Lake of the Woods Pays it Forward for Veterans
They come from eight different states, all different ages and experiences, but their service and love of fishing brings them together.
60 veterans enjoyed a three nigh/two day all inclusive fishing trip thanks to supporters from near and far. Donors chipped in money, services, and their time for the group. All the meals, lodging, charter boats and guide services were completely free for the vets.
“I guess in my own little way it’s one way to say thank you for all these people have done for us. Just to give them a chance,” said Dick Dodds, a captain for one of the boats and owner of Rainy River Resort that helped accommodate the vets. “We’re fortunate to be able to do what we do and it’s only because they’re the ones who fight for our freedom.”
The third annual ‘Pay it Forward’ charity event was organized by Lake of the Woods Tourism, along with organizations Fishing for Life and the Wounded Warriors Project. Weekends like this bring back fond memories for the group.
“I miss being with all the guys, the friendships that you have, you know? I think that’s why a lot of us get into organizations like Wounded Warrior Project and all those because we miss having that camaraderie with other guys,” said Jeff Olson, an Army National Guard veteran.
There are even more memories to be made here on the lake. For that, the veterans are extremely grateful.
“This weekend for me is the chance of a lifetime. To meet people, to network, and to make a lot of new friends, a lot of new friends I can keep for a life time,” said David Twait, a Marine and Army National Guard veteran.
The festivities will continue tonight and tomorrow with a very special trip to the Lake of the Woods County Fair grounds where they will enjoy music, other programs, and of course, a walleye dinner.