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People often call golf “a good walk spoiled,” but men tend to find fishing – which can be an equally frustrating pursuit – more calming and serene.

Now fishing is being used as a way to help military veterans.

Project Healing Waters is a national organization classifying itself as “dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings.”

Fly fishing. Indeed.

In a profile of the Roanoke chapter, you learn a bit more: the first vet that volunteer Bob Crawshaw (himself a 34-year veteran of the Navy) took out fly fishing said to him, “When you’re out here, you can’t think of anything else.”

Vietnam veteran Butch Lawrence, who is legally blind, added this:

“If I catch a fish, it’s icing on the cake. If I don’t, it doesn’t make any difference, man. You’re still out here enjoying nature.”

Healing Waters operates with only about six full-time national staff members, and at the local chapter level, almost everything is volunteer.

In a profile of the Wilkes-Barre (PA) program, one veteran notes the crucial aspect of the program: being appreciated. That’s what veterans can often struggle with after returning, and a simple and serene day of catching fish on a river can often make them feel greatly appreciated.

Fly fishing (as well as knitting!) has been shown to reduce the effects of anxiety and PTSD often associated with returning veterans.

Thanks for visiting us at VeteranCare. We hope you enjoyed this post! We provide services to veterans throughout Florida.