Stryten Energy Military Veterans Participate in Rivers of Recovery Fishing Trip
NOTE: This is the first of two blogs featuring employees of BCI member companies who have served in the U.S. military. Watch for the second blog coming soon.
Nothing can bring people together like a misty morning on Arkansas’ White River, quietly casting a fly fishing rod, waiting in earnest to catch your shore lunch. That beautiful scenario is what a few Stryten Energy employees – who are also military veterans – recently experienced through the Rivers of Recovery organization.
The three-day fishing trip is just one of the many ways that Stryten supports veterans throughout the year. Headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, Stryten Energy is an innovative stored energy solutions provider for the transportation, motive and essential power industries. It’s also a sponsor of Rivers of Recovery.
The national nonprofit uses outdoor-based activities to effectively treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety in combat veterans and active-duty military. Stryten, a BCI member company, is proud to support Rivers of Recovery in its mission. As an added benefit, Stryten employees who are also military veterans can participate in the trips as volunteers supporting the Rivers of Recovery team.
Trout Fishing, Camaraderie are Trip’s Biggest Trophies
Stryten had three of its military veterans attend the trout-fishing excursion as volunteers: Daniel Staab, Industrial Service Manager; Troy Hartz, Industrial Service Training Manager, and David Walgrave, Senior Principal Engineer. The men have diverse military experience:
- Dan Staab completed six years of active duty with the United States Navy. He served as an Electricians Mate EM2(SS) on nuclear-powered submarines out of Groton, Connecticut.
- Troy Hartz started his military career as an Airborne Infantry soldier in the Army in 1985. He served nine years on active duty, then served in the Arkansas National Guard, from which he retired in 2007 with 22 years of service. He obtained the rank of E8 Master Sergeant and finished his career as the Operations Sergeant for the Regional Training Institute at Camp Robinson educating our future military leaders.
- David Walgrave is currently an Army Reserve member with 20-plus years of service, which includes active-duty tours in Afghanistan, Turkey, Italy, the U.K. and the U.S.
Along with eight other participants, the group started with fly-fishing instruction on the day of arrival. Then, it was an early wake-up call to get out on the water. Led by experienced river guides, the group successfully caught trout all day. Everyone agreed that the fishing and camaraderie among fellow veterans were trip favorites.
“A highlight for me was the camaraderie throughout the trip exhibited by the participants that transcended the branches of military service. I was definitely the odd-man-out, as a Navy veteran among the other Army veterans,” Dan said. But it didn’t matter.
Angling for a Tasty Shore Lunch
When you go fishing, a primary goal is to bring home dinner. Or in this case, lunch. But it’s not always easy, even if fishing enthusiasts claim that the 722-mile White River that flows through Arkansas and Missouri is America’s best trout fishing spot.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever attempted something so simple, yet so incredibly difficult to execute well,” David added. “Dan and I were in a boat together, and we missed way more fish than we caught.” But they managed to reel in about two dozen for a lunch contribution.
After fishing for several hours each morning, the guides led the teams to the river shore where staff cleaned and cooked the freshly caught fish.
Friendship is Another Trip Highlight: “It’s good for the spirit”
“Of course, the number one highlight of the trip for me was the opportunity to flyfish on the White River and catch trout – the White River is on most fisherman’s bucket list,” Troy said. “And, it’s always good to make new friends along the way. A few days interacting with other veterans is always good for the spirit.”
Ultimately, the Rivers of Recovery fishing trips are about bringing combat veterans together to experience healing and recovery. Sharing stories around the campfire and dinner table exposes the bond that only combat veterans have.
“The Rivers of Recovery trip was inspirational and very rewarding on a personal and professional level,” said Dan. “Levi’s personal story of injury and recovery is inspirational.”
Levi Crawford served in the U.S. Army National Guard and was seriously injured in Afghanistan in 2010. He is currently the Marketing Director at Rivers of Recovery, dedicated to continuing to serve by helping his military brothers and sisters who suffer from combat-related mental and physical injuries.
Troy added, “This trip has started my wheels spinning to help other veterans I know connect with this group and take advantage of the healing benefits and creating new friendships.” He wishes the organization well and hopes more veterans will look into what they have to offer.
“Rivers of Recovery goes to significant lengths to understand and cater to veterans. All of the events, the schedule, and the way participant interactions are organized maximize positive effects on veterans. It’s a very impressive and impactful program,” concluded David.
Thanks to All Veterans
Stryten Energy believes that veterans bring incredible skills and leadership to their civilian jobs. The company is proud to sponsor Rivers of Recovery and its mission to support combat veterans. Also, to David, Troy and Dan, thank you for your service to our country.
Learn more about Rivers of Recovery.