FLUSHING — State Rep. Phil Phelps (D-Flushing) hosted local veterans for a free Veterans Fishing Day yesterday, Aug. 14. Rep. Phelps, recently named co-chair of the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, was joined by special guest Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) in thanking veterans for their service and sacrifice, and encouraging them to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the great outdoors.
“Our veterans deserve endless support and gratitude for the sacrifices they made day in and day out to protect our country,” Phelps said. “It was an absolute honor to host them and their families with Congressman Kildee and give them an opportunity to enjoy Michigan’s natural splendor on a beautiful summer day.”
According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan, veterans who spent extended periods of time participating in outdoor group recreation activities showed signs of improved mental health.i The same study found that veterans who spent time enjoying outdoor activities for a week reported a more than 10 percent improvement in various measures of psychological well-being, along with a 9 percent increase in social functioning and an almost 8 percent increase in positive outlook on life.
“It’s important to show our veterans that the adventure they seek can be found right here at home, with our myriad lakes and streams to enjoy,” Phelps said. “The therapeutic benefits of outdoor recreation are well documented, and in a state with such natural beauty as we have in Michigan, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be providing our veterans with every opportunity to be outside. Whether it’s enjoying the thrill of catching a fish, or mastering a challenging new activity like fly fishing, enjoying the great outdoors is just one of the many ways we can thank our veterans for their service.”