Stryten Energy military veterans Daniel Staab, Industrial Service Manager; Troy Hartz, Industrial Service Training Manager; and David Walgrave, Senior Principal Engineer, recently spent three days fishing on the White River in Cotter, Arkansas, with the Rivers of Recovery organization.
Rivers of Recovery is an innovative, national nonprofit that uses outdoor-based activities to effectively treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety in combat veterans and active-duty military. Stryten Energy is proud to sponsor Rivers of Recovery and to provide our employees who are military veterans the opportunity to participate in their program.
Along with eight other participants, the group started with fly-fishing instruction on the day of arrival. Then, it was an early wake-up call to get out on the water. Led by experienced river guides, they successfully caught trout all day. In fact, many fishing enthusiasts claim that the White River is America’s best trout fishing spot.
The fly-fishing and camaraderie among the veterans were highlights of the trip.
“I’ve never been fly-fishing before, so that whole experience was great,” said David. “I don’t know if I’ve ever attempted something so simple, yet so incredibly difficult to execute well.”
“Of course, the number one highlight of the trip for me was the opportunity to fly-fish on the White River and catch trout – the White River is on most fisherman’s bucket list,” said Troy. “And it’s always good to make new friends along the way. A few days interacting with other veterans is always good for the spirit.”
“A highlight for me was the camaraderie throughout the trip exhibited by the participants that transcended the branches of military service. I was definitely the odd-man-out as a Navy veteran among the other Army veterans,” added Dan.
When you go fishing, a primary goal is to bring home dinner. Or in this case, lunch.
The shore lunch was one of the many great experiences during the trip. After fishing for several hours each morning, the guides led the teams to the river shore where staff members cleaned and cooked the freshly caught fish.
“Dan and I were in a boat together, and we missed way more fish than we caught,” said David. “We reeled in around two dozen and kept enough to make our contribution to the shore lunch.”
In the end, the Rivers of Recovery fishing trips are about bringing combat veterans together to experience healing and recovery. Sharing stories around the campfire and dinner table exposes the bond that only combat veterans have.
“The Rivers of Recovery trip was inspirational and very rewarding on a personal and professional level,” said Dan. “Levi’s personal story of injury and recovery is inspirational.”
“This trip has started my wheels spinning to help other veterans I know connect with this group and take advantage of the healing benefits and creating new friendships,” said Troy. “I wish this organization well and hope more people take advantage of what they have to offer for our veterans.”
“Rivers of Recovery goes to significant lengths to understand and cater to veterans,” added David. “All of the events, the schedule, and the way participant interactions are organized maximize positive effects on veterans. It’s a very impressive and impactful program.”
Stryten Energy is proud to sponsor Rivers of Recovery and its mission to support combat veterans. Also, to David, Troy and Dan, thank you for your service to our country.
Dan Staab completed six years of active duty with the United States Navy. He served as an Electricians Mate EM2(SS) on nuclear powered submarines out of Groton, CT.
Troy Hartz started his military career as an Airborne Infantry soldier in the Army in 1985. He served nine years on active duty, then served in the Arkansas National Guard, from which he retired in 2007 with 22 years of service. He obtained the rank of E8 Master Sergeant and finished his career as the Operations Sergeant for the Regional Training Institute at Camp Robinson educating our future military leaders.
David Walgrave is currently an Army Reserve member with 20+ years of service, which includes active-duty tours in Afghanistan, Turkey, Italy, the UK and the US.
Learn more about Rivers of Recovery.