Northwoods Adventure: 7th Annual Take A Vet Fishing Brings Veterans Together
Veterans spent the day fishing with other fellow veterans and fishing guides out on Leech Lake.
“We’re out here fishing walleyes with a couple of vets who have served our country and having a blast. We’re catching fish and having a wonderful time on a beautiful day,” fishing guide Tim Dicks said.
The Wounded Warriors Guide Service has been taking veterans fishing for the past seven years. Bob Landerville, the co-founder of Take a Vet Fishing and a former Marine himself, started the event because he wanted to give back to veterans.
“I have some buddies who were with Wounded Warriors Guide Service and I have a guide service myself – a fishing guide service on Leech Lake,” Landerville said. “And so they do a hunting portion and I said six years ago, I said, ‘let’s do a fishing portion.'”
When Take A Vet Fishing first started, there were only 30 veterans. Now the event has grown to include over 100. Jesse LaMere from the Wounded Warriors Guide Service Board of Directors said it’s an opportunity for veterans to heal and network with one another.
“There’s a lot of severely disabled veterans that don’t get the opportunity to go fishing, so this is our chance to get them in touch with each other and out on the lake,” LaMere said.
Veterans taking part in the fishing event say they enjoy being with other veterans.
“The comradery with the veterans being out there together enjoying fishing. I love fishing,” veteran Matt Rauch said.
“It’s just nice to get together with some of the newer Wounded Warriors, some of the older ones and in-betweens,” veteran Dan Mitchell said. “It’s a brotherhood.”
“It wasn’t about catching a fish: that’s always a big plus, but on a beautiful day like today just being out in the outdoors with the fellow veterans,” veteran Dan Essig said.
Wounded Warriors Guide Service is a non-profit organization that focuses on outdoor recreational therapy. The co-founder of Take a Vet Fishing says this year’s event had the biggest turnout to date.