Reeling Freedom: Fishing Therapy for Veterans (Podcast)

By: Joseph Simonds on June 12, 2018
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Our veterans and active duty military personnel lay their lives on the line to make sure we as Americans can live free every day.

We owe so much to these individuals and should constantly be looking for ways to help and thank them for their service.

That’s why we’re so excited for this week’s podcast guest — Gene Hammond.

Gene is a veteran who comes from a military family. Both his dad and two younger brothers are also veterans.

Gene is also the chief operating officer for Reeling Freedom — a nonprofit organization that supports veterans, active-duty military personnel and first responders through fishing and being on the water.

In this week’s episode, Gene goes over a number of veteran issues and what Reeling Freedom is doing to help them. Those topics include:

  • Veterans mental health and suicide
  • How fishing helps veterans returning from deployment
  • What Reeling Freedom is doing to help veterans in Florida and beyond

Gene is also an avid fisherman and spends much of his free time hammering fish on Florida’s gulf coast. See Gene with a nice kingfish below:

Gene Hammond Kingfish

Gene Hammond with a gulf coast kingfish.

How do you like to support our nation’s veterans?

Let us know in the comments below!

Note: Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the Fish Strong podcast on iTunes or Google Play.

Click the play button below to listen right here on our site or click either button below to go directly to iTunes or Stitcher to download the episode.

fish strong podcast


stitcher fish strong podcast

Note: Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the Fish Strong podcast on iTunes or Google Play.

The Reeling Freedom Story

Reeling Freedom was started by Paul and Danielle Gage. Paul, who is a veteran himself, is a passionate offshore fisherman and goes offshore on the Florida Gulf Coast as much as possible.

One weekend when running out the inlet, Paul noticed some veterans fishing from the jetty at the inlet. He had seen these vets before and decided to stop and do something crazy.

Paul pulled up to the beach, parked the boat and got out to talk to these vets. After a short conversation, he grabbed three of them from the jetty, put them on his boat and took them fishing.

Reeling Freedom Boat

Paul loved being able to take his fellow veterans fishing and after a couple more times doing this, he and Danielle decided to start Reeling Freedom as a nonprofit organization.

Today, Reeling Freedom focuses on getting veterans out on fishing charters and fellow veterans boats for “fishing therapy,” throughout Florida and hopes to go nationwide one day.

Check out the Reeling Freedom Facebook page here.

Resources for Veterans

Below is a list of resources and nonprofit organizations that offer assistance to veterans and active-duty military personnel:

Check out the video below to for more information on the Veterans Crisis Line:

Conclusion

What did you think of this episode?

Let us know in the comments.

Click here to learn more about the Insider Fishing Club.

P.S. – Click here to see all of the past podcast episodes.

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Charles Bender
Member

Hey guys, great weekly update! Love these vinets/tips! As a vet, the Reeling Freedom podcast was AWESOME! Can’t tell you how many times in AFG I dreamed of coming back to Florida, learning to consistently catch fish, then get my captain’s license, and take vets out on a regular basis. Got a long way to go, but now I may have another option in the meantime thanks to your podcast.
Ps. For those of us who don’t use iTunes, it is great when you link your podcasts to the weekly update.

Vr, Charlie Bender

Danny Trevino
Ambassador

I love it!

Gene Hammond
Member

Thanks for your support!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

You made your younger brother cry brother. Very proud of you