Recreation and Therapy Go Hand in Hand - VA North Texas Health Care System
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VA North Texas Health Care System

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Recreation and Therapy Go Hand in Hand

Recreation therapist Danielle Michael helps a Veteran with his catch.
Friday, September 7, 2012

This is the second annual deep sea fishing trip for VA North Texas Veterans. The event started in 2011 when a group of Vietnam Veterans and active duty National Guard members in Fort Worth, called Wounded Heroes of Texas, presented the idea. The organization raises money and completely funds the trip for Veterans.

The overall concept of the event is to provide rehabilitation to complement the treatment Veterans are already receiving. An added bonus is it promotes inclusion and diversity by incorporating all eras of service and military experience.

The day began with a bus ride from Dallas to Houston where the group was met by a motorcycle convoy that escorted them to Galveston Bay. Once in Galveston, Veterans enjoy pier fishing and set sail for deep sea fishing. While on the trip, social gatherings are arranged and The Elks Lodge of Galveston provides breakfast and lunch, fried fish of course, for the event.

"This is a great event where Veterans can enjoy a worry and anxiety free outlet to truly enjoy themselves and actively experience life," said Jerry Hopkins, chief of recreation therapy. "From a therapeutic standpoint, the social and emotional benefits to this trip are endless."

It's not always easy for Veterans to make a smooth transition from the military to civilian life. While there are many programs to help Veterans in specific groups and from different eras, there are some programs available that includes all Veterans. The deep sea fishing trip is an example of one, which included Veterans from Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Vietnam and the Korean War. Veterans in the medical foster home program and the mental health outpatient program went as well.

Our recreation therapy program is notable for developing and adopting programs that benefits all Veterans.

Recreation Therapy program provides treatment and services to Veterans in order to restore wellness or rehabilitate illnesses and disabilities. By offering coordinated quality health care and a variety of recreation resources and activities, Veterans can improve their health, functioning, independence and quality of life.

Veterans interested in the recreation therapy program can call the main office direct at 214-857-1270.


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