In a heartwarming tradition that has spanned seven years, disabled veterans in our community were treated to a memorable day of fly fishing. The renowned nonprofit organization “Project Healing Waters” and the Stroudsburg Rotary once again joined forces to create a special day for these veterans, as recounted by Ameenah Thompson from News 13.
Ray Starner, an enthusiastic supporter, expressed his unwavering commitment to veterans, emphasizing their invaluable sacrifices. He shared, “I’ll do anything for a vet. I mean, those people sacrificed their lives so that the three or four of us can stand here today, free to enjoy life. Why wouldn’t we do things for them?”
Stacy Rodriguez, President of the Stroudsburg Rotary, described the event’s highlights, stating, “Stroudsburg’s Rotary has organized a delightful barbecue picnic for our wounded veterans. We’ve partnered with Project Healing Waters, who expertly guide our veterans in the art of fly fishing.”
For Stacy Rodriguez, witnessing the veterans derive immense satisfaction from this relaxing day is genuinely rewarding. Bernie Harbowski, a volunteer at the V-A, recognized the importance of such outings, affirming, “Well, it’s great for the vets, definitely. I volunteer at the V-A, and what I can do for them up there is just as significant as what you can do here. They need it; they need to get out.”
Ted, a peer specialist at the V-A, emphasized that this outing allows veterans to decompress, forge new connections, and acquire fly fishing skills, stating, “It’s just peaceful being out here. It’s a good thing to let things settle in your head a little bit and enjoy the water.”
The organizers believe that this outdoor activity not only introduces veterans to fly fishing but also equips them with valuable tools to cope with physical and emotional challenges. Remarkably, the program has grown and now benefits veterans from across the nation.
Heide Marie Cebrick shared, “It has expanded into more than 250 programs internationally and throughout the United States, where dedicated volunteers take veterans out and teach them the art of fly fishing.”
Through generous donations, Project Healing Waters can offer veterans even more enriching experiences on the water. Cebrick noted, “They have many programs that cater to veterans who truly enjoy fly fishing, including national trips.”
Bernie Harbowski summed up the day’s significance by saying, “It’s a great day, and they should have more days like this for the vets.”