Heroes on the Water – North Alabama gives veterans, service members an escape from inner battles

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. -- Heroes on the Water - North Alabama helps veterans and military members cope with combat injuries. The chapter is new to North Alabama, and the members' first event is two weeks away.

Jason Hyche and members of the chapter know healing happens on the water.

"Being able to be out on the water, physically exerting yourself and then coming in and being able to share stories and just share time," Hyche said about the experience of being among people to understand what it's like to serve.

Camaraderie brings service members through the war zones; coming home doesn't mean you've escaped.

"You hate that you feel the way you do, you don't understand why you do and you just can't lay your hand on why you're that way," Hyche said.

The members of the North Alabama chapter don't want anyone battling with post traumatic stress disorder, or similar struggles, to drown.

"If we can reach one guy, and we can take that one guy and make his day a little bit better, maybe he goes home that night and his life is just a little bit better, and his kids go to school and their lives are a little bit better," Hyche said about what motivates the group.

Heroes on the Water uses kayaks, fishing poles and the common bond of serving this country to reach out.

"It's just a great opportunity to get with their families and do other things other than focus on things that bother them," John Randau with Heroes on the Water said.

The organization's goal is for 30 veterans to find a release in 2017.

"We're not looking for a, 'Hey, we changed the world, but we're looking to make that one guy that little bit of difference," Hyche said.

Ten veterans are casting their reels in the first event at the Town Creek Fishing Center on June 3 at Lake Guntersville beginning at 8 a.m. The group hopes to hold fishing gatherings across north Alabama every other month starting in 2018.

The event is sponsored by Moes Original BBQ of Guntersville, Frogg Togg's, Cabela's and Shepherd 4 Armories. For more information, visit their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pg/Heroes-on-the-Water-North-Alabama.