Man aims to help wounded veterans through Missouri River journey

When Dan Cook guided his dory into Kansas City this weekend, he had already faced two snowstorms, blinding fog and pelting sleet and rain.

But Cook didn't complain. This isn't a vacation, he said Monday.

Cook is on a 3,700-mile journey by boat to raise awareness and generate funding for wounded combat veterans and their families.

On April 6, he launched his 17-foot vessel at the headwaters of the Missouri River in Montana. His trip won't conclude until he reaches the Gulf of Mexico on June 30.

Along the route, Cook, 38, stops at veterans hospitals to tell medical professionals about his nonprofit agency, Rivers of Recovery, which uses recreational therapy as rehabilitation for veterans.

The program brings veterans to Utah to learn fly-fishing. Cook said the peaceful setting provides an outdoor escape for active and discharged military personnel. At least one veteran has told Cook that it was the first time he slept through the night without the help of prescription medicine.

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