Today is Military Monday on my blog and I want to take a few minutes to share with a great organization serving our combat wounded veterans. Project Healing Waters is a 501(c)(3) organization with the following mission statement:
The mission of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing is to assist in the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active duty military personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings.
There are a number of great organizations out there today helping wounded veterans but I am especially impressed with what these folks are doing and the true rehabilitative aspect of their program compared to some that just offer a fun program. Nothing wrong with that either, I just believe rehabilitation should be a key component. I like programs with a purpose.
Obviously fly fishing is a sport that demands a great deal of dexterity with both hand and foot. Many of our wounded veterans are returning with injuries that in years past would have kept them from enjoying many outdoor activities, especially those as demanding in as fly fishing, at least in term of coordination and range of physical motion. Project Healing Waters is helping our heroes overcome their physical limitations and is teaching them new ways to enjoy the outdoors. Of course, not all injuries are physical. Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are very common in our returning veterans. There are few things more therapeutic, more relaxing, and offer greater escape for hurting veterans than spending time on the water.
Project Healing Water’s Chairman, Douglas Dear, was recently nominated for the L.L. Bean Outdoors Hero Award (https://www.llbean.com/outdoorsOnline/conservationAndEnvironment/outdoorHeroes/?nav=ftlink). Mr. Dear is certainly deserving of this honor and his commitment to serving others, promoting the outdoors, and the conservation of our precious natural resources is evident. He opens his Rose River Farm in Virginia to a number of groups each year, including kids and wounded veterans, for them to enjoy and learn more about fly fishing, stream restoration, conservation, and of course to promote healing and rehabilitation to those in need. I have seen first-hand how he is giving back.
Take time to visit Project Healing Waters online at http://www.projecthealingwaters.org. If you have time, check out their upcoming events and see how you might be able to help. I can guarantee a day with Project Healing Waters and some of our nation’s heroes will change your life.