Archive for June, 2009

Dan Cook: Rivers of Recovery

The day was half over when the newsroom received a half written press release for a flag ceremony to be held at the local police station. A flag that was flown over the middle east was to be given to the department. At the same time word spread across the office that Dan Cook was making a stop along the Missouri River just outside of town.

“Cook, of Utah, is sacrificing basic comforts to raise awareness for disabled veterans and the benefits they can get from participating in recreational activities. His 3,700-mile solo rowing trip began April 6 in Three Forks, Mont., and is expected to conclude June 30.”

After a very brief conversation with the news editor we decided to scrap the PD photo opp and work our way to the river. Photo potential at the river far outweighed an indoor ‘ceremony’. The weather was perfect. As the reporter and I arrived at the Cooper’s Landing we met Dan who was finishing thai food and checking his facebook fan page.

He preceded to show us his boat/living quarters that was tied down at the base of the boating ramp.

“A couple of years ago, inspired by news of injured and traumatized soldiers returning home, Cook decided to give up his gig as a trader on Wall Street to start a program for disabled veterans. Rivers of Recovery, a not-for-profit organization, allows veterans dealing with physical disabilities, post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries to spend two days fly-fishing in the Green River in Utah.”

I made some photos of him giving the grand tour and showing off his hidden gadgets which kept him in the touch with the world while drifting the river’s currents. It was when he stood up and began scanning the horizon near the end of the tour that I knew I had found what I was looking for.

The Tribune’s story can be read here.