Expanding Local Park Programs: Free Fly Fishing for Disabled/Eldery Veterans

Session Type:  Speed Session (20 miniutes)

Track: Health and Wellness


Veterans today suffer greatly from mental health and suicide. These especially are relevent to veterans who are disabled (combat or otherwise), elderly or suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) or MST (Military Sexual Trauma). The creation of a public-private partnership with veteran organizations, local Trout Unlimited chapters, and local park and recreation agencies allow local communities to offer non-standard programs at little to no cost that leverage resources not usually available to local park and recreation staffs. The benefit of such developed programs helps targeted groups, in this case disabled or elderly veterans, to get out of the house or apartment and reconnect socially with others, as well as learn lifelong skills that may help veterans and promote positive mental health outcomes.


Learning Outcomes:

Learn how to effectively target and identify the issues that exist within local communities of disabled and elderly veterans, how to include PTSD/MST or combat-disabled veterans in programs, and where to find individuals in these communities.



James Lindenmayer

Director, Cherokee County Homeless Veteran Program 

James (Jim) Lindenmayer is a 1980 graduate of the West Point and has served in the Army for 13 years. He grew up in up-state New York, where he learned to fish and hunt at an early age. Lindenmayer serves as the service officer for the Canton Georgia American Legion and director of the Cherokee County Homeless Veteran Program. He is a member of the TRIAD SALT and Cherokee County Suicide taskforce.

Rob Hilkin

Retired from IBM

Rob Hilkin has 35 years of experience working with IBM. Hunting and fishing since childhood, he has 25 years of fly fishing experience. He is a Trout Unlimited Cohutta Chapter Committee member; Cohutta ChapterTrout In The Classroom Committee member; Cohutta Chapter Fly Fishing with Vets program coordinator; and an Air Force veteran, Vietnam era.

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