Over 60 Veterans enjoy 11th Annual Fishing Derby at Lake Murray Sailing Club

CHAPIN, SC (WOLO) — Sometimes thanking Veterans for their service is as simple as providing them with a relaxing day at the lake.

In partnership with Dominion Energy and the Wounded Warrior Project, the Troop Appreciation Foundation held its 11th Annual Fishing Derby at the Lake Murray Sailing Club — providing around 60 Veterans with a day of fishing.

Nearly 40 shoreline volunteers and 20 local fishing guides helped make the day a success — with many of the Veterans arriving as early as 5 a.m. to catch some striped bass fish.

Once they returned to shore, Veterans weighed their catch and stopped for a quick photo-op. Those with the top five largest fish of the day received prizes and bragging rights.

Army Veteran Retired MSG James Summers says just being out on the water is enough for him.

“I mean catching fish is just a bonus, but just being out there and taking it in, and being able to enjoy the things that, obviously everybody here fought for, (is why) we’re able to do it,” says Summers.

Michael Glover, The Troop Appreciation Foundation’s President, says he created the event in 2012 after a fishing trip with a colonel from Fort Jackson and two of his captains.

From that day on, Glover says he knew he wanted to do more to honor local Veterans.

“It means a lot, because these are the men and women that stood on the wall. When you and I were at home, they were on the wall,” says Glover.

Joe Beemer with the Wounded Warrior Project agrees that the day is meant to honor those who have served with a little fun.

“That’s all it’s about is having a good time. Having a good time and being away from everything, you’re really not focusing on the issue, you’re just doing it. You don’t have to worry about it, you’re having a good time,” says Beemer.

The Veterans are expected to bring in over 300 fish.

Categories: Local News, Midlands Military Matters, News