As you know, I am in Hancock this weekend for the One Bug Tournament sponsored by Project Healing Waters. Lindsay and her girlfriend are competing in the tournament as team Ms.Behaving. She and her husband are supporters of Healing Waters and gave me and possibly my whole New City chapter an invite to Pulaski, NY to fish for Salmon. The salmon, steelhead hatchery is actually opening for a certain amount of vets to get experience catching.
As you know, when someone is suppo Project Healing Waters, I appreciate them so much because they are supporting me and my disabled veteran brothers and sisters.
After being told that I was on the list from my Project Healing Waters group it seemed like forever for this day to come. Starting with dinner tonight, Thanks to Healing Waters and of course donors that make it happen, I am taking part in the annual “Friends of the Upper Delaware One Bug Tournament”. I’ve been working on my house nonstop and now I’m finally getting a break.
In case you wonder why it’s called one bug (as I did), it’s because the tournament is on a points system; and if you get through a day only using one fly, you get an extra 100 points. If you know me, I just want to catch my first fish with a fly rod. I’m not worrying about point.
I will continue to post on my blog throughout the weekend, but I did want people to know that I received a warm welcome here at the Hancock House Hotel. It is a beautiful building. My room is very clean and comfortable. The staff that I met so far have been extremely nice and helpful as to where the events are taking place. There is a great looking restaurant downstairs, but there is a dinner for the event that I’m going to later. I really think I am going to enjoy this weekend.
I’ll keep you posted. For now I am going to explore town before the dinner later.
Many of you probably have no idea what Anzac Day is. To be honest I didn’t either until hearing about it through a VFW post on Twitter this morning.
Just 14 years after Australia became an independent nation, Great Britain called on them in cohort with New Zealand to attack the Turks of Constantinople. This campaign ended in a stalemate but the new country lost around 8,000 troops. Australia has been a great Ally ever since. I reverberate serving with several of their troops in Desert Storm.
If you want to know more, I added this link. What is Anzac? It is a good read. Keep Australia and New Zealanders on your mind and in your prayers today.
When my friend Rhonda that I met through Facebook while looking for people to send me feathers for my fly tying asked me to make a fly for her soon to be 75 years old Vietnam veteran friend I was honored. I gave it some thought and that is when I created the Vietnam fly designed after the military service ribbon. This was my first fly that I made of the sort which now as you know if you have been reading my blog posts that I am selling to earn money for Project Healing Waters. Though the fly can’t be zoomed in on clearly, Rhonda’s friend she calls MR. T loves it. I hope that I cannot only get more vets wearing these flies representing their service to our country, but that I can make and sell enough to donate as much as possible to Healing Waters for being such a worthy cause.
As soon as I get these flies made for the farmer’s market, I will be back to writing regular blog posts. It is not like I have Fly patterns to go by though. I am trying to create them in the likeness of the service ribbons they represent.
There is no service ribbon for active duty or veterans that develop PTSD while in combat. For those that receive a Purple Heart, their injury is immediately recognized; but mental injury may take years to surface.
My PTSD was noticeable in my last year of active duty but nothing was done about it except discharging me with honorable but with “unable to perform ” noted so that I couldn’t re-enlist.
I was denied service related disability for 20 years while things worsened. Finally when I was approved for 40% I had developed other Dissociative disorders related to the PTSD. I was never able to keep a job for more than 6 months to a year but I always found one. I may not have been the family man mentally, but I was not lazy. I found work and I supported them.
Two years ago I was hospitalized for 45 days. (Residentially, not inpatient) I was free to leave at any time but I needed the help or I would have definitely committed suicide. After that stay, I was declared fully disabled; both through the VA and now through SSDI.
There are so many forms of therapy that work for people with disabilities. The experience I have found with PHWFF is what is proving to be what works the best for me. That is why I want to raise money and awareness for them with my writing, fly tying and whatever else I can do.
Sure, I am done working at age 46 and using fly fishing as therapy; how can that not work?
It would be nice if it were that easy. I am stuck on the couch 90% of the time wishing I could be fishing. That’s why I write, tie flies, build rods, etc. My Dissociative Amnesia has made driving any sort of distance safely, nearly impossible. I jokingly asked my wife if I she’d trust me to get a motorcycle. She replied that she doesn’t trust that I’m safe on a recliner! 😳 I used to ride, but my mind gets worse daily it seems. The thought of getting on a bike terrifies me.
So to all you American people who support troops and veterans, as I know you do (before I write a book) all I ask is to maybe purchase a fly from me. Or at least share my posts so that someone who is interested in flies can do so. My profit on a fly after supplies and shipping is about $3.00 and that whole amount goes to Project Healing Waters. In the future I want to support other charities as well, but I am starting here. I am one guy working from home.
As far as there not being a service ribbon for PTSD, there is an awareness ribbon for it. I created the fly below this morning to represent.
Making these service ribbon flies may or may not sell well for Healing Waters. I’m doing my best to design them with respect to the veteran that buys or receives one.
The best part is, I’m having fun making them. That is another point in favor of fly tying for therapy. My mind stays focused on creating instead of destroying, hurting, etc.
So far I have designed the Korean War service ribbon, the Vietnam Service ribbon, the Kuwait Liberation ribbon, the Iraqi Freedom one and the Purple Heart Medal. They are all for sale@ $5.99 each, and all sold as fishable flies or as hat/lapel pins. Just email your interest to Fliesforlife@yahoo.com. Price includes shipping. $3.00 of each fly is donated to Project Healing Waters.
Please don’t forget that I am a disabled veteran myself and have tremering hands. I will not send flies that I wouldn’t be proud to say that I made, but I am not a commercial tyer.
Thank You for any support you can give. Even just sharing blog, twitter or Facebook post helps tremendously for publicity.
Been out on the streams trying to catch trout several times, but haven’t had any luck. According to my friend Ed, stripers are running up the Hudson near Germantown, NY. He invited me on his new boat. I plan to take him up on that this week.
I built a 9′ 9wt rod for such an occasion. Plus I have spinning and casting rods. But if my first fish ever with a fly rod is a striper, I will be one happy camper.
Have a Happy Easter (Those who celebrate) and I’ll talk to you soon.