June 28, 2023
On June 3, 2023, Fly Fisherman magazine presented a special advance screening of the film Mending the Line to help raise awareness of veteran mental health, and to illustrate the healing power of fly fishing for those dealing with PTSD, at the Allenberry Playhouse in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania. The film hit theaters June 9.
Veterans were welcomed to attend free of charge due to the generosity of two donors, and 100% of the proceeds went to Warriors & Quiet Waters Foundation.
“We are reaching out to vets and anyone else who can heal through fly fishing," Fly Fisherman editor Ross Purnell said prior to the screening. "I think fly fishing can benefit a very large group of people. People who have had trauma, thoughts of suicide, alcoholism, or know someone who has includes almost all of us. Fly fishing can’t solve all our problems but it can give us days or hours of happiness."
Immediately following the film a panel discussion about the film and the healing benefits of fly fishing took place. Video of the panel discussion is available here:
The panel included:
- Mending the Line Director Joshua Caldwell
- Colonel Sean McNamara, U.S. Air Force. While deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, he was severely injured by a suicide blast which also claimed the lives of others. He credits Warriors & Quiet Waters Foundation for rekindling his love for the outdoors and fly-fishing which provide him with the solace and solitude essential to his ongoing recovery.
- Frank Kancir joined the United States Marine Corps in 2000 and re-enlisted in 2004. He was injured in combat in Iraq and medically retired shortly thereafter. Frank is an ambassador for Warriors & Quiet Waters Foundation, and loves to fly fish and ride his Harley Davidson.
- Chris Holden was deployed with the U.S. Army and/or was a civilian contractor supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Inherent Resolve from 2006 through 2018 and today still serves with the National Guard. He first picked up a fly rod a little over a year ago and describes it as being a “tuning fork for his soul.” One of his long-term goals is to work with vets introducing them to the joy and peace of fly fishing.
- David Bowerman retired after 27 years as a chaplain with the U.S. Army. He deployed two times to Iraq, first during the Thunder Run to Baghdad in 2003 with a medical unit, then later during the Surge of 2007 with the 3rd Infantry Division. Chaplain Bowerman also provided ministry to Wounded Warriors at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the Cumberland Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited with a focus on reaching out to veterans, active military, and first responders.
For more about Mending the Line, see the complete review from Fly Fisherman magazine: https://www.flyfisherman.com/editorial/mending-the-line/472846 or see the trailer here.