Walleyes For Wounded Heroes June 2021

WannaDig3687

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Hello all! We just got back Sunday from the June 2021 Walleyes for Wounded Heroes event. Let me tell you it is normally an emotional time, but this year was a rollercoaster! I went into it thinking all the staff and volunteers were going to be fumbling around because we had a restructuring in late 2019 and, then, due to covid, we were unable to have the event in 2020. Wednesday evening the Heroes started arriving and we were all in sync.

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Even this service dog was relaxed and waiting for the festivities to begin.

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The food crew were busy frying fish for the first dinner for the Heroes.

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The Ohio Department OF Natural Resources were preparing for the Presentation of Colors. Notice how the Sergeant-At-Arms has his attention diverted? Right after I took this pic, people started running towards and then past me. Some started calling out and asking for medical testers and supplies. I get on my tiptoes and peer over the heads and see my best friend and one of Tnet's own, BuckIdgr, in action, using her training as a medic to assist a fallen Hero, who was having a seizure. Impressively, the local rescue were there within minutes. He was treated and released from the hospital and was able to stay with us, although he was unable to go out fishing. He came out of his cabin on Friday after recuperating for a day. A few of us were gathered under the tent. He put his arm around BuckIdgr and started singing, "Do you know you are my Hero." I do believe someone was cutting an onion nearby because everyone had tears flowing.


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We always have this table set up and remember our POW - MIAs before every evening meal. Then our Chaplain leads us in prayer.

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We had (the last count I was given) 88 Heroes attend. This year we had representation from as far east as Massachusettes, to Oklahoma in the west, and all parts in between. We usually have about 25 who are with the Kentucky Wounded Heroes.
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Thursday morning, they all got up and went out fishing. The captains go out at several different locations on Lake Erie. I get picked up by Josh and we wait for them to come back with their catch. I take pictures and then we take the fish to have them cleaned and bagged up. Well, Josh picked me up and informed me that one of the captains got word that his wife had passed away. Thursday was a very somber day. Everyone had a heavy heart and we pretty much just muddled through and tried to be positive. On the way back to camp, we stopped at the Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton. I was informed we had a WWII vet who was a gunner and the museum had the same type of plane. So, he arranged to have the owner there and get permission for pics on Friday. The weather was not going to cooperate for fishing. And, it didn't. A group of them went and the owner of the plane asked our vet to sign the door. And, rumor has it, there were onions being cut in the museum also.





This young man was getting ready to fish off the dock. I was talking to another who was fishing and this guy overheard me talking about scuba diving. Boy, did he perk up! So I went over and talked with him. Eventually, I got around to asking if he metal detects. He told me that he just bought a detector last year. So, I promptly told him about Treasurenet. Showed him how to find it online. Told him who I was and talked about Blakbart's treasure he's found this year. Hopefully, he will sign up and make friends with us here.
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To be continued........
 

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WannaDig3687

WannaDig3687

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....Sorry about that. I had an appointment to get to. Ok, so where was I ? Oh, yes, Friday, when the Heroes couldn't go on the lake fishing. I hung around camp and took pics.

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This guy tried his hand at grilling fish with a dry batter rubbed on.

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Some hung out and socialized and shared their stories with each other. That is the number one thing we get feed back on. They tell us it is very helpful with their healing to be able to talk to others who have similar experiences. A lot of the Heroes not only have physical wounds, they also struggle with PTSD.



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Some fished off the dock (as I showed before). They don't care if it is a big walleye. They are just enjoying fishing.

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LOL! He tried to show me how to take a pic and make the fish look bigger. I don't think I did him any justice. :laughing9:

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Some guys prefer to hang with their roomies at their cabin.

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Some are waiting for chow.

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For dinner we had brisket and noodles, mashed potatoes, applesauce, and a roll. Dessert was pie and ice cream. Do you see that table with the star table cloth? Well, the food crew didn't want the ice cream to melt, so they put me on guard duty right in front of the pies. I had to tell them, "No pie for you." They said I sounded like the Senfield show. Sometimes I switched it up and told them they had to eat all their dinner before they could get dessert. Sometimes I got a reply of, "Yes Ma 'am," other times, "Yes Mom."




On to Saturday....
 

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Blak bart

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Wooo hoooo.....another successful outing for the heros !! Congrats WD....Glad to see your devotion to the cause is still strong !! Looks like most were having a great time....and thats what counts !! I missed the pie and ice cream...darn it !!
 
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WannaDig3687

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YAY! They got to go walleye fishing! :notworthy:
Josh picked me up for our date, even brought me a doughnut! We drove down to the furthest east marina that we use and wait for them to come in. As we were eating our doughnuts, we were watching two young men having the time of their life catching fish. Josh decided to go over and ask if he could take their pic with the fish.

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He came back and we continued to watch. The kid in the hat would catch a fish and then pass the pole on to the other kid to give him a turn. They lost a big bass and we seen a mini fisherman melt down. Josh was so tickled that they were out enjoying life instead of inside playing video games. He decided to give them each a challenge coin.

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Did you noticed there are no adults around these two? I didn't see any either. Josh gets about half way back and these two holler out in unison, "Thank you for your service!" My heart was full, so proud of these two at that moment, gave me hope for our youth today. Yet, at the same time, it melted. Dang, Josh! Do you have onions in this truck?!?!

Thankfully, our guys started rolling in.

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On to the final festivities.....
 

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SD51

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Glad you were able to participate in that great event to honor our Heroes WD! Thanks for sharing all the daily stories, you put all of us right there with you!
 

Turbo21

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Look like an awesome event. My dad runs a walleye charter out of Walnut Creek on the Pa side. He was on the lake for the walleye tournament this weekend.
Here is his boat. The Merica II. And notice the 509th airborne emblem on the side. Tribute to my brother who passed a few years ago. He served 2 tours in Afghanistan and struggled once home. Fishing was his way to find peace

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WannaDig3687

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In years past, we parade down to another campground. This year we were blessed with full use of the Port Clinton High School cafeteria/gymnasium.

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We always have a silent auction set up. The big money maker was this hand made quilt. It brought in $1,000.00.

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The parade went from the campground in Marblehead, through part of Port Clinton, and down to the school. I may suggest that they encourage decorating the vehicles. It looked more like a funeral procession.

Then we had a jump with the flag.

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Then the banquet.

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This is Harold when he served in WWII

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We all thought Harold was 96. This is him receiving a wooden flag made by another vet. He informed us that he had turned 97 the past Tuesday. he was a spry little dude, and his mind was still sharp as a tack. He is the one who went to the museum and signed the door on the plane.

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This is our Silver Star who served in the Korean War. I didn't get a chance to talk to him much.

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This is one of the captains receiving our wandering walleye to display until next year. Our captains come from several different states. They donate their time, gas, tackle, and ears to this event. This guy came from Pennsylvania.

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We invited two Gold Star Dads to the event this year. Their loved ones were honored with the Gold Star Flag.

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Actually, we had four Gold Star Families represented. The mom's son was honored a couple years ago and she now serves on our board. The fourth guy was one of our Heroes and we didn't know he had lost his son in service to our country until he arrived at camp and started opening up. I wouldn't be surprised if he is not invited back next year as a Gold Star Dad.

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I know my pic of a pic does not do this justice. This was another very, very emotional event that was captured and then they printed it off and presented the photo to the dad. This Gold Star Dad caught this fish and someone took the pic. The sun made a cross pattern on his shoulder and the tail of the fish was all golden. They knew his son was shining down on him from Heaven.



The event is over. We go back to our camp and 5 of us are relaxing and unwinding on my porch. But wait! Someone pulls up. It is MR WD's fishing buddy who is still in service. He had a bearing go out and left his boat at the camp where the Heroes are. Mr WD told him to come over. Mixed signals, wrong camp, so MR WD says wait, I'll come there. I get on the phone and am instructed to clean up the trailer and get the camera ready. Turns out one of the younger Heroes recognized the name on the boat and was under the command of Mr WD's friend in Iraq. So we all get excited for this reunion, but the friend is concerned. Texts start going back and forth trying to figure out who it is. It turns out that it is one the friend really doesn't want to meet up with. He proceeds to tell us of all the screw ups this kid has had, tells me he absolutely does not want his picture taken with the guy. And we are all tensed up when the other four guys from W4WH and the Hero himself shows up. Now the four W4WH guys are excited, one of which is MR WD. Two of them suspected though, because the whole way over, they said the kid kept repeating, "What have I done? This guy is going to kick my arse when he sees me!!" I took the Mr aside and filled him in on what I could, so pictures did not happen. The meeting was intense and cold. They talked and said what they could to each other amongst all of us witnesses. The kid (30 something) was nervous as all get out and the friend was standoffish. They managed to work through it and left shaking hands. After they left, the friend stuck around and commented on how the kid seemed to be turning his life back around. His comments about him turned positive for the kid. I think as intense as it was, it was a good thing.


There were 850 walleye caught, totaling 91 bags of fish passed out amongst the 88 Heroes and Gold Stars.
Whew! What a roller coaster ride of emotions this weekend! I am ready to do it again! :hello2:


Here is what one gentleman had to say after the event:

Words cannot begin to express our gratitude for all you have done for us and all the others. The great people we have met, the great people who put this on and do everything they can to help. It is impossible to explain how much help this has been. We meet people who have been where we have been and done stuff that they have never spoken of to anyone and we are able to talk to each other about what went on. Some of us have never been able to talk about some of this stuff and we are able to talk and get it out to help. That has been, to everyone I have met, indescribable. The other veterans, the first responders, the police officers, it is indescribable what this has done for everyone. I personally have met the greatest people of all times. I have made so many new friends and lifelong friends. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thank you for reading my post (s).


~WannaDig3687 (the other WD)
 

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WannaDig3687

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Wooo hoooo.....another successful outing for the heros !! Congrats WD....Glad to see your devotion to the cause is still strong !! Looks like most were having a great time....and thats what counts !! I missed the pie and ice cream...darn it !!

Wooo hooo is right, Bart! I know I have shared the struggles we have had, and last year's covid crap did not help. There was still talk about getting out. Not sure. I have become very passionate about this program and I love, love, love being the photographer and all around floater! But, I go where he goes. I will say prior to the event the talk was about it being our last year. After the event, the talk was about changes for next year. We shall see.
 
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WannaDig3687

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Glad you were able to participate in that great event to honor our Heroes WD! Thanks for sharing all the daily stories, you put all of us right there with you!


thank you, SD! I was really trying to convey the experience as best I could.
 

releventchair

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Thank you W.D. and crew.

One (ONE!) single event. Even one single word can change a perspective. And can change more.

I have forgotten how many years it was for a friend....Over thirty (?) before he could grieve Vietnams effect on him. And break the emotional wall he had through natural defense created to survive.
It was a veterans event.

Isolated by mind , or isolated by lifestyle ,or chosen or ended up in environments too can shut some folks in. Into themselves , away from society being accepted or accepting them in thier perspective.

You help one person , it's totally worth the stress of an event.
And who knows who all was helped? One more hump or mental mountain surpassed.
Who knows if someone who attended an event years back found a better peace that no one knows of?

Just know it's more than worth it.

The perch pictures are great. They all are of course , but there is a simple pleasure "caught" in a picture.
Was the entire event worth it for that single fisherman? No need to ask.
To say nothing of the rest of those who attended.
Only time will tell. But the quiet ones , the ones who didn't appear to be delighted to be out ....Well you know.
In time after the event is processed , again who knows. It only takes one barrier broken , even privately as is fine : for it all to be worth it.

[One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, What are you doing? The youth replied, Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them back, they'll die. Son, the man said, don't you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can't make a difference!
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said , I made a difference for that one.]
 
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WannaDig3687

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Look like an awesome event. My dad runs a walleye charter out of Walnut Creek on the Pa side. He was on the lake for the walleye tournament this weekend.
Here is his boat. The Merica II. And notice the 509th airborne emblem on the side. Tribute to my brother who passed a few years ago. He served 2 tours in Afghanistan and struggled once home. Fishing was his way to find peace

View attachment 1933294


Turbo21, I am so very sorry for your loss. I wish we could have been there for your brother. They call it the Healing Waters of Lake Erie for a reason. I am glad your dad fishes and I hope you go out with him.

My main purpose for posting here is to reach out to veterans and families of veterans. Get the word out. So many struggle and these guys are available 24/7.

Walleyes For Wounded Heroes

Something that I learned this year is that the military is only 1% of our population. 1%! And the police, first responders and firefighters are less than that. Well, it is no wonder so many of them struggle! They have very few who can relate. So they drink their life away, or get hooked on drugs, all in an attempt to self medicate. But with this and other organizations like this one, they learn to enjoy life again. That it is OK for them to enjoy life. We understand. We thank you for your service and sacrifices. We love you and want you to love yourself. Please share this with your dad. You all are close enough that you could partake in the event next year.
 
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WannaDig3687

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Thank you W.D. and crew.

One (ONE!) single event. Even one single word can change a perspective. And can change more.

I have forgotten how many years it was for a friend....Over thirty (?) before he could grieve Vietnams effect on him. And break the emotional wall he had through natural defense created to survive.
It was a veterans event.

Isolated by mind , or isolated by lifestyle ,or chosen or ended up in environments too can shut some folks in. Into themselves , away from society being accepted or accepting them in thier perspective.

You help one person , it's totally worth the stress of an event.
And who knows who all was helped? One more hump or mental mountain surpassed.
Who knows if someone who attended an event years back found a better peace that no one knows of?

Just know it's more than worth it.

The perch pictures are great. They all are of course , but there is a simple pleasure "caught" in a picture.
Was the entire event worth it for that single fisherman? No need to ask.
To say nothing of the rest of those who attended.
Only time will tell. But the quiet ones , the ones who didn't appear to be delighted to be out ....Well you know.
In time after the event is processed , again who knows. It only takes one barrier broken , even privately as is fine : for it all to be worth it.

[One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, What are you doing? The youth replied, Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them back, they'll die. Son, the man said, don't you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can't make a difference!
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said , I made a difference for that one.]

Awww! Thank you RC! I am glad your friend had a break through! And I love the starfish analogy. I may have to post that on the W4WH chat room. We need inspiration to keep us going all year. We had a few quiet ones this year. All of our crew is learning more and more how to break the ice and reach out.
 

Turbo21

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Turbo21, I am so very sorry for your loss. I wish we could have been there for your brother. They call it the Healing Waters of Lake Erie for a reason. I am glad your dad fishes and I hope you go out with him.

My main purpose for posting here is to reach out to veterans and families of veterans. Get the word out. So many struggle and these guys are available 24/7.

Walleyes For Wounded Heroes

Something that I learned this year is that the military is only 1% of our population. 1%! And the police, first responders and firefighters are less than that. Well, it is no wonder so many of them struggle! They have very few who can relate. So they drink their life away, or get hooked on drugs, all in an attempt to self medicate. But with this and other organizations like this one, they learn to enjoy life again. That it is OK for them to enjoy life. We understand. We thank you for your service and sacrifices. We love you and want you to love yourself. Please share this with your dad. You all are close enough that you could partake in the event next year.

It?s awesome what you guys are doing. Every person my brother served with flew in from far away as Alaska to be there for his final farewell. There needs to be more programs out there to help out veterans. I will definitely pass this along to my dad and hope to get him up there next year
 

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