MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KJCT) -- PTSD and other trauma from serving our country can be crippling and comes in many forms.
The way people deal with the disorder also runs the gamut.
For one group of veterans, fly fishing with Project Healing Waters is their escape. The beginning fly fishing program is designed to help heal the emotional wounds of war.
"I caught the first fish out here. We landed him!" said veteran Marcella Nichols on a recent Healing Waters fishing trip to Harlan Creek.
Jonathan Maybon served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and has been diagnosed with PTSD, He said it took him several years after he returned to acknowledge he needed help.
"Being out with this great group of people here and spend time not isolating myself is some of the best therapy that I've had," said Maybon.
Nichols served active duty in the U.S. Army for 16 years. She said coming back to civilian life hasn’t been easy.
"Calming my nerves – I've been in a fight or flight status for too long now," she said. "The military thrives off of people that can be at that peak and stay in that performance level at all times, and they don't teach us how to come back down off of that.”
Nichols said fishing with the Healing Waters group has helped her adjust.
"I miss the comradery and this is another reason why I find that these groups are very healing because they understand where I come from. If I'm not having a good day – they get it, no excuses," said Nichols.
Nichols said other veterans need to know they are not alone; that there are people who want to talk and help them get out of their isolation.
"You can sit back and mull over the bad times or you can get out here and try and make something better out of it," she said.
You can find more information about the fundraiser on the Project Healing Waters Facebook Page.