Graveyard Hunters Spearfishing for Veterans

About the Graveyard Hunters...

Graveyard Hunters is a North Carolina non-profit Organization dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of America's Veterans through the sport of spearfishing, hook and line fishing, and Scuba diving.  We dive the Graveyard of the Atlantic and are proud of North Carolina's rich fishing and diving reputation.

Why fishing?
According to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, over half of America's Veterans have musculoskeletal injuries.  Their injuries often cause pain and discomfort, and Veterans are often told there isn't a cure.  Most V.A. doctors prescribe a healthy dose of exercise to reduce pain, strengthen weak points, and keep veterans in good physical shape, along with drugs that can have unwanted side effects.  Fishing offers a dynamic and low-impact means of working out that can help Veterans reduce these pains.  The low-impact nature of the exercises associated with fishing and diving with Fishing for Veterans reduces the likelihood of increasing pain and further injury.

The fun nature of fishing with Graveyard Hunters means the Veteran often doesn’t even realize he or she is exercising.  Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are two major issues facing America's Veterans today.  TBI is often a more physical injury, but is coupled to feelings of anxiety and depression.  PTSD is is a mental condition that’s associated with depression, anxiety, guilt, fear and anger.  The sport of fishing often allows the Veteran a chance to decompress from the stresses associated with combat and the physical rigors that often accompany rehabilitation.  Fishing is a sport of the mind ~ when fishing, what takes place on the water is mostly between the ears concentration, strategizing, and on good days, even a bit of daydreaming.   Fishing has shown to reduce the effects of both PTSD and TBI.   Fishing lowers feelings of guilt, despair, stress, anxiety, and anger for almost a month according to a University of Maine Study. 

Why Diving?
Diving is a sport that can reduce a Veterans anxiety level, reduce headaches often caused by TBI, and provide a feeling of freedom that was previously missing from their life.  The New York Times recently reported, in an article about the benefits of Scuba diving Veterans suffering from PTSD, "Traditional medical approaches generally rely on drugs and controlled re-experiencing of trauma, called exposure therapy.  But this combination has proved so unpopular that many veterans quit before finishing or avoid it altogether."   Scuba diving provides a unique combination of physical and social therapy.  Underwater, the human body is nearly weightless – which reduces swelling, takes pressure off joints, and reduces back and neck pain.  A study conducted by Johns Hopkins University found Veterans who completed a scuba certification course, “saw significant improvement in muscle movement, increased sensitivity to light touch and pinprick on the legs.” 

While not all of America's Veterans suffer from PTSD and TBI, many do face depression and anxiety disorders associated with combat.  Studies have shown the effect fishing and Scuba diving have on these conditions is substantial enough not to be overlooked.  Veterans who fish, dive, or spearfish with other Veterans at Graveyard Hunters have one thing in common ~ each one knows where the other one has been and can relate to what he or she may be going thru.  If you're a Veteran who has at some time in the past put a pistol in his or her mouth and considered pulling the trigger, diving or fishing with other Veterans is an activity that you can participate in with Graveyard Hunters without feeling others around you are judgemental.  Whether you are a former Marine, Soldier, Sailor, or Airman, Graveyard Hunters is Brothers looking after Brothers.

Spearfishing and hook and line fishing in North Carolina requires a fishing license issued by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. A ten-day fishing license can be bought at any NC DMF office on the spot for seven dollars, and fishing licenses for disabled Veterans are only ten dollars and are valid for lifetime of the license holder.  If you are a Veteran and don't currently have a NC fishing license, Graveyard Hunters can help you with getting either the 10-day license on the spot, or help you fill out the paperwork for a lifetime disabled fishing license by mail.

Your donations help us accomplish out mission
100% of all donations to Graveyard Hunters go to vessel maintenance and fuel.  Graveyard Hunters Board of Directors and Officers are volunteers, and receive no payment or compensation for their work.  Any unwanted catch is donated to Hope Mission Ministries soup kitchen and used to feed the needy.   Volunteers are always welcome, but it's donations that keep gas in the tank and the boat maintained.  Generous sponsors can always donate by contacting us.  Your generous donation is tax exempt to the extent permitted by law.

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Located on the Atlantic Beach Causeway in Atlantic Beach, NC.