Since 2005, when the program was launched at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) has been aiding the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings. The program provides more than a pastime and the simple skills of learning to cast a fly rod, tying flies, or hand building a fly rod, it also provides the encouragement to adapt and to overcome challenges while enjoying the peaceful surroundings of the outdoors in the supportive company of other veterans.
“We are thrilled to have the Wounded Warrior Project partnering with us to bring enjoyable and rehabilitative activities to our participants,” said Ellen Killough, CEO of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing.“The funds from this grant will be directed toward our three high-profile activities, our National Trips Program, our National Rod Building Contest and our brand new National Fly Tying Contest,” she added.
The National Trips include PHWFF’s flagship tournaments as well as a collection of trips to some of the nation’s most storied fishing waters. Winners of the Rod Building and Fly Tying contests also enjoy trips that challenge their new-found skills.
“All PHWFF participants benefit from this generous grant by learning a challenging, new hobby that will provide them with rehabilitative benefits and the camaraderie of other veterans for the rest of their lives,” Killough added.
“The WWP grant program allows us to support the good work and expertise of a broad spectrum of organizations that are dedicated to meeting the needs of injured service members,” said Steven Nardizzi, executive director, Wounded Warrior Project. “We are very proud of the collaboration and commitment that the grant program fosters to help ensure this generation of injured service members is the most successful and well-adjusted in our nation’s history.”
In this second year of operation, the WWP Grants Program continues to work with organizations that provide injured service members with unique, specialized programs and services, often in remote service areas. During two review cycles each year, WWP carefully selects the grant recipients, and to date has provided support to over 70 organizations nationwide.
It is estimated over 50,000 servicemen and women have been physically injured in recent military conflicts, another 320,000 have experienced a traumatic brain injury while on deployment, and as many as 400,000 additional service members live with the invisible wounds of war including combat-related stress, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
About Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) aids the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military and disabled veterans through fly fishing and related education and activities. PHWFF currently operates 160 programs in 47 states, serving patients at DoD and VA Medical Centers, VA Outpatient Clinics. Led by more than 2300 dedicated volunteers from local fly fishing clubs, PHWFF receives no government funding and relies solely on the generous contributions of individuals, corporations and foundations for its revenue. All programs, services and trips are provided to PHWFF participants free of charge. PHWFF participates in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC #82526). For more information, visit www.projecthealingwaters.org.
About Wounded Warrior Project®
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.