Fly fishing

Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation offers family program for veterans

BELGRADE – The Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation has developed a pilot program, focusing on families and fly fishing.

Founded in 2007, Warriors and Quiet Waters is dedicated to reintegrating and reconnecting post 9/11 ex-combatants with their community and nature. Eric Hastings, the founder, served in the Vietnam War and discovered healing performed by throwing a fly rod.

Provided by Warriors and Quiet Waters, taken over by Studio Macleod.

The Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation has developed a pilot program, focusing on families and fly fishing.

“It’s a skill that they can take home, they can focus on catching a fish instead of whatever is going on in their head,” said Audrey Chorak.

Audrey Chorak is Associate Director of Programs for Warriors and Quiet Waters and expresses the positive response and outlook the “Family FX” program has had on their participants.

“Some families have mentioned how nice it is for their children to see that their parents are not the only ones affected by injuries, whether mental or physical,” said Chorak.

Families like the Zieglers. Susan and her husband both served in the military; Susan was honorably released from training camp after an injury, and her husband was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

“He was injured in Afghanistan and received a purple heart there, and was medically removed,” Ziegler said.

After his retirement, the two visited Quiet Waters Ranch, to enjoy the serenity of Montana and of course, fly fishing.

“Some families have mentioned how nice it is for their children to see that their parents are not the only ones affected by injuries, whether mental or physical,” said Chorak.

With the addition of the family program, their daughter Emma was able to join them on an adventure to learn a new skill and make new friends, Ziegler said.

“It is not common for your father to be the homemaker in your family. She made a really good friend there, from Oklahoma, whose dad is a triple amputee, and they’re still talking today, ”Ziegler said.

The program director said it best when he said, “Quiet Waters Ranch really felt like home when the families were here,” Chorak said.

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