Fishing trip in April at Reelfoot to benefit ‘Wounded Warrior’

Fishing trip in April at Reelfoot to benefit ‘Wounded Warrior’
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
A special two-day fishing trip on Reelfoot Lake is being planned in mid-April for a distinguished group of fishermen.
A group of 10 military veterans will arrive at Reelfoot Lake April 10. The soldiers will begin their two-day visit to Reelfoot Lake with a barbecue dinner at the Tiptonville fire station that evening.
The soldiers are being brought to Reelfoot Lake through the Wounded Warrior Project™.
They will be treated to breakfast at Lakeview Dining Room on April 11 and will then hit the water for a day of fishing. A fish fry is planned at the end of that day at the Tiptonville fire station.
The second day of the group’s visit will kick off with breakfast at Lakeview Dining Room, a day of fishing and then dinner at Boyette’s.
“We really want this event to focus on the Wounded Warrior Project,” said Jeff Martin with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agen-cy.
He is one of several people involved in planning the special fishing trip.
Martin said activities like the Reelfoot Lake fishing trip help soldiers make the transition back to a normal life.
“I got involved with this (the Wounded Warrior Project) about three years ago … out of the blue,” he said.
Because of his involvement in the program, Martin said he was approached by several guides at the lake about hosting a fishing trip for military veterans. From there, the two-day fishing trip went from an idea to reality.
He said he worked with military officials at Fort Campbell, Ky., to coordinate the fishing trip. He said one of the programs of the Wounded Warrior Project is therapy through outdoor activities and the fishing trip fit perfectly into that category.
“It’s amazing therapy for them,” Martin said. “This is their two-day fishing trip. It’s all about them.”
Five Reelfoot Lake fishing guides have signed up to participate in the fishing trip.
“This is just about them getting out on the lake and catching some fish,” Martin said.
The Wounded Warrior Project was started in 2003 in Roanoake, Va., and was relocated to Jacksonville, Fla., in 2006. The program’s mission statement is simply “To honor and empower wounded warriors.”
“Our programs are uniquely structured to nurture the mind and body, and economic empowerment and engagement,” the program’s website states.
“Wounded Warrior Project began when several veterans and friends, moved by stories of the first wounded service members returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq, took action to help others in need,” the WWP website states. “What started as a program to provide comfort items to wounded service members has grown into a complete rehabilitative effort to assist warriors as they recover and transition back to civilian life.”
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 2.28.12

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