Therapeutic Fishing Offered to Vets
Just outside of Noxen on Beaver Run is a new establishment, dedicated to providing therapeutic support to wounded veterans and first responders.
Patriots Cove held a grand opening event on April 14, in which people injured in the line of duty were encouraged to fish for trout. Not only were participants supplied with rods and reels, they were also provided with caregivers to help them fish, plus special wheelchairs and other items to help them in their endeavors.
The event also included public activities including a cookout with food supplied by Williams.
Patriots Cove is the brainchild of Jeff Swire, who explained that six months ago he and his wife purchased 18 acres of land that included three-quarters of a mile of Beaver Run.
“After we purchased it, we realized we couldn’t keep it to ourselves,” Swire explained.
They decided to use the property in some way to save lives. Swire said he considered several options and finally took inspiration from Hunts for Healing on how to use the land.
Hunts for Healing, he explained, is a non-profit organization which provides therapeutic services via hunting to veterans who have lost limbs or suffered other injuries.
A U.S. Army veteran, Swire explained he was in the service for many years until a non-combative spinal injury severely curtained is activities.
From information and assistance he obtained from Hunting for Healing, Swire said, he was able to set up Patriots Cove. In addition to veterans, Swire said, he decided to open the organization up to first responders - such as police officers - who have been wounded in the line of duty.
“Then we decided to take it one step more,” Swire explained. “We would be under-serving if we did not open it up to spouses and caregivers. These are the men and women who help those who want to fish. There’s a building on the property that’s going to be renovated into a caregiver facility.”
Patriots Cove, Swire said, is a place where veterans and first responders will be able to fish together. Fishing is a way of saying ‘thank-you’ to these people for their sacrifice. The group activity also provides them with a sense of camaraderie and belonging, he said.
“I’m going to be aiming high,” Swire said about his dream. “Beaver Run is four-and-a-half miles long and I want all of it.”
Swire thanked various organizations such as R.J. Walker, Williams, Erie Materials, and Hope Depot who donated materials for the buildings. He also thanked the late Mindy Piccotti of Hunts for Healing, who provided the necessary information to help set up Patriots Cove.
“She worked side-by-side with us,” Swire explained.
As a tribute, a large cross has been set up on the property, dedicated to Piccotti’s memory.
People wishing to fish at Patriots Cove can sign up for an event, Swire explained.
“There are six slots per event,” Swire said. “The next one is May 2-5. Hunts for Healing has booked that event.”
People can use spin cast or fly rods at the event.
“If they show up, we got something for them,” he explained.
There is no charge to participate.
“They pay nothing,” he explained. “It’s 100 percent non-profit.”
Author: C.J. Marshall
Wyoming County Examiner News Link
We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in northeastern Pennsylvania and founded by a military veteran and his spouse to empower other veterans, first responders, and their caregivers to heal and adapt to life after service. Through events on our eighteen acre refuge, we provide restorative outdoor activities, environmental service projects, and educational events and retreats for caregivers.