Healing Waters at the Head of The Charles – With Navy Veteran Patrick Johnson

In this episode, host Dr. Ron Hirschberg sits on the bank of the Charles River in Cambridge, MA with Navy Veteran and Rowing Coach Patrick Johnson, at the famous Head of The Charles Regatta. Coach Johnson is National Director at Athletes Without Limits (AWL), and DC Strokes integrated rowing program, a USRowing Freedom Rows designated adaptive program for the Armed Forces. Ron and Patrick talk about his joining the Navy as a musician, finding a new family in the military music community, and how his band of military-music brothers and sisters decided to partake in a Learn To Row program in DC, which led to Patrick’s impactful coaching at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center with disabled veterans. Patrick talks about healing others and himself after experiencing lung injury, TBI and anxiety, through both the arts and athleticism, and how there is something about being on the water that can be the right medicine for the soul.


Thank you Navy Veteran Coach Patrick Johnson for your service, and your ongoing service to all the adults, kids, both in and out of the military that you mentor in many ways. I wish we could have talked longer and hope we have a chance to meet again perhaps in your neck of woods in DC someday. The two themes that come to mind after meeting you are: Family and Healing - And whether through military, music, or rowing, you embody both. To learn more about Patrick and AWL, please go to www.athleteswithoutlimits.org

And a special thanks to Marylin Koblan for all you do for rowers of all abilities, who is the executive director of Para Rowing Foundation, and who introduced us to Coach Johnson prior to the Head of The Charles. Please check out the great work being done by Marylin and her team at www.pararowingfoundation.org


If you are your loved one is experiencing any emotional, mental health struggles, you are not alone and please contact Home Base at (617) 724-5202, or visit www.homebase.org.

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The Home Base Nation Team is Steve Monaco, Army Veteran Kelly Field, Phebe Garver, Justin Scheinert, Chuck Clough, with COO Michael Allard, Brigadier General Jack Hammond, and Peter Smyth.

Producer and Host: Dr. Ron Hirschberg
Assistant Producer, Editor: Chuck Clough
Chairman, Home Base Media Lab: Peter Smyth

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Home Base Nation is the official podcast of Home Base Program for Veterans and Military Families, a partnership of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Red Sox Foundation. To learn more and connect with us at Home Base Nation: www.homebase.org/podcast

The views expressed by guests to the Home Base Nation podcast are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Views and opinions expressed by guests are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Home Base, the Red Sox Foundation or any of its officials.