Student organizes veterans river float

James Steenson , a 17-year-old Sherando High School senior, organized a veteran’s river float event for Saturday.

Steenson had been going to the Shenandoah River State Park for years and said he believed it would be the perfect location to host an event for veterans to thank them for their service to the nation.

Steenson said he considered the “inner turmoil of veterans” and thought the river would be a calming place to forget their burdens with the help of fellow veterans.

This is the second time he has worked with the Virginia State Parks to put the event together .  The park has volunteered the site, supplies and transport for those who attend.

Steenson invites all veterans, active duty service members, wounded warriors, as well as family and friends to come out to the park.

“We have lost our respect for veterans and I want to get people interested in them again,” Steenson said. “I really enjoy the opportunity to give back to them.”

IF YOU GO: The veterans river float begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Andy Guest/Shenandoah River State Park in Bentonville.  The river float is free and the park has waived the entrance fee. The float takes about 2-3 hours.  Bring a kayak, canoe, or inner tube, as the park has limited supplies.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or

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