Learn about Project Healing Waters, a mental health program for wounded soldiers which focuses on rehabilitation through fishing.
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Explore Army Veterans Rehabilitation through Fly Fishing Male: Fishing, an ancient and popular club has taken on a new angle in the US. At the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington there is an unlikely site on the hospital loan. Novice Fly Fishing Enthusiasts practicing their new hobby. The new fly fishes are mostly active duty members of the United States Military who have sustained various injuries in the conflicts of Iraq and Afghanistan. ` They are participating in a rehabilitation program called project healing waters. The non-profit groups’ sole aim is aiding the physical and mental healing of wounded military men and women through the sports of fly-fishing. The program pushes its participants, which also include veterans from previous wars to use their injured or prosthetic limbs while learning the craft of fly-fishing. US Army Captain Ferris Butler lost his left leg and most of his right foot due to an explosion in Iraq. He says that fly-fishing program has helped his physical rehabilitation propel forward at a faster rate. Ferris Butler: But ever since I’ve got another, we’re a—that’s been amazing. You know I got to go at all these varying terrains and you know wade through creep beds or climb up hills to get to ponds or whatever it is that they—and it really teaches me how to use my new prosthetic legs. Male: Once trained, the Novice Fly Fishers paid a trap fishing whole based like rouge river farm in Madison, Virginia. Many could hardly contain themselves as they put their new skills to the test. They also appreciate the response it provides away form their medical treatment facilities. Jack Cormack: This is the psychiatrist. Those are the advantages or like it’s forgiving out the stress strain in the everyday called prod needles the whole nine yards. Hidden here was—I was as anxious as a little kid wanted to go Christmas shopping. Male: Cormack, who’s in his 50’s sustained various injuries when he was hurt in Iraq’s attack in Burlad, Iraq. Cormack’s glide for the day, I’ve been fore set, credits the group; we lifted amounts of depression after being severely wounded in Iraq and in during numerous surgeries at Walter Reed. He described the process of coming back from a war zone and being unable to do things most people take for growing to it. Eivand Forseth: You go from being incredibly independent. I mean as warriors, we’ll put an independent physically, emotionally, and then you know, to come back and not be able to do things for yourself acted as a daily living, feeding, washing, have someone to do that for you. It’s very demeaning. It’s easy to get to that deep dark place where you don’t think you ever going to come back. Some warriors have even felt sometimes like they wish that they would have been left out there. They would have left out on a battlefield they say. And we realized later how irrational that that is once we get bothered but at that time you just wish that they would just left you here. Male: The non-profit group, which began at Walter Reed, has expanded to various parts of the United States. It has only one paid employee and relies on the generosity of donors and volunteers. The organizations founder, Ed Nicholson says he and the veterans enjoying their new sports is payment enough for him. Ed Nicholson: It’s giving me a great deal of satisfaction obviously because I can see the results firsthand, and worked with these young men and women day-in and day-out, not literally but figuratively. And I can see the benefits, they tell me the benefits. They express their gratitude and of course that makes anybody feel good. We’re on the right track. We’re doing the right thing. Male: As the rehabilitation benefits of fishing are becoming more recognized, this ancient club is now as popular as it ever was. Whether it’s to put food on your table or just show us to get healthy nature by of water, make sure you take the time to get that road and room together and join your local fishing club.