Fishing on the Western Front
There isn’t anything we do better at Healing Waters Lodge and Lewis & Clark Expeditions than our work with Project Healing Waters. Project Healing Waters is a non-profit organization that uses fly fishing as a rehabilitative program for disabled veterans. In 2016, we took two groups of service members from Project Healing Waters down the Smith River in May and June. In July and October, we hosted two groups of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen at Healing Waters Lodge.
Today, we are preparing to escort more disabled men and women in uniform downstream in 2017. When I think of our service members returning from the wars, the following excerpt replays in my mind. Written almost 100 years ago, it still holds power and a heartfelt truth, Enrich Maria Remarque, the author of “All Quiet On The Western Front”, wrote in his preface:
“This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war.”
In our experiences with Project Healing Waters, we have the good fortune of witnessing a transformation in a person through the power of fly fishing. Fly fishing at its best is something closer to religion than sport. The act of fishing at its core is a quiet, as well as, profound affirmation of life. Instead of telling a service member to “have a nice day” we can bring them to a special place, mentally and physically, to have a “great day.” When you open the door to fly fishing you create a space where beauty, serenity and peace of mind flow as naturally as the streams and creeks that haunt our imagination. Our goal, our commitment, and our obligation at Healing Waters Lodge and Lewis & Clark Expeditions is to offer our continued support to our service members. We will be doing trips for Project Healing Waters in 2017, 2018, 2019 … and as long as there is a wounded service member with a desire to hold of fly rod there will be place on our rivers.
The following video comes from the lens of Anthony Rabasca. Anthony is retired Air Force, implicitly understanding the challenges for the men and women coming home. We salute his commitment, his art and his friendship. Our success with Project Healing Waters is the product of the combined efforts from our clients, guides, staff and all those that believe with us that we march to a greater good.