Your Corner: US Military Veterans Find Common Ground on the Water - NBC 7 San Diego

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Your Corner: US Military Veterans Find Common Ground on the Water

A fly fishing group is helping U.S. military veterans heal -- one line at a time



    US Vets Find Peace in Fly Fishing

    For a group of military veterans in San Diego, fly fishing has become an important outlet - and a way to talk through what they're feeling. NBC 7's Greg Bledsoe shares their story in this week's "Your Corner" segment. (Published Friday, June 16, 2017)

    Fishing is the drug of choice, once a month, for one group in Santee that works with disabled U.S. military veterans.

    “Everything else sort of disappears,” said Arthur Reifman, who works with Project Healing Waters to teach disabled vets how to fly fish.

    “Every day they’re in therapies and treatments,” said Reifman. “This is an opportunity for them to step aside, and step back from that, even if for just a few hours, and completely let go.”

    Project Healing Waters started in 2007 and now has 200 chapters nationwide, including the one in San Diego.

    Ramona Woman Sends Letter of Hope to Strangers

    [DGO] Your Corner: Ramona Woman Sends Letters of Hope to Strangers

    In this week's "Your Corner" story, NBC 7's Greg Bledsoe meets a Ramona woman on a mission to send letters of hope and encouragement to total strangers. Those notes are much-needed and appreciated by recipients.

    (Published Friday, June 9, 2017)

    In 2016, the group logged more than 230,000 volunteer hours nationally and helped more than 7,500 veterans like Dallas Obergfell, an Army National Guard veteran from Montana.

    Obergfell suffered a concussion from a bomb blast in Iraq and has felt the effects of it for years.

    “It’s constantly there, even when you’re sleeping, it’s there. You got the night terrors and stuff, waking up in cold sweats,” he told NBC 7.

    Marc Lavigne is another one of the vets that meet at Santee Lakes every month.  The Army veteran has been going through treatment for 20 years since a truck fell onto his head and neck.

    He says fly fishing is not like any other therapy.

    “It almost puts me back in control of things for a little bit,” said Lavigne. “It’s relaxing; it’s motivating; it helps with the stress. Everything else just kind of melts away.”

    A Permanent Place for Names of the Fallen

    [DGO] Your Corner: A Permanent Place for Names of the Fallen

    Ten years ago, Manny Martinez lost his son, Army Sgt. Michael Martinez, killed by an IED in Iraq. The pain isn't any easier but now, Michael's name will never be forgotten. The City of Chula Vista has named seven streets for seven fallen U.S. military service members, including Michael Martinez. In this week's Your Corner, NBC 7's Greg Bledsoe speaks to the sergeant's father about what this means to his family.

    (Published Friday, May 26, 2017)

    It’s not about catching fish.

    “No. It doesn’t matter,” said Reifman. “Sometimes we come out here, and the fish don’t cooperate at all.”

    “You don’t have any worries. It’s just you and Mother Nature enjoying time out here,” said Obergfell.

    More than catching fish, or learning how to fish, a huge part of the treatment is camaraderie.  

    “We’re there for each other to talk because not a lot of other people understand what we’re going through, other than another vet,” said Lavigne.

    This group has found its common ground, on the water.

    Artist's Home is His Ultimate Masterpiece

    [DGO] Your Corner: Hubbell Home, a Masterpiece 59 Years in the Making

    Artist James Hubbell started working on his home in San Diego County 59 years ago. The work still continues today for this world renowned artist. In this week's Your Corner, NBC 7's Greg Bledsoe takes a look a Hubbell's ultimate masterpiece.

    (Published Friday, May 19, 2017)

    For more information on how to volunteer with PHW San Diego, click here

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