In 2013 after much thought and planning my wife and and I started what would become North Texas Patriot Anglers. At the time it was a shot in the dark for us running the program and those participating in the program.
NTPA started as the North Texas chapter of Project Healing Waters in July of 2013 with their first outing of 4 veterans that same month.
2014 - 2015
Our first all-female veteran outing was in September of 2014. We expanded to include a fly tying class in 2015. In September of 2015 we struck out on our own and became North Texas Patriot Anglers.
2016 - 2019
2019 saw 22 trips with 200 veterans served. Our pool of volunteers has grown from 3 the first year to a steady group of 25 people now with over 100 different people volunteering over the 7 years of operation for a total of over 7000 hours of volunteer time donated. During this time fundraising has gone from that initial $2500 to a total of approximately $250,000.00. The fly tying class sees 3-4 people for the class and has helped about 50 veterans since inception. The program has taken approximately 1600 different veterans on multi-day outings, single day outings, fly fishing 101 classes, and fly tying classes since we started.
2020 - 2021
Despite the pandemic, we continue to serve our veterans. Since the beginning of 2020 we have hosted another 20 overnight trips and another 26 single-day trips. This equates to helping another 390 veterans as well as another 300 veterans attending our free fly tying classes.
Lew is a retired combat Veteran, Purple Heart recipient and is the founder of North Texas Patriot Anglers. Lew has been an avid fly fisherman since his youth in upstate NY.
Lew started our program in 2013 as a healing journey for himself and a few friends never dreaming it would grow into what it is today.
Lew is married to retired CMSGT Nicole Duckwall, herself a Veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Volunteer Coordinator Colorado Trip Coordinator
Sean is an avid fly fisherman and is part of the early cadre that helped Lew Duckwall start Project Healing Waters/North Texas Patriot Anglers. He is also the President of Heroes Among Us, coordinates the annual Christmas Outreach program with the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Hood.
Sean is a United States Air Force Academy graduate, USAF pilot, and retired American Airlines pilot. He lives in Plano, Texas with his wife of 48 years, Jan, and their daughter Erin. They also have two sons, Matt (Dallas) and Brendan (NYC).
I am a retired Navy LCDR with 3 years active duty on ships and 18 years in the Naval Reserve. I have a B.S. degree in Accounting with an MBA. NTPA Founder, Lew Duckwall, is married to my daughter Nicole.
Pat is the Trip Coordinator for NTPA setting the yearly schedule of outings, number of veterans attending, lodging, etc. He is a chiropractor, and lives in Dallas, with his wife of 24 years, Pamela.
Pat has fished Broken Bow most of that time and has been involved with that river for many years, including being active with the Lower Mountain Fork River Foundation and teaching fly fishing to the kids at the Oklahoma Youth Forestry Camp every summer. . The LMFRF was able to fund Lew for the Broken Bow trips through the first year. Pat started volunteering that night and has been with Patriot Anglers ever since.
Jim started his career in the military as a U. S. Marine Corps pilot and retired 37 years later as an Air Force Reserve Major General. Jim also had a 32-year career as a pilot and instructor for American Airlines. Jim lives in Trophy Club TX with his wife of 49 years who is a retired college professor. They have one son who is a Combat Rescue Officer currently serving on active duty in the Air Force. Jim loves to fish with vets and can cook bacon and eggs better than Lew.
Women's Trips Coordinator
Bel served 20 years in the US Army as a Supply Specialist with several deployments (ONB, OIF, OEF). After serving and “losing my identity” as a service member (it’s all I knew as an adult), I struggled to figure out how to live as a “civilian,” of which we never truly are! Finding other Veterans and the North Texas Patriot Anglers brought new meaning to my life. I now dream of fly fishing and only wish to be out there in the river as often as possible. I love running the Women’s Program, as there’s never a trip that isn’t absolutely worth the time and efforts put in by all.
“Warsteed” served 10 years in the Army and was honorably discharged in 2000 as a Captain. He served in Infantry, Quartermaster, and Special Forces Units throughout his career. He then served as a Police Officer and spent 11 of 12 years on the SWAT team where he retired in 2014. He currently owns a Firearms Training Company, a Security Consulting Company, and a Childcare Center.
In January 2018 he was asked to attend an outing and Fly Fishing became a passion of his at that time. After attending other outings, he then volunteered to guide and has been a regular volunteer since.
He lives in Rockwall, Texas with his wife of 20 years, a daughter, and a son.