"Everybody has a story, and it’s in the telling and the listening of those stories that we find strength, both in ourselves and in each other. Friendships are born that way." -HOW participate.

Heroes on the Water has a mission who's succinctness belies the depth and vigilant honor with which they go about fulfilling it; "To help warriors relax, rehabilitate and reintegrate through kayak fishing and the outdoors." Jim Dolan founded the organization in 2007. HOW Chapters all across the US do good work, honoring our veterans and their families, by offering to take them out kayak fishing. It's an activity that has proven to reduce stress, hyper-vigilance, and avoidance behavior. Any one who has volunteered on even one of the HOW trips, or heard a testimonial, understands immediately the effectiveness of the HOW mission. We recently highlighted the fact that the Central Va Chapter was making a comeback after a few down years. We're VERY excited about that. And it made us realize that we should highlight the other Chapters in VA doing good work.

 If you're out there and feeling a little lost, come home to HOW. Contact one of these folks below, or just email me at vince@paddleva.com and I'll get you in touch with someone.  Thank you.

Tidewater Chapter

Tom Vanderheiden - Coordinator. Chapter started by Corey Routh. The Tidewater Chapter was one of the first three HOW Chapters, and the first outside of Texas.

They generally have monthly events April -October.  Covers the Hampton Roads/VA Beach/Chesapeake area.

Email: tidewater@heroesonthewater.org & Facebook Page 

Every time I contact or talk to Tom V. about his HOW chapter he says the same thing, "It's not about me. It's not about us. It's about the people we can help."


Central Virginia Chapter

New Coordinator is Sean Amiss. Recently revived chapter. The Tidewater Chapter was instrumental in getting the Central Chapter off the ground initially.

Covers Richmond area and surrounding areas including Farmville area.

  Email:  centralva@heroesonthewater.org  and Facebook Page


Roanoke Valley Chapter

Coordinator is Mark Lewis. Started in 2017 .

Serves the Roanoke Area

Email: roanokevalleyva@heroesonthewater & Facebook Page


George Washington Chapter

Coordinator - Karl Schwartz. Started the chapter in 2014 . Last year had 19 events that combined to have 28 days on the water.

Serves DC & Northern VA

Email: georgewashingtondc@heroesonthewater.org and Facebook Page

Karl Swartz speaking about a veteran and the importance of HOW : "He said he was going to end it all but looked at the calendar and saw that we were having an event. He knew even though he had not registered, that he could show up and camp with us and knew we would be there for him. These events are fun and sometimes people wonder if they really are as important as we say they are. I can confirm the program works."