|Published:||Oct 24, 2012 6:47 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Oct 24, 2012 6:51 PM EDT|
LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Helping southwest Florida's veterans heal through a favorite pastime: fishing.
A Cape Coral couple is with them every step of the way, on boat trip transforming lives through therapy.
This isn't your average fishing trip.
It's a ride with the Wounded Warrior Anglers: a non-profit transforming the lives of our American heroes from all eras, combining fishing with mentoring.
"It's a familiarity that I think is so important. These are veterans, I'm a veteran and meeting other veterans and sharing your experiences has been helpful," said veteran Mark Richards.
David Souders and his wife Judy, founded the organization this summer. As a veteran who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, Souders realized fishing could bring therapeutic healing to vets coping with the trauma of war.
"It helps me tremendously. I was going to be fishing whether I was doing this or not, and I decided I was going to help others," he explained.
While fishing, they talk about life and the past. It brings them hope for the future. "They don't feel like they're hindered by people necessarily saying 'he talks a little slower. He moves a little slower, He's got a limp,'" said Sounders.
"It's very close to my heart, and very emotional because I was his caregiver when he was going through a lot of this and being his caregiver, I was really petrified and scared to death that I would never get back the man that I married. But I have," said Judy Souders, David's wife.
David and Judy hope the organization spreads across the nation. And while it may not provide physical healing, for many, it's a healing of the soul.
"In this environment on the water: it's an interesting catalyst to let people let go a little bit," said veteran Tony Rogers.
Want to learn more? visit their website at https://woundedwarrioranglers.org/