Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. plays a significant role in helping many injured veterans during their recovery process. The mission of this organization: “Assist in the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active duty military personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings.”
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. (PHWFF) was founded in 2005 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center with the help of local Trout Unlimited and Federation of Fly Fishers volunteers. It provides basic fly fishing, fly casting, and fly tying instruction for wounded personnel, ranging from beginners to those with prior fly fishing experience, who are adapting their skills to their new abilities.
Currently, over seventy such programs have been established in the U.S. and Canada.
The relearning of the fine motor skills required in fly fishing and fly tying has proven to be particularly effective in the overall rehabilitation of the disabled. While PHWFF emphasizes the skills of fly fishing and fly tying to help the patients regain the use of their damaged bodies, perhaps the greatest benefit is in their realization that a more normal life is possible. Fly fishing can be a lifelong re-creation, both physically and emotionally.
There are some short video clips on the Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing website that are invaluable in helping people gain a perspective of what transpires during these fly fishing events.
Here are links to three videos, all extremely worthwhile to watch:
“the river just knows” video montage by Ed Felker (lyrics and music by Sam Tate)
Healing Waters Web Commercial
Project healing waters feature from the film “The One”
How You Can Help (from a page on their website)
1) You can make a donation of cash here on our website in the “Make a Donation” section, or by mailing a check to PO Box 695, La Plata, MD 20677. You will receive a donation acknowledgment letter.
2) If you have used fly fishing equipment or materials that you would like to donate, you can contact the Regional Coordinator for your area via our website in the “Contact Us” section. Your Regional Coordinator will be able to put you in touch with the program closest to you or one in need of your equipment.
3) You can become a volunteer. Here again you would contact the Regional Coordinator for your area via our website to get in touch with the program closest to you.
4) If there isn’t a program in your area, start one. There are some very basic steps to this, which are outlined in the next section.
5) If there is no club, military or VA hospital in your area, you could organize a fundraiser. We can provide support for that too.
NOTE: On that page there is also information on “Starting a Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Program” and “Why join Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing?”.
By watching the linked videos, you will quickly see that the volunteers demonstrate a great desire to give back to these military heroes. And for the wounded veterans who are helped through this program, one can recognize that what they gain from that act of giving is probably priceless.
For related articles by R.C. Johnson:
How Artist Michael G. Reagan is Honoring Fallen Heroes
Severely Injured Military Heroes Are Helped by “Homes for Our Troops”
Helping American Heroes Stay Connected with Their Loved Ones
American Military Heroes: How Americans Are Giving Back
Supporting “Any Soldier”: What to Send; How to Send
Soldiers’ Angels: Adopt a Soldier, Join a Team, or Assist a Project
Disabled Veterans: Marine Completes Running Challenge for Those Unable to Run
Our Veterans: Giving Them Honor This Veterans Day
Giving Thanks for Armed Services Personnel