Veterans say thousands of dollars in recreational equipment is gone, and their local non-profit is left with nothing to help area service members.
'Team River Runner' helps veterans across the country adapt to life back at home through kayaking, canoeing and enjoying the outdoors. The non-profit organization funded almost entirely by donations has more than 40 chapters around the country including one in Cincinnati.
"I was really in a dark place and Team River Runner changed my life,” says Marine Jonathan Stone.
After returning from war in Iraq, Stone said he found peace on the water with fellow veterans through Team River Runner in Cincinnati. A recent discovery has left him with more stress than peace.
"This has threatened to derail our mission,” said Stone.
“Somebody cut the lock and the whole trailer and all the 14 kayaks and all their equipment are gone,” said Tom McGill, member of Izaak Walton League in Loveland.
An estimated $20,000 in donated equipment for veterans like Stone has been stolen from the lodge in Loveland. No canoes, kayaks and right now no way to get veterans back on the water.
"It's already hard enough in our mission as it is. Let alone to now, we have to replace our boats,” said Stone.
Stone said they discovered the theft last week but are still not sure when it was taken or who is responsible. While material things can be replaced, Stone said for men women who have given so much, those things should never have been taken in the first place.
"We can overcome this but it's just unbelievably frustrating how much we have sacrificed,” said Stone.
Stone says they hope to recover their equipment or have it replaced by spring. If you have any information regarding this theft, you are encouraged to contact Miami Township Police.