater.org.

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