PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania trout stream in fall is more than just a beautiful sight to behold. It’s also a source of healing waters for veterans.
Charlie Yeager, of Plum, is a Vietnam veteran and a volunteer with Project Healing Waters, a therapeutic program for veterans.
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“It's our way of giving back, basically. I mean, I'm a veteran myself, and when I got out of the service, they didn't have anything for us. That is why I do it,” Yeager said.
Fishing requires equipment, which is why once a week at the Aspinwall VA, vets learn how to build fly rods and tie flies. They then take their new talents on the waters to fish.
“It's mental healing for them,” Dave Thomas, who is a program leader, said.
He plans and carries out five to six fishing trips a years for veterans from western Pennsylvania.
“It gives them some relief. They’re not thinking about what they're doing. A problem that they have they forget about it,” Thomas said.
Yeager not only volunteers for the program but is also a participant.
“It helped me therapeutically just being able to help the veterans. That's why I do it. I would just as soon guide a disabled vet on this stream than fish myself to be honest with you,” he said.
Anyone looking to learn more about the Healing Waters program can visit their website by CLICKING HERE.