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Tying Flies Helps Soldiers Cope

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As soldiers at Fort Harrison prepare to deploy this Saturday, the Montana Project Healing Waters is helping them find ways to relax while abroad.

Tying a fly may be a bit more complicated than the age ole loop swoop and pull, but for soldiers like Captain Luke Eidt, the challenge is part of the appeal.

Eidt says, "You can focus on several things at once. Both hands, you're working and you're working to achieve that goal and that's building that fly."

US Army Lutenient Colonel, James Wilkins says tying flies not only keeps the mind sharp, it also helps soldiers focus on something other than being away from home.

Wilkins says, "It's a great opportunity to focus on something other than your mission. It's a great skill that you can learn and take home with you.”

Which is what Captain Eidt did.  He says he used the therapy while serving overseas,  and again after returning from a 9 month deployment in Iraq.

Eidt says, "When I was deployed in 2009-2010 it was a lot of work load and when we got back from that deployment it was nice to have an avenue of escape to focus on something other than everyday life and issues that may or may not be happening"

Board member Jim Murray, says he has seen first-hand the positive effects of fly fishing after soldiers return home.

Murray says, "We get out on the water and you can just see the difference and how they kind of just light up when they're on the river so it's a neat thing.”

The soldiers say not only do they appreciate the opportunity to tie flies, but they also appreciate knowing there are people who have their back, back home.

To learn more about  Montana Project Healing Waters click here 

Story by Kelley Smith
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Tagged as:

Fort Harrison, soldiers return home, Montana Project Healing Waters, Luke Eidt, Tying Flies, James Wilkins, deployment in Iraq, positive effects of fly fishing

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