Project Healing Waters Helps Veterans - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Project Healing Waters Helps Veterans

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Project Healing Waters is a national organization that focuses on the physical and emotional rehabilitation of veterans through fly fishing.

"It helps them work on their fine motor skills and increases their fine motor skills. It just overall helps them with socialization and camaraderie with the other veterans," said Tom Perrine, Recreation Therapist.

The Mountaineer Project Healing Waters chapter has been at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg since February 2012. When the program started here, Chad Cooper was excited to get to help.

"When they came here it was a no brainer that it was something I wanted to do. I didn't serve so it's kind of my way of giving back to the veterans for what they've done for me," said Cooper, Assistant Program Leader.

The veterans get to learn all the basics of fly fishing like fly tying, casting, rod building and actual fly fishing.

They also get to go on fishing trips where they get to use the flies and rods they made.

"They actually get to apply those skills, go out catch a fish with a fly that they tied or a rod that they built," said Perrine.

The veterans that attend the classes said they enjoy different aspects of it.

"I enjoy it. I look forward to coming. I wish it was every week; it's only every two weeks. But I enjoy it. Meeting up with the guys, kidding with the guys," said Roger Poling, a veteran who has attended the classes since they started in February.

Poling said he doesn't worry about catching fish, the experience is what he's there for.

"It's relaxing out on the water when you're out fishing like that. They all worry about catching fish but I'm just glad to be out there," said Poling.

Project Healing Waters in Clarksburg is always looking for donations or volunteers.

"We have the interest to grow even bigger. But we definitely need the funds and we need the volunteers to help it reach another level," Cooper said.

If you would like to volunteer, donate, or just get more information you can reach Chad Cooper at 304-627-4448.

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