The PHW Spotlight is our way of shining a bright light on those members of our PHW family whose accomplishments and contributions inspire us all.
These individuals, and their stories, are an essential part of the healing journey happening for Veterans across the country. Project Healing Waters transcends fly fishing and these Spotlights are a glimpse into what is happening throughout our programs. We are honored to share these with you each week.
This week is a particularly poignant entry in the series, as it is in remembrance of a great supporter of our Programs through the years.
Benson, North Carolina
North Carolina Region
I believe the men and women that serve our country in the military deserve all our respect. I love fly fishing, so helping PHW is my way of giving back to those who sacrifice so much for all of us.
The fly fishing itself, but particularly the Cape Lookout Albacore and Redfish Festival. The festival is the perfect way to help. We are able to take PHW Participants on the ocean in boats to chase False Albacore, and raise funds to help the program throughout the year. Watching the Veterans light up with huge grins after hooking up and landing an Albie is priceless. Some of the folks we see year after year; others we only see one time. In every case we spend a few days together and it seems like a family reunion. When you throw in the fundraising silent auction at the Captains’ Party and the tournament, well, it’s just a big ole fishing party!
The next Cape Lookout Albacore and Redfish Festival. In addition to what I’ve already mentioned, this will be the first year since COVID that the festival can be a full, all-in event. It’s been sorely missed and the thought of it being back, and being a NC Regional Event, is very exciting!
Danny was a North Carolina native. His family has owned the Medlin and Dorman Ace Hardware store in Benson, NC for generations. The next generation of the Medlin family, Danny’s son Grimes, has taken the reins at the store.
Danny grew up fishing the coastal waters of North Carolina. He started fly fishing at an early age, and became an avid saltwater angler over 30 years ago. He fished all over the world, from the Bahamas to Cuba to the Florida Keys, but the Crystal Coast of North Carolina always held a special place for him. That was especially true during the fall around Cape Lookout during False Albacore season.
So in 2014 when the Cape Lookout Albacore Festival was brought back to Atlantic Beach, he wanted to be involved. As a result, Medlin and Dorman Ace Hardware was one of the festival’s first sponsors. Danny also volunteered himself, donating his boat, time and fuel to take two PHW Participants fly fishing for his beloved Albies. Both Danny and Medlin and Dorman Ace Hardware have continued every year since. When COVID prevented the festival from occurring, Danny invited Veterans to fish on his own.
Medlin and Dorman Ace Hardware and Danny Medlin have helped take PHW Participants from all across North Carolina and as far away as Alaska and Montana go fly fishing for Albies, and have helped raised money for the NC Region for a decade. While our thanks here will never fully encompass our gratitude, thank you Danny!