Wounded Warriors Become Successful Anglers

- They're our nation's greatest heroes and they've seen and been through experiences on the front lines that many of us can't even imagine. Saturday in Graham, a non-profit organization hosted an event to bring a joyful weekend to several local wounded warriors.

It was a calm Saturday out on the water of Eddelman Lake in Graham. That was where Freedom Care Warrior Project representatives hosted an event to take wounded warriors' minds off their current situations.

Jon Van Winkle, Freedom Care Warrior Project President explained, "So as a nonprofit, we want to find ways that we can include the community. Not all the time, but at fund raisers like this, we have the opportunity to bring kids out, bring families out so people have the chance to understand the sacrifices that our warriors have made.

Tournament and Pro Staff Manager David Ittner said, "In a boat, they become anglers, all the titles go away, all the hierarchy goes away. They become anglers and they become human beings. Which is what we all are, and I'm impressed by it and I get choked up about it. It's pretty special to us."

Wichita Falls resident Bob Dean became an angler for the day along with 62 other veterans. Dean served in the Navy for 31 years and appreciates the hospitality of fellow anglers.

"All the boaters were courteous. I'd love to do it again," Dean said.

The fishing event is for wounded warriors, but some of them did the behind the scenes work, too. Brent Homan is the tournament director. A veteran himself, he says he wanted organize the event to put smiles on fellow veterans' faces.

"I cant stop smiling. Once this tournament got going, I could take a deep breathe, knowing that I got this done and it's been a success," said Homan

The highlight of the day was driving into Graham's Downtown Square where community members showed their appreciation of the veterans. And the newly trained anglers weighed in their catch of the day.

The Freedom Care Warrior Project hosts multiple events for wounded warriors each year. Many of those events are out at their ranch in Graham.

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