A military veteran’s new mission is to restore a stream and help people heal

Jeff Swire, co-founder of Patriots Cove, has turned his private property into a fly-fishing refuge for other veterans and first responders seeking relief and renewed purpose. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)

Patriots Cove has built a community around fly fishing to give veterans, first responders and caregivers a sense of purpose

According to U.S. Army veteran Jeff Swire, the 18-acre, outdoor refuge known as Patriots Cove has already saved one life—his own.

Swire has over two decades of military experience, serving in the Iraq War as an infantryman and combat engineer. By the time he retired, Swire was left with a variety of physical and emotional issues, including a feeling of purposelessness that is all too common among veterans.

“For those of us that accept our service as part of who we are, and you lose that, it’s damn hard to figure out how you fit into the world out here,” said Swire.

In 2015, he and his wife Melissa purchased a property along Beaver Run, a small tributary in northeastern Pennsylvania, about 15 miles from the Susquehanna River. The property started out as a place for him and wife to get away, but soon after, Swire got the idea of turning the location into a site that other veterans, first responders and caregivers could visit.

His vision […]