Photos by Julie Keene and Larry Braswell

Julie Keene the Deputy Regional Coordinator for the National Capital Region, George Gaines and I visited the Walter Reed Program this past Saturday where they presented three of there members with awards. Valerie Takesue received Volunteer of The Year, Benjamin Lawless received Participant of the Year, and Paul Williams was recognized for his support of the program.


Valerie Takesue
Ben Lawless

Paul Williams


Walter Reed also welcomed Joe Pacacha. Joe who is known by some as the godfather of bamboo. Joe traveled from Hunker, Pennsylvania to help out the participants with their rod building, providing valuable tips on how to find the spline of each blank, proper guide placement, and getting their wraps to look right. All of the participants greatly appreciated Joe’s advice.

Joe also supports Project Healing Waters during the annual All Bamboo Event held in Weikert Pennsylvania on Penn’s Creek. Joe provides each veteran participant who attends with an heirloom bamboo rod to use during the event, and to take home with them as a memento.

Joe Pacacha giving Jo Ellen pointers on wrapping her guides
John marking for proper guide placement

Halston prepping to put the finishing touches on his fly rod. He was able to complete his rod, and cannot wait to put it to use.

That smile says it all. Ben making great progress on his fly rod.
Valerie, Julie, Beth, Erin, Jo Ellen
Halston assisting Bryce with his setup. This was Bryce’s first day for rod building.
The ever watchful eye of Al Warner looks on.
Erin and John getting their wraps down

Paul with some serious concentration

Thanks to all the participants and volunteers for a warm welcome, donuts and pizza.

If you are veteran, or, you just want to volunteer with the Walter Reed Program, contact Al Warner and follow them on Facebook