Fly fishing serves as rehabilitation tool for disabled veterans

Published: Jul. 11, 2019 at 11:56 PM AKDT
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For veterans Francesca and Jason Wright, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing has brought relaxation and healing.

Together, they’ve spent 48 years serving in the Air Force.

“It’s really tough for some people,” said Jason Wright. “When they come back after seeing everything that they've seen. Something like this can really just help them take that off their mind for a bit.”

The program serves as a rehabilitation tool through the application of fly fishing.

“It’s a great program for disabled veterans that are service-connected and also active duty military that are going through grave illnesses, they are also eligible for that program,” Cindi Crawford, the assistant program lead in Anchorage, said.

“Not all wounds are visible,” Francesca Wright said. “There are a lot of internal, hidden wounds that people have. And (the program) is part of the recovery process.”

Crawford said that connecting with nature and the art of tying flies is relaxing. But what is even more beneficial is the camaraderie between veterans.

“There’s some things that you kind of hold close to your chest,” Jason Wright said. “And if you're able to get that out, confident you can share that with. It helps a little bit.”

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing has 219 programs nationwide as of 2018 and served more than 8,300 disabled veterans.

There is a zero cost to participants. For more information, visit their


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