Twenty-one veterans stuck their fishing lines in the water on Saturday at the Algoma Fish and Game Club’s first annual Take a Veteran Fishing Event.
Fishers met at the Royal Canadian Legion at 7a.m. for breakfast before taking off for a day of fishing. The day ended with dinner and a slideshow back at the legion at 5p.m.
“For the first annual, I would say it’s pretty good. Having the news presence ahead of time was great, getting the word out there,” said Joe Kelly, Vice President of the Algoma Veterans Association.
Kelly, a veteran himself, said he thinks events like this one are a good way of getting vets out of their shells.
“I guess you could say, a lot of us, once we leave the military, we kind of feel lost and isolated, so hence us forming this group to just stay in contact, get out for coffees and stuff, and the fishing side of it was just to take that one step further; get people out of the house for an entire day, meet each other – like a lot of us haven’t met the other people before – so you start exchanging contacts. Just kind of break you out of your shell and get you moving again instead of just sticking around your house.”
For veteran Corey Tucker, this event was a good way to get together with some of the guys he served with in the Royal Canadian Artillery.
“Well, a few of the guys I served with were in the event – I didn’t know about it until they told me (about it) and I just said ‘sign me up,’ he said. “I think a lot of vets get out of touch with the guys we do serve – they carry on with their own lives, and I know the Legion, sadly enough to see, it seems to be wearing out, because the real heroes out there are the ones that gave us freedoms. It’s nice because you get to be reunited with some of the guys you have served or meet guys that have served. It keeps the circle going for future generations.”
Kelly said the Algoma Veterans Association has ideas in the works for future events, but nothing is set in stone yet.