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Non-profit gives veterans, children with disabilities a trip to the lake

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Posted at 5:57 PM, Jun 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-03 00:21:36-04

UTAH LAKE, Utah – A Utah County man wanted to thank veterans and share his love for the outdoors, so he’s taking them fishing.

Steve Henline turned his idea into a non-profit organization called Hand in Hand Outdoors, which seeks to give veterans and people with disabilities some therapy on the water.

Henline was a charter boat captain before he retired, and now he spends his time doing what he loves—fishing with other veterans.

Henline takes a boat full of veterans or children with disabilities to Utah Lake almost every day. His boat is bedecked with stars and stripes, and it says “We thank our veterans” on it. The boat is special in that it can accommodate multiple people who are in wheelchairs.

Fisherman Ryan Johnson said the program is a good one.

“We get a bunch of people out here in other wheel chairs, and it's a party,” he said. “We have a lot of fun. This boat is a very special boat. One of a kind.”

Henline said the experiences he has with veterans can be emotional.

“It touches you very much, because unless you've had boots on the ground in a war situation you can never begin to understand what these men and women have done, and seen such horrific sights,” he said.

This is the first summer the program has been in operation, and they are looking for more veterans and children to take out on the water. The trip is free to those who take part, and Henline said many veterans make the trip more than once.

For more information about the program, visit their website.