Jonathan Sdao is an avid fisherman who enjoys fly fishing. He always finds time to enjoy the sport when he is in Colorado and Maine visiting friends and family. During his time at Colby College in Maine, he would go fly fishing with US Military Veterans as a part of the Project Healing Waters. For the last seventeen years, this non-profit organization has been serving wounded military service members, through therapeutic outdoor recreation.
The program’s founder, Ed Nicholson, spent thirty years in the Navy, embarking on a succession of assignments, including a tour in Viet Nam. In 2005, he found himself at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where he got a close look at the soldiers who were wounded in Iraq, and later Afghanistan. Drawing on his love of fly fishing, he set out to make a difference in those who had been wounded serving the United States, and Project Healing Waters was born.
The purpose of the non-profit is to help service members and disabled veterans enjoy a better life. This is accomplished through the participation in fly fishing outings and education. Volunteers for the organization spend their time teaching classes and taking disabled veterans on fly fishing outings. They teach classes on fly fishing basics, how to cast, how to tie flies, and how to build rods, for both beginners and those with prior experience. The organization provides all the equipment free of charge, and never charges veterans to participate in the one day and multi-day outings.
Recommended to read: Four Basic Tips to Help You Get Started With Fly Fishing
Participants in the Program Healing Waters get a unique opportunity to socialize and build camaraderie with other veterans and volunteers. Jonathan Sdao used his love of fly fishing to give back to his community and enjoyed his time participating in Project Healing Waters while attending Colby College in Maine.