Project Healing Waters – Purple Heart Slam III


Held August 21-23 in Everglades National Park, the Project Healing Waters Backcountry Purple Heart/Disabled Veterans Slam III was a huge success.

This year, PHW–South Florida hosted 30 wounded and disabled veterans in Islamorada, Florida, and the community greeted them with open arms.

The Islamorada Fishing Club hosted the welcome reception, where Everglades National Park Superintendent Pedro Ramos welcomed the participating veterans to the Keys and ENP.

The veterans spent two days fishing the waters of Everglades National Park with some of the best guides in South Florida, all of whom volunteered their time to show the veterans the sport of flats fishing.

A special thank you to all the guides listed below:

Benny Blanco – HB Guide

Steve Friedman – HB Guide

Andy Downs

Brandon Laszlo

Luke Krenik

Steve Thomas – HB Guide

Dave Denkert – HB Guide

Carlos Jimenez

Adam DeBruin – HB Guide

Kerry Wingo

Randy Stallings – HB Guide

Justin Bachert

Chris Molinaro

Nestor Alvisa

Augie Moss

Ridge Murphy

Ryan Booth – HB Guide

Eddie Yarbrough

Mike Alfano – HB Guide

Carl Ball – HB Guide

Jason Sullivan – HB Guide

Steven Tejera

Lincoln Rodriguez

Matt Bellinger

Jerry Perez – HB Guide

It was a life-changing experience for all the veterans, and many beautiful fish came to hand. There is nothing better to recharge the soul than spending time on the water.

To see all the photos from the event, follow this link to the PHW–South Florida Facebook page.

We are honored to support this great event, and extend a special thank you to all the veterans for their service and sacrifice to protect our freedom.

We would like to thank Col. Anthony Fernandez III USMCR and all the volunteers for making this a great event. A special thanks to Mangrove Mike’s Café and Allison Stattner for donating the food.

Capt. Benny Blanco pictured above receiving an award of appreciation from Project Healing Waters Major Ray Master, USMCR.

For more information and to donate to Project Healing Waters–South Florida, click here.