Serving our nation’s military family by engaging veterans, veterans with disabilities, their spouses and their families in the TU community and in support of TU’s coldwater conservation mission is the backbone of TU’s Veterans Service Partnership. To accomplish this, the “partnership” in the VSP is critical to achieving this mission.
One of our most significant partnerships is with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing. Nearly 80 TU chapters run VSP programs through agreements with PHWFF. This is a very important partnership for both TU and PHWFF. PHWFF 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 mission of the TU VSP includes service to this same constituency and to the larger community of our nation’s military family.
Recently, two TU chapters, Tualatin TU #633 (OR) and Madison-Gallatin TU #24 (MT) teamed up to run an amazing week-long fly fishing trip to Montana for disabled veterans in Tualatin TU’s PHWFF program. Twelve Tualatin TU PHWFF participant anglers and 7 PHWFF volunteers came to Montana for a week-long fly fishing trip to Ennis, Mont., on the famous Madison River.
Jerry Lorang, PHWFF program lead and Tualatin TU VSP coordinator and Robert Allen, MGTU VSP coordinator worked together on this great outing. MGTU provided support, river shuttles, flies and leaders, and a dozen MGTU member volunteer rowers and river helpers to take PHWFF folks fishing on the Madison, Gallatin and Yellowstone rivers, plus some local “secret” waters.
Jerry and Tualatin TU/PHWFF took care of the rest. Judging by the feedback received from the happy anglers, the PHWFF volunteers, and the MGTU volunteer guides, the event was a smashing success for all involved and demonstrated the efficacy and the value of the partnership.
There are lots of opportunities available to TU VSP chapter programs to accomplish this sort of successful partnership and to provide great service to our veterans in TU VSP programs. If you wish to learn more, visit www.tu.org/veterans and contact Dave Kumlien, national coordinator for TU Veterans Service Partnership program at DKumlien@tu.org