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WWII Vet Donates 200 Jars of Fly Fishing Materials to Help Others

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OXFORD, N.Y. -

The Broome Veterans Fly Fishers (BVFF) received around 200 jars of fly fishing materials from 96-year-old World War II Veteran Phil Crooks. Phil was honored on Friday for his donation and skill at tying commercial flies.

Over the course of his life, Crooks has tied more than 500,000 flies. Now he hopes his extra materials will go back to help current Veterans returning from War who need something to calm them and keep them busy.

"Combat veterans have issues sometimes," said Gary Romanic. A Vietnam Veteran himself, Romanic says the gift from Crooks will go a long way towards helping others. 

The Organization says tying flies gives Veterans a purpose and something to do as well as requires patience and skill. Once they go out on the water, many of them feel relaxed.

Crooks learned how to fish while growing up in during the Great Depression to help feed the rest of his family. His love for the activity continued after he returned from War.

While he sticks to his wheelchair to get around now, the BVFF is trying to find a way to get him back out on the water.

"I guarantee it'll take a month of Sundays to take the smile off of him if we do," said David Crooks, Phil's Son.

You can learn more about the work the Broome Veterans Fly Fishers do here.