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PHWFF: Two Stories Out of Many

01/30/18 at 06:08 AM by Vince Puzick

 

We've posted about the great films and the great raffle prizes that happen at the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T).  But why? It's not about the films.  All of the films tell stories, but the stories I enjoy the most are the ones told by the veterans involved with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing -- and all the proceeds from F3T ticket sales and raffle tickets go to Project Healing Waters.  Two of those men over the last few years were very moving in telling about their experience with PHWFF:  Larry Fivecoats and Brady Busby.

 

Larry Fivecoats' story is captured in his film called "Breaking Through: The Story of Larry Fivecoats."  

 

We were fortunate that Larry (pictured here with his grandson, Nicholas) was in attendance at the 2015 event.  Larry, a veteran of the Vietnam War and currently the co-lead for Denver's Project Healing Waters, movingly stated what Project Healing Waters has meant to him:

 

"It does make us better people.  Better husbands.  Better fathers.  Better brothers.  It's all part of coming home, all the way.  For some of us, it just takes a little longer."

 

 

Photos courtesy of KPBS / Larry Fivecoats

 

 

 

Last year, Brady Busby shared his experience with the audience at intermission.  Brady served in the military for 14 years, beginning his career at Fort Drum just shortly after 9/11.  He had three tours in Iraq.  After his third tour, he was diagnosed with PTSD and, as he put it, “Special Forces don’t do too well with that.”  He was medicated and then reassigned.  He then served three more tours in Afghanistan after which he was diagnosed again – this time with severe PTSD as well as traumatic brain injury. 

 

“I became isolated.  Shut in.”  And then he had his first experience with Project Healing Waters.  When he asked his daughter what effect she thought PHWFF had on him, she said “it got you out of the house.”  He laughs and says the people in his life have noticed the change over the last three years, too. 

 

“All you think about when you are out there is the fish, or you look up and see the place where you’re fishing.  It’s beautiful.  There’s an art to catching big fish.  I love it when I am catching fish and now I love it when I’m guiding and others are catching fish.” 

 

“Fly fishing changes your heart,” Brady says. 

 

Thank you, gentlemen, for your service.

 

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