Our TRR family is so important. Every single veteran and volunteer who participate in our programs are what make it great! Each month, TRR will recognize a chapter coordinator, veteran and volunteer. Check out our amazing family!
Stereotypes, misconceptions, prejudice and inequality become norm, but something during a TRR weekend felt very different!
They see the inner warrior in each of us that they touched. They find those secret places that some of us thought was dead! They renewed the spirit and healed the mind, all by giving their all.
I left the (2021 Biathlon) weekend looking back on the things accomplished because of their support.
From volunteering at the annual Biathlon to coordinating Sunday cookouts for veterans and their family members after an afternoon of kayaking on the river, my experiences with TRR continue to be very personally rewarding. I feel blessed to be a part of this community led by Lisa Weed and Joe Mornini.
I have worked with TRR since I was Nine. I started as a participant, then moved to helping out with smaller tasks and now do things nationally. If I’ve learned anything, no task is too small or unimportant. Even a smile can make a world of difference to those we help.
Bringing Veterans and their families together through whitewater paddle sports is what it’s all about. At one time we were strangers to one another, but after TRR we have become friends and family. Having the opportunity to be a part of this culture has been truly incredible!
After Deborah Reyes became the Columbia, SC Chapter Coordinator, she asked me to assist her with various TRR duties. We had known each other for several years from the Columbia kayaking community. Primarily I was in charge of organizing TRR equipment and distributing it to veterans at the training sessions. While there I also participated as a safety boater. I has been an honor to be associated with such an important and outstanding organization.
Eric was a National Guard / Army Reserve veteran who had suffered catastrophic injuries when a friend brought him to TRR. He sucked up whitewater kayak training like a sponge and it lit his spirit and motivation. TRR setup his initial gear and training but soon his family was helping him get his own. Great brother to our Southeast PA chapter, many fun times and always smiling on the river. In the photo, we teased him about having his pinky up on the paddle, “What is this, teatime?”
“I love to interact with the great TRR folks! It’s been so much fun and so inspiring getting to assist with TRR paddling trips to Mexico, Colorado, and helping with pool roll sessions. “
Fred Schutz was a Vietnam vet who passed away last fall. He was a sea kayaker and whitewater boater. Fred was very active in TRR regional trips like Apostle Islands, Peshtigo River and Wausau Whitewater and attended just about every Milwaukee chapter event since the chapter formed 10 years ago. He was a great guy with a good sense of humor who is greatly missed.
“I joined up to volunteer instruct and guide whitewater kayaking with the TRR Minnesota Chapter some ten years ago to honor my father who served in the Pacific with the Army Air Force during WWII and mother who held down the home front. Since then, it has been my further honor to introduce countless vets to the sport and witness the positive transformations they make in their lives through their boundless courage, persistent mastery and irrepressible enjoyment.”
” I showed up at a winter pool session not knowing anything about TRR. I immediately felt welcome and included. Soon after I was helping others with their rolling practice, helping out with registration, and set-up/take down chores. Lately I’ve been able to raise a little money for the chapter. I am looking forward to reconnecting with the team in the next few months and finding new ways to contribute.”
“Most of my involvement with TRR has been to provide offseason instruction to a terrific group of people. hopefully lots more group river time this coming season. “
“I am the chapter coordinator for the grand junction. I have held many different roles, such as maintenance, liason between different agencies, and try to keep all things running smoothly.
“TRR has given me the opportunity to help the Fredericksburg chapter with record keeping, special events, outreach, transportation and member interaction. Meeting, paddling with, and developing friendships with extraordinary people has truly been a highlight of my life.”
“A welcoming community is one that believes in equity to reach equality, minimal microaggressions to create inclusion and promotes looking at one’s self to achieve these values. Team River Runner introduced me to this type of community, now I do my best to welcome any Veteran or Volunteer into our programming so they may be lifted up through our community and bring these values into society. “
“I started kayaking with TRR in 2010 in San Antonio, Tx, during Marc‘s recovery, after loosing his arm. I usually join Marc in his adaptive activities because I enjoy them too. After returning from San Antonio we started kayaking with the TRR chapter in Colorado Springs, CO in 2011. As TRR has helped Marc tremendously in his recovery, I wanted to give back and became the Chapter secretary for the local chapter. I love being able to help getting active duty soldiers, veterans, and their families on the water.”
“My involvement with Trr has been truly inspiring. It is great to go out on the river with others, the TRR community is special. “
“When Bob Tracy started the chapter in Boise, he drafted Tim Russer and myself to get the charter started. We had been teaching kids to kayak through Idaho River Kids. Bob was one of my favorite people to kayak with, and I saw this as an opportunity to serve our veterians, and a good use of my time in retirement.
“I have truly enjoyed my continued work with TRR. I have been able to meet many AMAZING and GENEROUS people. Being able to repurpose donated kayaks into hand paddles I sell, affords me the privilege to buy kayaks as well as trailers to support our chapters nationwide.”