WQW

Why WQW?


Our mission statement: Warriors & Quiet Waters guides post-9/11 combat veterans and their loved ones to thrive and find peace, meaning, and purpose through fly fishing and other inspirational activities in nature.

The Why Behind WQW

When service members are in the military, their mission and sense of purpose are clear, and their lives are structured to meet those objectives. Service members’ needs – basics like food and shelter, as well as emotional needs like connection and self-esteem – are met by the military so that they can focus completely on their mission.

But when service members suddenly take on the new title of “veteran”, their new mission may not be so clear. They have to fulfill these needs on their own – often for the first time in their lives.

They often do it alone. They may not have structure or purpose in their days, teammates to rely on, or even ready access to the most basic needs. Add in a physical, moral, or psychological wound, and the likelihood of struggle is even higher. Without a clear identity and purpose, it’s difficult to find a path forward.

Why Reintegration Matters for Post- 9/11 Combat Veterans

As of September 2021
3.5+ million post- 9/11 veterans
Most were deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan,
and other locations around the globe

Since

9/11

USA Flag

200,000+

return to civilian life each year
Nearly Half of Returning

veterans

will find their transition to civilian life difficult (Pew Study 2019).

Although many will transition smoothly, veterans and military families face:

chronic acute pain

sleep problems

anxiety

depression

post-traumatic stress

suicide

Now, more than two decades after 9/11, it’s more important than ever to enable veterans to find peace, meaning, and purpose after their military service. Many service members are now exiting the military after 20-year careers, having spent all of their adulthood in the service during a time of war. Their new critical mission is to find peace and meaning in an environment that is completely unknown to them. At Warriors & Quiet Waters, we guide Warriors and their loved ones to thrive.

Why Should Veteran Reintegration Matter to You?

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It’s the right thing to do.

For veterans, our communities, and our country. Many service members will be dealing with the effects of their service for the rest of their life. Our support should be no less enduring.

It creates better communities, organizations, and governments.

Their experiences and skills learned in the military bring diverse perspectives and new approaches to any given situation. When veterans thrive, our communities, organizations, and governments thrive, meaning a better future for all of us.

It’s essential for our nation’s defense.

When veterans bring their best selves to their communities and share the value of service, they inspire others to volunteer to serve.

How We Answer the Call

WQW provides a safe, secure environment – created by our volunteers, guides, and other veterans – that feels like a home.

Through outdoor experiences, veterans find space to ponder the big questions about their life after service: What do I want to do with my life? What do I value? What brings me joy? Through this reflection, veterans can find their new mission in life after service.

In the process, WQW fosters the kind of community that becomes a family. Warriors make lifelong connections with people they walk alongside as they work toward their newfound purpose.


								 Kyle
"

“From the moment you arrive in Montana, the staff and volunteers treat you as if you were a member of their own family. I've never felt that from complete strangers before. As a combat vet wounded in Afghanistan, WQW showed me exactly what my sacrifices were for.”

"

Kyle Shakelford

USMC

Our Impact

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Participants

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Fishing Experiences

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Volunteers (Annually)

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Measuring Our Impact

Success has historically been measured by testimonials from our alumni. In an effort to quantifiably measure the short and long-term impact of WQW’s therapeutic programs, WQW has partnered with Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) to construct a pre- and post-FX survey, as well as an annual survey for participants.

Our Impact