It began, oddly enough, fly fishing near Saddam Hussein's palace in Iraq.
That's where Staff Sgt. Michael Henrie of Elmendorf Air Force Base was stationed in late 2008. In stocked waters around the palace and in the Eurphrates River swam carp-like fish. Some troops managed to secure gear from donor stores in the U.S., and before long, Henrie was casting.
Not long afterward, Henrie heard about Project Healing Waters, founded in 2005 by Navy captain Ed Nicholson while he was recovering at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. The program encourages mentally or physically injured veterans to tie flies and cast in nearby lakes and streams.