I'd like to tell you about 24 hours I spent with someone who was was not just a friend, when we were growing up, but a constant companion. We were the Rodney Vista Gang and loved and depended on each other daily from the late forties til the late sixties. Then came graduation from high school and the Vietnam War and drafting. In 1968 all our lives changed forever as did so many who were called to serve our country and suffer the consequences. If they were not physically scared, they were haunted hourly with mental problems that no one understood and now some forty years later, they are still suffering, Sometimes it seems no one cares and surely there is no use to carry on BUT THE USE IS...friends need each other and need all the love we can exchange.
Now on to PROJECT HEALING WATERS....someone along the way realized Russ Doughty had a need and a nack for this project. Be it a normal person or God they were right. He has been fishing all his life and tying flies for fifty of his sixty plus years. He is and has been a tortured Vietnam Vet since 1968 but yet after and under all that is the sweetest, gentlest man I have ever known.
July 25th I traveled six hours to Springfield, Missouri to set in on one of his tying classes at the huge Bass Pro facility there. I am so glad I did because me, Russ and three other vets instantly hit it off and the love flowed. I witnessed, first hand, a natural teacher with non natural students succeeding and as they did in their own intense way, they were laughing and joking around...BEING CLOSE FRIENDS.
There are 130 or more clinics and hospitals operating under the Department of Vietnam Affairs and Department of Defense and the PROJECT HEALING WATERS is non-profit..They offer fly tying training, rod building and fishing outingsl free of charge. Whaat a wonderful way to make someone feel loved, needed and useful again.
You will be hearing more from me on this subject, I would love to be a member and yes, I would travel six hours for a two-three hour visit with these guys. Thanks to Bass Pro for giving the perfect place to meet. I am not a vet but I am disabled and I loved it.There will be more to come and Vets, look for this in your area or start one on your own.
Contact OR PROJECT HEALING WATERS FLY FISHING, INC....P.O.Box 695....LaPlata, MD...20646.
It is a 501 (c)(3) non profit GIVE, GIVE, GIVE