Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing + Ocean Conservancy

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing + Ocean Conservancy

my name is David Folkerts I am
currently the National Programs Officer for Project Healing Waters fly fishing I
am a US Army veteran I was a combat engineer officer and I served from 1999
until 2008. There’s a lot of branches represented out here in this tournament…
today we’re all brothers and sisters in arms, we all wish we could stay in the
fight. Project Healing Waters as an opportunity to stay together. I just hope
we all have fun, I hope that the scoreboard reflects a very very
hard-fought competition and may the best team win. Everything about this is
exciting and getting to represent Project Healing Waters that means so much
to me while I’m doing it just makes it even better. My name is Alex Colonna I’m
a retired Marine infantryman, I served from 1984 to 2005…my name is Chris Thompson and I’m a retired Marine I was an infantryman in the Marine Corps yeah Project Healing Waters fly-fishing we
are a 501 C 3 non-profit, our mission is that we’re dedicated to the physical
emotional recovery of wounded and disabled military service members and
disabled veterans, and we use the sport of fly fishing as a means of physical
and emotional recovery for them. And the Ocean Conservancy is focused on
conserving and protecting the aquatic environment that we do this in and one
of those key values of Project Healing Waters fly fishing is is education and
part of that education is understanding that if if you don’t protect the
resource you know your kids and your grandkids…they’re not gonna be able to
do this, and the symbiosis is Project Healing Waters immerses the veterans in
the outdoors using fly-fishing as a catalyst.
Knowing that fly-fishing is the beautiful sport done in beautiful places…
well, Ocean Conservancy contributes to the beauty of those environments,
and I think it’s just a natural fit. So when I was in the military, I was
deployed to Iraq in 2005, and fortunately I was only there a month before I was
severely wounded by an improvised explosive device.
I was medevaced to Walter Reed in Washington DC, and during my recovery
there I was exposed to Project Healing Waters fly-fishing, which is where it
first got started, it was right there at Walter Reed. For me personally, I was
floundering…you know, I wasn’t ready to leave the Marine Corps. I always thought
I was going to have my surgery, be better, go back and deploy again, and that’s not
the way that it happened and… something was just missing. I had this
big empty space and I didn’t know really that it was there, you know I just
didn’t feel like me anymore…when I got to go to that very first event at Rose
River farm, I found the thing that I was able to do to still stay connected. I
love to teach, I love to share, I love to help, I especially love doing it outside
and Project Healing Waters has provided me that opportunity to do more for
veterans than I could even imagine doing while I was still on active duty. So when we were fishing in the
tournament over the last couple days we were out in some of the most beautiful
places that the Florida Keys has to offer…what was kind of sad about being
out there was seeing some of the trash and some of the things that were a bit
left in the water so it’s really neat that we get to go out now today
helped clean that up and make it a better place for other people to come
and enjoy. The animals, the fish, everything deserves a clean home and we
can’t enjoy it if we are not good stewards. I believe keeping the ocean clean and
healthy is important because the vast majority of this planet is the water and
the oceans…and if we destroy that, it’s going to upset life on this planet as we
know it. When you spend a day picking up from a lifetime of trash accumulation, I
feel you become one with that area. I do. It’s natural, I don’t…I can’t
imagine being an outdoorsman or woman and not leaving the place better than it
was… you know, before you found it.

local_offerevent_note November 17, 2019

account_box Gilbert Heid


One thought on “Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing + Ocean Conservancy”

  • You guys should partner with WWF The Sea Turtle Conservancy shark trust the coral reef Alliance the Orca Conservancy WCS conservation International and the United Nations

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