Group build­ing boats to help heal vet­er­ans

Serve Daily - - EMPOWERING LIBERTY - By Steve Hen­line

I be­lieve that ev­ery bless­ing, op­por­tu­nity and free­dom we ex­pe­ri­ence as Amer­i­cans was born on the shoul­ders and with the blood, limbs and life of pa­tri­ots - those valiant men and women who have for­saken the plow­share for the ri­fle and sword to de­fend, with their very life, this frag­ile ex­per­i­ment we call democ­racy.

Th­ese war­riors who wore our na­tion’s uni­forms in the face of death from Con­cord to Afghanistan de­serve our love and re­spect and our will­ing­ness to give all that we can to as­sist them in their tran­si­tion from the bat­tle­field. We at Hand in Hand Out­doors are here each day to do what we can, in any way, aboard our small fleet of boats and on the river’s edge with the prayer that we can pro­vide peace and heal­ing, if only for that day.

With a small group of vet­er­ans to as­sist us, we have built an­other adap­tive boat to ac­com­mo­date th­ese heroic vet­er­ans in wheel­chairs. The boat and trailer were built from the ground up thanks to dona­tions of nec­es­sary ma­te­ri­als and hard-earned dol­lars from this won­der­ful com­mu­nity we live in.

The boat, chris­tened “HOPE,” joined our small fleet to pro­vide heal­ing ther­apy to Utah’s dis­abled com­bat vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies to re­duce the ef­fects of PTSD and trau­matic brain in­jury and, hope­fully, help re­duce the num­bers of sui­cide among th­ese valiant war­riors who have given so much to the cause of lib­erty.

This new out­reach project, “Amer­i­can He­roes,” will fo­cus on wounded and dis­abled war­riors from the few re­main­ing sur­vivors of WWII un­til the cur­rent battle our na­tion is en­gaged in against those who scorn free­dom and would force us to our knees, sub­ju­gated, to serve their ide­ol­ogy. Who could we serve that is more de­serv­ing?

A few months ago we com­pleted the graph­ics and fin­ished the in­stal­la­tion of the spe­cial­ized equip­ment that will al­low those aboard with dis­abil­i­ties to share our love of the out­doors and find the peace that a day on the wa­ter brings. We thank God for be­ing able to do this small thing and are filled with eter­nal grat­i­tude to those of you who have as­sisted us along the way with our mission. Thank you. May God bring you the bless­ings you de­serve.

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