Helping Disabled Vets Through Fly Fishing


Project Healing Waters is a non-profit organization that was created to benefit veterans by providing emotional and physical rehabilitation to disabled veterans through the sport of fly fishing. It began in 2005 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as a means of helping returning service members from Iraq and Afghanistan. The program has spread now to almost every state in the union. It serves both veterans new to fly fishing as well as veterans who may have fly fished in the past but need to adapt to doing it given their disability.

Recently, veterans in Tennessee learned about the program via volunteer and Vietnam vet Bill Coyne.

PHW Volunteer, Bill Coyne
PHW Volunteer, Bill Coyne

Project Healing Waters volunteer Bill Coyne was guest speaker for the March meeting of Shelbyville/Bedford County Vietnam Era Veterans. The non-profit organization he represents provides physical and emotional rehabilitation to disabled veterans and active military members through fly fishing.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. (PHWFF) was established in 2005 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC. There are currently 160 programs (chapters) in 48 states.

Coyne serves as regional director over all of the Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky chapters. He began as a volunteer with the project in Ft. Campbell approximately two years ago when he was a member of a Nashville fly fishing club.

Photos: Project Healing Waters (top); Shelbyville Times-Gazette (above)

SOURCEShelbyville Times-Gazette
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Joe Sarmiento
Joe is an avid saltwater angler. He grew up in Washington State on the south end of Puget Sound where he first started fishing as a boy catching perch, flounder, rockfish, and occasionally salmon. Today, Joe lives in Southern California where he fishes off beaches and jetties, kayaks, and sportfishing boats. Joe writes about his saltwater adventures in the SoCal Salty blog, and for Western Outdoor News.