On or near Veteran’s Day, Monday, November 11, don’t forget to thank a veteran for his or her service. Many veterans live in the Chesapeake region, so if you would like to do more to honor them this season and year-round, you have many options to choose from.

veteran's day
Larry (left), a Heroes on the Water volunteer helped put this youngster on the spot at a recent event in Solomons, MD, in conjunction with Wounded Warrior Project. Photo by Zach Ditmars

Many boaters and anglers host veterans on their vessels or volunteer their time for programs that provide life-changing moments on the water. The following programs need volunteer captains and boats, people to set up and serve meals, and sponsors to donate funds, fishing gear, food, and more. Here’s a sampling of regional programs for veterans and their families: 

1. Guardian Anglers Foundation honors veterans with a day on the water charter fishing.

2. Heroes on the Water helps warriors, first responders, and their families relax, rehabilitate, and reintegrate through kayak fishing and being outdoors. 

3. Heroes Outdoor Therapy connects veterans with outdoor-friendly recreation by working with nonprofits, outfitters, and charters.

4. Project Healing Waters was created to rehabilitate vets through fly-fishing. Started in 2005 serving wounded military service members at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the program has expanded nationally.

5. Take a Warrior Fishing supports military personnel and their families by creating adaptive, community-based outdoor recreation experiences through the sport of fishing. TAWF is an adult program of Cast for Kids.

6. Valhalla Sailing Project teaches recovering, transitioning, or wounded veterans to sail and race on the Chesapeake, helping them to regain and recapture their sense of teamwork, family, community, and self.

7. Warrior Events organizes social events including fishing tournaments and sailing.

8. The Wounded Warriors Day on the Bay provides a stress-free day on the Bay for veterans and their families.

9. U.S. Patriot Sailing inspires wounded, disabled, and combat veterans to navigate new horizons through the competitive sport of sailing. They make sailing accessible to everyone; no experience necessary. They are a 100 percent volunteer organization with chapters in Annapolis, MD; Hampton Roads, VA; and San Diego, CA.

Did we miss your favorite organization that takes veterans out on the water? Email [email protected].