Out On The Beautiful Natural Water, Veterans Find Comfort In Fly Fishing
There's something inherently healing and restorative about being out in the natural world, far from traffic jams and text messages and tall buildings. (We made a whole video about this, right here!)
For some, the calm found in nature is a mini-escape from hustle-and-bustle lives. But for others, finding peace in outdoor experiences is a key antidote to feelings of fear, despair, and anger, like those caused by traumatic experiences or even PTSD. Among the most susceptible to mental conditions like PTSD are America's military veterans. That's where Project Healing Waters comes in.
Project Healing Waters (PHW) is a nationwide non-profit organization dedicated to providing veterans with opportunities to get outside and enjoy the calming experience of fly fishing.
"It brings together people who are often struggling," says Nick Christian, a PHW participant, "and it brings them up to a place where they are comfortable reintegrating back into society."
More than 8,000 veterans participate in the weekly get togethers PHW organizes. And the culmination of all those weeks—"the Super Bowl of fly fishing in the Project Healing Waters world"—is the 2-Fly Tournament. Now in its 12th year, the tournament is "a catch-all," according to Nick, in terms of the benefits it offers to the veterans who participate.
"The main thing is it's camaraderie," says PHW Chairman Douglas Dear, "and looking at things in a brighter way."