A Take a Warrior Fishing event will be held at the Paint Creek Lake Dam from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, June 18.
Up to 40 veterans or first responders will be treated to a morning on the water targeting a variety of species of fish.
“They will get to go out on either a volunteer’s boat or they will get to fish along the shore with a volunteer,” said Isaac Greene, a park ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who is coordinating the event at Paint Creek Lake. “All of the equipment like the rods, reels, tackle and bait will be provided for them, and they’ll get to keep that after the event.”
The Paint Creek event is being held through a partnership between CAST (Catch a Special Thrill) for Kids, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Scioto Area Corps Cooperating Association.
“This is the first one at Paint Creek and we hope to make it an annual event based on how it turns out,” said Greene. “It seems like we are starting to gain some traction and get some interest.” So far, 15 veterans have signed up for the 40 available openings.
The first Take a Warrior Fishing events were established in areas throughout the country in 2011 by the non-profit CAST for Kids to support military personnel and their families by creating a community-based outdoor recreation experience through the sport of fishing. For 2022, CAST for Kids has expanded the program to include first responders.
According to information from CAST for Kids, numerous studies have shown that traumatic events not only affect the psychological structures of the self, but also the attachment and meaning that link individuals and community. The organization works to restore those disconnects through the program with the following goals:
* Support positive social interactions with the civilian world;
* Restore disconnect in the home by increasing family interaction;
* Encourage outdoor recreation as a therapeutic outlet; and
* Empower veterans to advocate for positive self-growth and change.
“The Take a Warrior Fishing program is really geared toward vets who are integrating back into the community, but it’s open to all veterans to bring people together and help these guys enjoy the outdoors and give them something to do for a day,” said Greene. “They will get to have a lunch afterwards at one of our shelters as a community, and we’ll give them some cool stuff to take home.”
The event is still accepting registrations for participants and volunteers at castforkids.org/event/twfpaintcreeklake/.
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2671.