The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has teamed up once again with the "Wounded Warrior Project" to recognize the service of our nation's injured war veterans. The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is taking U.S. war veterans on fishing trips on Lake Okeechobee Monday and Tuesday.
FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto presented two war veterans with three-day fishing licenses donated by FWC staff and promotional packages containing items donated by the freshwater fishing industry.
"The FWC wishes to thank our service men and women for the contributions they have made to our freedom," Barreto said. "By partnering with the WWP, we are helping these vets experience some of the best bass fishing in the world."
The FWC's Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management (DFFM) provided the promotional packages, which include tackle samples, fishing publications and discount coupons. Additionally, the veterans received a free "Get Outdoors Florida!" t-shirt. "Get Outdoors Florida!" is an ongoing campaign highlighting the health and social benefits of fishing and other types of nature-based recreation.
Not only are the fishing trips fun, they're also successful. In June, a pair of Iraqi war veterans, guided by a professional bass angler, caught more than 60 bass during their fishing expedition on Lake Okeechobee.
The trips are sponsored by SMI Cold Therapy of Butler, Pa., a manufacturer of cold-therapy products and services for post-operative patient care in hospitals and surgery centers, and Bassonline.com, Florida's largest freshwater guide service and outfitter for bass fishing on Florida lakes, canals and rivers.