Veterans Fishing Organization, Inc. exists to provide military Veterans, including but not limited to those with physical disabilities and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), with an opportunity for recreation and renewal through guided fresh water fishing and wildlife observation on lakes in Georgia and its bordering states.
Veterans Fishing Organization will provide a one-day experience of guided fresh water fishing and observation of wildlife on lakes in East Alabama and West Georgia at no cost to the Veteran. All equipment and tackle will be provided. Veterans can bring one guest with them for the experience.
There are no other organizations that we could find in the southeastern United States that provide guided fresh water fishing experiences for Veterans. Nature experiences have been proven to have positive effects on Veterans. Time spent in the natural environment, especially on the water, is peaceful and calming. According to Tom Risen, “Up to 20 percent of troops who served in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001 have come home reporting PTSD.” (2014)
Ken has 40 years of fishing experience and 20 years of professional guiding experience. He has a calm and patient personality that allows him to work well with others. He has a heart for Veterans and wants to share his love of fishing with them.
Why Georgia and Alabama?
Georgia has the second highest concentration of wartime veterans in the five state region of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and South Carolina (va.gov, 2014). Georgia and its bordering states are home to 3.7 million veterans. Of those, 2.7 million are wartime veterans, the target group for Veterans Fishing Organization, Inc. Also, while many states have seen a decline in vets in the last 15 years, Georgia has had an increase in the number of veteran residents. South Carolina has experienced an increase as well. (va.gov, 2015) The southeastern U. S. is home to many active military bases. In Georgia and its bordering states, there are 10 Air Force Bases, 11 Army bases, 16 Navy bases, 4 Coast Guard bases, and 4 Marine bases. (militarybases.com) These installations will provide the springboard for the target group of combat veterans.
Why West Point Lake?
West Point Lake has 14 boat ramps that allow for year-round access to the lake. Some of those boat ramps have handicap access ramps that could be helpful for wounded veterans. The veterans can also camp or stay in lakefront accommodations in the area.
Why Lake Wedowee?
Lake Wedowee has 12 boat ramps that allow for year-round access. Local access (50 mile radius) to campsites and lakefront accommodations. Fishing pressure is much lower due to more remote location.