Coatesville Man Helps Disabled Military, Veterans Heal Through Fly Fishing

Image of two veterans fly fishing in the Delaware River via the New Jersey Herald.

As a deputy regional coordinator for the state chapter of Healing Waters, Coatesville’s Dave Riggio is helping disabled military and veterans heal through the power of fly fishing, writes Bruce Scruton for the New Jersey Herald.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing was founded 12 years ago by retired U.S. Navy captain Ed Nickleson. The idea for the program came to him during a visit to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C.

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According to the group’s formal statement, the program “is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities, including education and outings.”

The program includes all aspects of the sport from learning to tie flies to information on the habits and habitat of the various types of fish.

Riggio said that, last year, around 3,200 volunteers provided close to 230,000 hours of their time to around 7,500 disabled veterans. He also noted that close to 85 percent of all donations are spent directly on programs for veterans.

Read more about the fly-fishing program in the New Jersey Herald here.

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