Today I had the privilege and honor of guiding for an incredible organization called Take A Vet Fishing. This organization is all about a day of giving back to those who have served in our military by taking them out for a fun day on the water. No worries, no stress, just fishing and enjoying each others companionship. This event was launched out of Babcock Park in McFarland on Lake Waubesa and hosted over 150 veterans out of 78 boats, with the TMAE pontoon as part of the field.
Although we may here the term "PTSD" used frequently, it seems that most people don't understand exactly what it is or how it affects people, particularly those who have served in the military and have undergone traumatic experiences. Going back to normal civilian life can be a big struggle, and many veterans have a hard time making the transition. By simply taking them out fishing, we are able to show them a good time doing something totally stress free, taking their minds off their troubles, even if it is only for a day. The look of excitement on their faces the minute they stepped onto the boat will stick with me forever.
Although the weather made our bite a little tough, we did manage to boat several nice fish. After fishing, we headed over to the McFarland VFW to a catered lunch and ceremony thanking all veterans, and giving a way some amazing raffle prizes. Each veteran went home with a brand new rod and reel combo, and a great day on the water. To all of my vets today, you are all more than welcome to come out in the boat with me anytime. Thank you for letting me guide you!
I would highly encourage anybody who is interested in volunteering or guiding for Take A Vet Fishing to do so! It was an absolutely amazing experience and I can't wait to do it again soon. Please take the time to check out their website at www.takeavetfishing.org and on Facebook.
Big shout out to Brian Christiansen for landing his FIRST EVER muskie today! It measured 48" and was released happy and healthy after a few pictures.