MILITARY MATTERS: Veterans take part in wounded hero fishing

Updated: Aug. 6, 2020 at 7:55 PM EDT
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STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WTVM) - Sixty veterans from six different states enjoyed time on the water recently at a wounded warrior fishing event near Green Bay.

Navy vet Erin Van Hulle enjoys a getaway surrounded by other men and women who served and sacrificed for our country.

“It’s a nice break from reality. We get to go out here and do something that maybe some of us don’t have access to, like I wouldn’t go salmon fishing on the normal,” said Van Hulle, who served in the U.S. Navy from 2002 to 2007.

A lodge in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin hosted Van Hulle and other veterans classified as wounded by military standards for four days of relaxation and camaraderie free of charge.

“A lot of people served at different times and they might be, locally, they might have someone 30 miles away from them that served at the same timeline, but in a different unit,” said lodge owner Paul Meleen. “And they didn’t even know that. So, we want to open some doors there and make these people feel special and appreciated because they deserve that.”

“I take guys fishing, and it could be salmon, it could be walleye, it could be both. Just whatever the need is,” said professional fisherman Dan Jordan.

“My dad standing right there was in Vietnam, and he actually acts as my first mate during these trips every year. So, it’s pretty cool,” charter captain John Pollock said.

“To hear some of the stories that the guys have of being saved by the other members in their platoons and their companies and everything, it’s amazing,” said Brad Davis, another professional fisherman.

The veterans said at this event, they feel like the lucky ones.

“It means everything for them to give their time and I know some of them will say it means more to them to come and do this for the veterans than probably the veterans get out of it. But we greatly appreciate the opportunity,” Van Hulle added.

Local charter captains donated their time and talent to take the veterans out onto the water for this.

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