I ran across this article today about how a Fly Fishing Program was helping Veterans cope with some of the symptoms of PTSD. The subject of the article is a combat veteran who was a combat medic and nurse during Desert Storm. Because of this, noises were difficult to deal with and he needed time to get away from it all. He found refuge and solace in nature while participating in this Fly Fishing Program sponsored by Project Healing Waters.
Project Healing Waters has been around since 2005, and is dedicated to helping veterans heal physically and emotionally from the horrors and difficulties of war through fly-fishing and other outings, as well as other associated activities.
They are a pretty cool organization; and if you are interested in getting away from the busy-ness and loudness of the city or the stress of your job, this might be a great option for you.
For those of you who may be interested, but think maybe you you’d be more comfortable on a woman’s outing, I am emailing them about women veteran specific trips and will present a follow up post with what I can find out.
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) began in 2005 serving wounded military service members at Walter Reed Army Medical Center returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since then, PHWFF has expanded nationwide, establishing its highly successful program in Department of Defense hospitals, Warrior Transition Units, and Veterans Affairs Medical Centers and clinics.
The Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing program provides basic fly fishing, fly casting, fly tying and rod building classes, along with clinics participants ranging from beginners who have never fished before, to those with prior fly fishing and tying experience who are adapting their skills to their new abilities. All fly fishing and tying equipment is provided to the participants at no cost. Fishing trips, both one day and multi-day, are also provided free of charge to participants.
PHWFF is unique in that our volunteers are teaching classes on an on-going, long term basis. It is much more than a one day fishing trip. For many participants, particularly disabled veterans, the socialization and camaraderie of the classes are just as important as the fishing outings, and provide them a new activity.
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing relies on Federation of Fly Fishers, Trout Unlimited, and independent fly fishing clubs to conduct the program at the DOD and VA facilities across the nation. The volunteer staff and outings leaders include experienced fly fishers and guides, all of whom donate their time and knowledge to support PHWFF participants.