By Jyremy Reid
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Fort Campbell Soldier Recovery Unit (SRU) in Kentucky is giving Soldiers a fun but challenging activity in the form of fly fishing classes — and it’s having a big effect.
The Fort Campbell SRU added this new therapeutic activity to the program in early 2021. For the past few months, Soldiers learned how to cast a fly rod and tie various flies. The SRU uses the program to help Soldiers get out of their heads and focus on the task at hand.
“At first, a lot of them were closed off,” said Robyn Womac-Fortin, adaptive sports specialist at the SRU. “But being in a safe, quiet location helps them open up and show a real positive change in their attitudes. It’s almost therapeutic to watch them.”
The programs at Fort Campbell are always evolving, and despite the changing seasons, the Soldiers create something from start to finish that symbolizes the process of their recovery.
“The Adaptive Reconditioning Program has helped me become not as isolated in my room, where honestly I would rather stay,” said Sgt. Michelle Parson. “These programs and activities are opportunities to feel a part of a group, learn a new skill or sport and get out of your head for a few hours a day.”
During the first year of the pandemic, a lot of SRUs went virtual, but things began to change in 2021. Once the weather warms up this year, Fort Campbell plans to schedule more outdoor trips. At the end of April 2021, they hosted a short camping trip as a test to see how things would pan out. Thankfully, the event ran successfully.
“A typical trip is like going to camp,” said Womac-Fortin. “All Soldiers are screened to make sure they are good to go with a physical profile. We load everyone up in the vans and carpool to wherever the event is located. We’ve done road trips ranging from one to 13 hours. It all comes down to what we can make happen.”
Fort Campbell aims to have its first outdoor excursion of 2022 in the spring or summer.
The Army Warrior Care and Transition Program is now the Army Recovery Care Program. Although the name has changed, the mission remains the same: to provide quality complex case management to the Army's wounded, ill and injured Soldiers. Visit our website at https://arcp.army.mil