How veterans can find peace with a paddle

Aug 17, 2023 9:24 AM PDT
2 minute read
peace paddle board

(Photo: courtesy Dan Horgan)


Paddle boarding and kayaking can provide the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Learn how veterans can find peace through it.

Summer might be winding down, but this is the perfect time to embrace the warm sunshine and seek solace in the great outdoors. Paddle boarding and kayaking can provide the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. These water sports offer a unique way for veterans to find peace amidst the chaos of everyday life.

Paddle boarding and kayaking on a calm lake or river, with its tranquil and serene nature, presents an ideal opportunity for veterans to escape the noise. With each stroke of the paddle, the rhythmic motion allows the mind to let go of the burdens that may be lingering. The water creates a therapeutic experience, shedding stress and tension.

Of course, if your kayaking a river, hitting some rapids provides exhilaration and fun.

One of the greatest benefits of paddle boarding for veterans is the immersion in nature. Surrounded by breathtaking scenery, we can reflect on our past experiences while finding solace in the present moment. The gentle lapping of the water against the board and the occasional sighting of wildlife provide a soothing soundtrack that can calm even the most troubled mind.

(Photo: courtesy Dan Horgan)

Paddle boarding and kayaking also can provide their fair share of comical moments. Unintentional spills in the water and balancing acts that rival our days on the obstacle course bring laughter and a much-needed dose of levity to our lives. These lighthearted moments remind us not to take ourselves too seriously, and the ability to laugh at our mistakes is an invaluable skill in navigating the challenges of civilian life.

I’ve witnessed firsthand how kayaking and paddle boarding can serve as a powerful tool for healing and rejuvenation. Kayaking down Devils River in west Texas with a group of veterans has been one of the best experiences in my life. The combination of physical activity, connection with nature and the bonds formed through shared experiences make it a holistic approach to improving mental health. 

Video thumbnail

There are plenty of options and price points, too. You can get an inflatable paddle board for $200, while a nice fishing and expedition paddle board can run you $2,200. Kayaks also come in the inflatable variety for around $100 or a sit-on-top version for $1,500.

So, as the temperatures stay hot, I encourage my fellow veterans to grab a paddle, find a serene spot on the water, and embark on their own paddle boarding or kayaking adventure.

(Photo: courtesy Dan Horgan)

As veterans, we fought for the freedoms we enjoy, and it’s our responsibility to embrace these freedoms and seek the peace we so rightfully deserve. With a paddle in hand and a spirit of adventure in our hearts, we can reclaim our peace.


Sign up for We Are The Mighty's newsletter and receive the mighty updates!

By signing up you agree to our We Are The Mighty's Terms of Use and We Are The Mighty's Privacy Policy.