Lake Charles (KPLC-TV) - Josh Droddy was in boot camp when 9/11 happened. He became part of the Louisiana National Guard’s 256th Infantry during the Iraq War years. Like many war veterans, it was tough coming back home.
“I’ve been in rehab. I’ve been in the mental ward. But I’m finding that I’m a lot further in therapy than a lot of these other guys. They’re just now starting out. They don’t know where to go. What to do. So it’s great being able to show them that, hey, I was there with you, I got you, just follow me, we got this.”
Josh helps his fellow vets with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by taking them outdoors to hunt, fish and kayak. He has a local Southwest Louisiana Chapter of Heroes on the Water.
“It’s a whole new kind of serenity. I’m still on alert. I’m looking and waiting for everything to happen. But I’m looking at stuff in nature. All my focus is on birds, on the water on deer. It’s just giving me something else to focus all my energy on and it’s relaxing so that you can just sit out there for hours.”
Active for five years now, the local Heroes chapter has hosted many veterans in the Lake Area. Josh says it’s his therapy to help others.
“That’s my happiness. Seeing the light in their eyes. Seeing them calm down. Seeing them smile for the first time. Whether that’s catching a fish, talking about a deer that they missed. Or we tracked the deer for three hours in the woods and we couldn’t find it. That’s stories they’re gonna remember forever. It may not fix them right now, but it builds up on them and helps them down the road.”
To find out more about Heroes on the Water Southwest Louisiana Chapter, you can check them out on Facebook.