Members of the Middle Tennessee Fly Fishers of Nashville, in association with Project Healing Waters, treated some thirty disabled active military service personnel and veterans to a weekend of fishing on the Caney Fork River Saturday and Sunday.
Tommy Hogan, Vice President of the Middle Tennessee Fly Fishers, told WJLE that the event began last year and has grown. "We are one of the sponsors for Project Healing Waters in the Tennessee and Kentucky area. Our main objective is to work with soldiers in rehabilitation through fly fishing, camping, and teaching them how to do things that they would not ordinarily get in the rehab through the military. We have brought thirty veterans down here from Fort Campbell, Fort Knox, the V.A. hospitals in Murfreesboro and Nashville, and Operation Stand Down. We give them a complete weekend, an all expense paid trip. All they have to do is bring themselves and their clothing for the weekend. We had campsites set up for them. We had food for them. We had professional guides who took them down the river for fishing Saturday and Sunday. We started this project two years ago. We have increased from ten soldiers last year to thirty this year. We hope to serve more veterans next year. We want to do a bigger and better job and let the veterans know there are people out here who care about them. We have a website at www.mtff.org. and there is a specific area for Project Healing Waters where you can find out anything you want to know as far as participating in our activities and the rehabilitation program. We accept donations. Our time is not paid. We are strictly volunteer through our club. Its all for the soldiers. Its not for us," said Hogan.
A special observance was held Saturday evening at the Longbranch Campsite on the banks of the Caney Fork River below Center Hill Dam to recognize the veterans.
The program featured remarks by Many-Bears Grinder, Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs, State Senator Mae Beavers, State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, representatives of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and members of the Middle Tennessee Fly Fishers and Project Healing Waters. Each veteran received special gifts including pins and certificates of appreciation.
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings.. For more information visit www.projecthealingwaters.org.