I have decided to dedicate my trip down the Ohio River to Viet Nam Veterans. It looks like this is a pretty good day to announce this because it is Viet Nam Veterans Day.
The men and woman that served in that war came home with many scars, and some still have not healed. Paddle for Heroes is about helping to heal those scars. In the 60’s and 70’s we didn’t even know what PTSD was. We had no idea how to treat Traumatic Brain Injury. Fortunately we have progressed some since that time.
We at Paddle for Heroes know that there has always been one treatment for the scars of war and that is nature. With a canoe or kayak under you and a paddle in your hands, with eagles in your eyes, you can feel natures healing run through your body. Fast water or slow, lake or stream, it is amazing how the earth can help you to heal. Paddle for Heroes also offers the the loyalty of a family of close brothers and sisters that are there to help you. Spend one night around a campfire with us in the wilds of the Au Sable River in Michigan and you will feel it.
I know that Viet Nam vets are getting up there in age, they have to be at least older than me, because I just missed it I was too young to go. Paddle for Heroes is available to you also. We will help you get out on the water and into nature. I was 63 years old when I started paddling. I was using a walker to get around more than around the house anyway. I started paddling, lost 110 pounds, and got in much better shape. Now I can carry my boat and walk half a mile. If you can’t afford a boat, let us know we have extras.
In light of my dedication of this trip to Viet Nam Veterans, I am also naming my boat the Sgt. Barry Smith. This man contacted me to offer me a place to stay on my trip. I come to find out he is the son of my high school principal. He was in Viet Nam when I was in the 8th Grade. This man was awarded the Silver Star and was recently inducted into the Ohio Military Hall Of Fame For Valor. Here is a article about him and his bravery. I look forward to spending time with Barry and his family. This world does not need a hero, there are millions of them out there quietly living their lives.
Follow this link to read about Barry Smith https://www.lancastereaglegazette.com/story/news/local/2021/10/10/barry-smith-us-army-pfc-ret-honored-service-vietnam-war/5988056001/