Brady Busby, a medically disabled military veteran with combat-related PTSD and a traumatic brain injury, doesn’t stress when he’s fly-fishing.
He’s too busy.
“I’m always doing something — looking for fish, casting, mending, matching the right bug to what the fish are eating that day,” the Colorado Springs resident says.
The disturbing memories from serving in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars don’t even cross his mind when he’s working the line on a river or lake. Neither does his recovery from opiate addiction, nor his 19-year-old daughter’s death by suicide in March.
“I wouldn’t be able to go through the things I am dealing with if I didn’t have my faith and family first, but fly-fishing for me is a close second,” he said.
To help others understand how nature and outdoor activities, such as fly-fishing, can help heal suffering, and inspire those dealing with similar experiences, Busby has written a memoir, “Healing Waters.”
He will hold a book signing from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the downtown Hooked on Books, 10 E. Bijou St.
Royalties from sales of the paperback version, which also is available on Amazon, and a Kindle edition, will benefit a memorial scholarship fund set up in remembrance of his daughter, Ashley Lynne Busby.
The first scholarships will be awarded this year to a boy and girl from Liberty High School with passions for the fine arts and sciences, which were Ashley’s favorite subjects.
“We intend to give this scholarship for the rest of our lives and beyond in her memory and to keep her story alive,” Busby said.
The book details Busby’s childhood, the trials of the teenage years and his service with the 10th Special Forces from Fort Carson. As a military intelligence chief warrant officer, he did three tours in Afghanistan and three in Iraq, as well as serving in Germany, before being forced to retire at age 38 because of medical problems.
“The memoir underscores the challenges facing many military veterans while providing a redeeming story about love and family,” one reviewer wrote.
Busby now is a fly-fishing guide and ambassador for Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, which physically and emotionally rehabilitates disabled active-duty military and veterans through fly-fishing and related activities.
While Busby said he had been thinking for years about writing about his experiences, Ashley’s suicide prompted him to realize the goal. The book includes a thoughtful tribute to Ashley, who struggled for years with depression and anxiety after being sexually assaulted at age 16, Busby said.
“We had a full team of doctors, a psychologist and therapist,” he said. “She had multiple attempts and spent time in multiple facilities. She had a loving family. Nothing was good enough in those last moments.”