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Organizations => South Shore Fishing Association => Topic started by: MAK on March 07, 2014, 10:03:02 AM

Title: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: MAK on March 07, 2014, 10:03:02 AM
South Shore Fishing Association (SSFA) would like to honor our military veterans by having our first ever Veterans Fishing Day during summer 2014.  The general idea for the event is to pair local captains with local veterans for a day of fishing on the big lake in honor of our veterans.  We would like to form a committee of SSFA members to organize and run the event.  The committee will work with local veterans organizations to identify veterans that would like to participate in the event.  If you are an SSFA member and are interested in helping plan and organize this event, please contact me through UP Angler, by email at SSFA2002@Yahoo.com, or by calling 906-360-4027.

Mylan Koski
Title: Re: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: Yooperdad on March 09, 2014, 10:14:43 AM
Thanks for taking the initiative Mak.  I'm in!

If any of you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend the Neal McCoy music and video in the link below. :usa:

Manistee, MI., held it’s 4th annual Veterans Fishing Event in May 2013.  Over 60 boats and 280 veterans participated.  Just amazing what they have accomplished in such a short period of time. Check out “TightLines 2011 "I'm Your Biggest Fan" music by: Neal McCoy” by Judy on Vimeo at             http://vimeo.com/71912642         It is awesome.

The Tight Lines for Troops website is here.  http://www.tightlinesfortroops.com/

Title: Re: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: Daybreak on March 27, 2014, 12:27:05 PM
We had our first meeting last night to start discussion on the plans for the Veterans Fishing Day this year on Lake Superior.  It was really a brainstorming of ideas to see what direction we want to go, when we want to have it, and how much help we'll need to pull it off.  The most important thing being that last one... Its going to take a LOT of work to organize this event, starting now and going right through the day it happens.  We need people to join the "board" or committee for the event, that can donate a good chunk of time to help plan and organize everything.  Most likely having meetings every couple weeks through out the summer.  We'll need help contacting and working with Veterans groups in the area, lining up willing fisherman who'll donate a day on the water aboard their boat, dealing with the logistics on the day of the event, and so on...  Whether you want to be involved as much as possible, or just want to help the day of the event, we'll need your help to put together a great day for these hero's.

We are having another meeting in 2 weeks, Wednesday April 9th at the Elks Club in Marquette.  We would love to have a number of people volunteer to be part of the committee for this event.  We'll need about 12 people for this committee to work, that way if everyone cant make every meeting, its no big deal.  I promise you, the feeling you'll get in your chest after helping put a smile on the faces of these guys will be well worth the time and effort.

We made NO decisions or definite plans yesterday, but here are some of the ideas that were discussed;

--Time wise, were thinking end of Summer, early Fall.  Likely around Labor Day weekend or maybe the week after.  We are talking about this being an all day event, with maybe 4-6 hours of fishing in the morning, and then a fish fry/fish boil/pig roast/bar-b-q afterwards.  We'll want warmer weather for that, so a spring time event wouldn't work as well.  (plus we may not have a spring...)  Also, that time of year will have good near shore fishing, so people wont have to run very far.

--As far as a "weather day" or back-up day, we talked about possibly bumping it from a Saturday to Sunday if we had to.  But we also agreed that having a bunch of back up dates isn't going to work for most peoples schedule.  More than likely, if we had a super bad day and cant get on the water at all, we'll end up bagging the fishing part but still have the onshore party/picnic and just make the best of it we can.  The fishing over at Thills is excellent if we get in a bind...

--We don't want this to be Tournament or a Derby.  This is a day to thank these people all we can, and show them a good time.  Its about them, not about competition.  It would be nice to have all the boats working together to ensure good fishing for everybody involved.

--There was an idea of asking the Isle Royal Queen owners to be involved as well.  We could use the big tour boat to get the families of the Vets on the water for a while that day, as well as any that have disabilities that wont let them board a smaller fishing boat.

--We are really going to need to find out ASAP the number of boats/captains that are going to be willing to participate in the event.  Before we can start talking to Veterans groups or other things, we need to have a somewhat solid number of COMMITTED boats/captains so we know how many people we are going to be able to accommodate.

Again, we're gonna need all the help we can get to make this a kick ass day, and that's what we want.  If your interested in helping in any way, please step up and do so!  The more help we have, the better this day will turn out.  Nothing is planned yet and we are still looking for more ideas. You can contact myself or Mylan Koski via UPAngler, email, or phone if you are interested.  Or better yet, just show up to the next meeting!  We'll try to keep an updated post of meeting dates going on here so people will know when they are.  If you're interested in being a Captain that day, please let us know ASAP so we can start to get numbers together.  We need as many boats as we can, as there is no shortage of Veterans who want to go fishing!  We'll nail down an exact date at the next meeting, but it looks to be in that Labor Day or week after time frame.

Thanks to the guys who showed up last night to get this all started, and we look forward to seeing many more of you guys in the future!   :usa:
Title: Re: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: SnIpEr on March 27, 2014, 01:21:34 PM
 :thmb:
Title: Re: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: Bad Habit on March 27, 2014, 01:55:11 PM
Be glad to help out.  We're in.

 :usa:
Title: Re: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: MAK on April 07, 2014, 08:05:32 AM
Just a reminder, if you are interested in being a part of the Veterans Fishing Day Committee, we will be meeting this Wednesday, April 9th at 7 pm at the Marquette Elk's Lodge located in downtown Marquette.  The Elk's Lodge is located next to Dawn Dott.  You can park on the upper deck of the parking ramp and enter the lodge through the west door.
Title: Veterans Fishing Day - Sunday September 7, 2014
Post by: Yooperdad on April 13, 2014, 01:36:24 AM
Damn, I just spent a good half hour or more writing a lengthy post to summarize this event, and it crashed when I tried to preview.  So I start again!

Captain John did a great summary of the first committee meeting and Mylan announced yesterday at the SSFA Annual meeting that the date has been selected for this event, Sunday, September 7th, at the Upper Harbor.  If you need any extra motivation to participate in this event, please watch this video from a similar event, now in its 5th year, downstate at Manistee   :usa: http://vimeo.com/71912642 (http://vimeo.com/71912642)  :usa:

The committee for this event will start meeting weekly on Wednesdays at the Marquette Elks, at 7 PM.  More committee members are welcome and NEEDED.  Please consider attending and becoming a committee member.

The critical aspect of developing a plan for this event is to determine how many Vets we can accommodate.  To do this we need a list of boats and details so we can marry Vets to boats.  As chair of the committee, I am assuming this responsibility and ask that anyone wishing to commit your boat PM me here on UPA, or send me an email at yooperdad@eyeflies.com or mpaluda@chartermi.net along with the following information:
1. Name, email address, and phone number
2. Boat size
3. Number of ambulatory (mobile) Vets you can accommodate in addition to yourself and your mate
4. Can you accommodate a wheel chair?
5. Can you accommodate a Vet with a missing limb not bound to a wheel chair?

Thanks for your consideration and expected participation.  And I look forward to receiving your PM's or emails so that I can start logging boats  :usa:

Mike 
Title: Re: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: MAK on April 16, 2014, 07:12:53 PM
You can count me in Mike. I've booked the date and aside from a life threatening situation, I'll be there. I've sent you an email with my contact information and boat details.
Title: Re: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: Peddler on April 16, 2014, 10:05:59 PM
I'm locked in. I can take two.
Title: Re: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: Scale Chaser on April 17, 2014, 01:37:03 PM
Mike, 

You can certainly count me in!  It sounds like a great event to be a part of!  I think you have or know all my info but I will PM you all of it anyway.  I can accommodate just about anyone onboard that you need me to.
Title: Re: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: Yooperdad on April 19, 2014, 12:43:01 AM
We are one week into the effort to have boats and Captains for the Veterans Fishing Day on September 7th in Marquette.  I am very pleased to report the following 10 boat Captains have committed to participate in the event, giving us a capacity of 23-25 Vets fishing, 6 of whom could be in wheel chairs.  Thanks guys.  That is awesome.   :usa:

I'll do an update weekly for the next several weeks to keep everyone informed.  Hopefully we will have twice this many boats and Captains by next weeks report.

Mike

NameUP AnglerBoat NameBoat LengthVeterans
Mike Paluda
Yooperdad
Yooperdad
22
2
Wayne Herrala
Peddler
Finnsanity
20
2
Mylan Koski
MAK
Fin Reaper
23
2
Brad Muscoe
Scale Chaser
Ella Bella
27
2-3
John Tomczyk
Daybreak
Relentless
27
4
Ryan Erickson
Sniper
Sniper
23
2
Joe Buys
--
Cooler By The Lake
22
2
Nate Kudwa
Bad Habit
Bad Habit
20
2
Andy Allan
Andya12420
Hydro Hooker
26
2-3
Blayne Marek
WCScenario
Alewife Protection Agency
24
2-3
Title: Re: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: andya12420 on April 19, 2014, 10:14:19 AM
I'm in! Just sent you an email, Mike. Looking forward to it! :thmb:
Title: Re: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: WCScenario on April 19, 2014, 09:08:27 PM
I'm in will be at next meeting  :usa:
Title: Re: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: Yooperdad on April 24, 2014, 05:07:56 PM
The SSFA Veterans Appreciation Fishing Day committee met last night at the Marquette Elks Club. 

This is a quick update on the event scheduled for Sunday, September 7th.  Introduction letters and application forms are ready, and will soon start distribution through Veterans Organizations, Wounded Warriors in Action, and the media.  A limit of 60 Vets has been set for this first annual event.  Veteran applications will need to be returned NLT July 31st, with priority given to the combat disabled, Purple Heart recipients, and then followed by age.  Vets will be paired with boats and instructed to meet their Captain at either the Upper or Lower Harbor.  Fishing will be from 8AM to 1230 PM, with all boats then rounding the Lower Harbor Breakwall to start a Veterans Boat Parade to be joined by the Coast Guard, Sheriff, and DNR.  MARQTRAN will transport Vets from both harbors after the parade to the new Pavilion at Presque Isle where the Veterans and their guests will be treated to a pig roast, recognition, and memorabilia, and ending at 5 PM.  Their catch for the day will be cleaned and bagged by a volunteer crew and brought to them at the pavilion.

 :usa: An effort will be starting soon to find corporate and other sponsors who would like to make donations for this special event.  Interest is very strong, and we surely appreciate the following 13 boat captains who have committed to participate in the event.  This now brings us to 34 of our 60 Veterans goal for the event, 6 of whom could be in wheel chairs.  :usa:


NameUP AnglerBoat NameBoat LengthVeterans
Mike Paluda
Yooperdad
Yooperdad
22
2
Wayne Herrala
Peddler
Finnsanity
20
2
Mylan Koski
MAK
Fin Reaper
23
2
Brad Muscoe
Scale Chaser
Ella Bella
27
2-3
John Tomczyk
Daybreak
Relentless
27
4
Ryan Erickson
Sniper
Sniper
23
2
Joe Buys
--
Cooler By The Lake
22
2
Nate Kudwa
Bad Habit
Bad Habit
20
2
Andy Allan
Andya12420
Hydro Hooker
26
2-3
Blayne Marek
WCScenario
Alewife Protection Agency
24
2-3
John Lacourt
JD Fish
Triple R
28
3
Mike Meyers
Mike M
Marshals Toy
25
2
Ryan Stern
--
Peppermint Patty
30
2-4
--
--
--
--
34 Total

 :usa: Thanks again to all the members of the committee and boat captains.  This is going to be an awesome event.   :usa:
Title: Re: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: searcher on April 25, 2014, 09:24:47 AM
You can add the searcher, it is my honor to participate in the Veterans appreciation Day event
Title: Re: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: Yooperdad on April 25, 2014, 10:19:34 AM
You can add the searcher, it is my honor to participate in the Veterans appreciation Day event

Thanks Burt.  Just added Searcher to the list  :usa:
Title: Re: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: Bruno on April 25, 2014, 10:56:16 AM
I'm in too Mike. I can take 2.
Title: Re: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: LottaSplainin on April 25, 2014, 01:10:23 PM
I'm in.  I can take 2. 
Title: Re: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: Yooperdad on April 25, 2014, 02:07:17 PM
I'm in.  I can take 2. 
Thanks Ross.  I'll get it added shortly  :usa:
Title: Re: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: Yooperdad on April 25, 2014, 02:08:08 PM
I'm in too Mike. I can take 2.
Thanks Erik.  I'll get the list updated shortly  :usa:
Title: Re: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: GOV III on April 25, 2014, 05:06:12 PM
Hey Mike,

U can include my boat (22') for 2 veterans and Casey Tallio's (24') for 2 veterans...

Casey Tallio   "Kalavene"  24 ft   (2) veterans     

 :thmb: :usa: :beer:
Title: Re: Veterans Fishing Day
Post by: Yooperdad on April 25, 2014, 09:05:20 PM
Thanks Freddy.  You and Casey have been added, bring us to the capability of 46 vets fishing, well on our way to the goal of 60  :usa:

Mike
Title: I Was There Last Night
Post by: Yooperdad on May 15, 2014, 10:55:15 PM
I sent the email that follows to the members of the Veterans Appreciation Fishing committee as it fit with a discussion about veterans that occurred at last night's meeting.  Today, I received the following from a fellow committee member:

Mike – I’m not old enough to say that I experienced anything to do with the Vietnam War, but I can surely learn something about it from stories like the one you just shared with us.  To say that it’s emotion and thought provoking is an understatement.  I suggest you re-post this on UP Angler under the Veterans Fishing Day post, in the very same manner that you have just shared with us; some of you that experienced the war could write this very same letter, while some of us have just learned something new that should be shared and learned by others.

So here it is:
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear SSFA Vets Committee Members,
 
Jessica mentioned at last night’s meeting that many of the vets we may encounter for our event may not show outside evidence of their service connected disability.  And she was very correct. Coincidentally, I received this email, just this morning, from a vet friend in Virginia and I forwarded it to a group of veteran friends.  Thought I would share it with you all as well.  It is very thought provoking.
 
Mike
 
From: Mike [mailto:mpaluda@chartermi.net]
Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2014 11:41 AM
Subject: I Was Just There Last Night From Albert
 
I can relate, and I know you can as well.  FRB is the author of the first email and I know him.  Thanks Frank.
 
Mike
________________________________________
________________________________________
This hits home with me, when I was interviewed by the VA doctor (shrink) he asked me when I was in Vietnam, I gave him the same exact reply, I was there last night.
 
The part about not wanting to get close to my troops also hits home as it was the exact reason as a Company Commander I tried not to, because if I did, the loss of any one of them would make me question my actions as their CO.  And how I could have accomplished my mission and brought them all back, and what I did wrong to get them killed and, but it did not work. It did not take me very long to get attached to each of the young men in my command and form a strong bond with each of them.
 
This reflects a piece I wrote in response to a request from the Library of Congress, Vietnam vet history, they were doing and was also published in the Mobile Riverine Newsletter.
 
FRB
________________________________________
Subject: I Was Just There Last Night From Albert
 
I Was Just There Last Night 
Sent by Member Bill Sayers 9th ID 3rd/60th
   
This story came to me via e-mail, the author, a fellow Vietnam Veteran. After reading his story, I felt compelled to share this with you. If you didn't participate in the Vietnam War, this will give you some insight into how our minds work. He writes: A couple of years ago someone asked me if I still thought about Vietnam. I nearly laughed in their face. How do you stop thinking about it? Every day for the past forty years, I wake up with it- I go to bed with it. This was my response: 

"Yeah, I think about it. I can't stop thinking about it. I never will. But, I've also learned to live with it. I'm comfortable with the memories. I've learned to stop trying to forget and learned to embrace it. It just doesn't scare me anymore." 

A lot of my "brothers" haven't been so lucky. For them the memories are too painful, their sense of loss too great. My sister told me of a friend she has whose husband was in the Nam. She asks this guy when he was there. Here's what he said, "Just last night." It took my sister a while to figure out what he was talking about. Just Last Night. Yeah, I was in the Nam. When? Just last night, before I went to sleep, on my way to work this morning, and over my lunch hour. Yeah, I was there 

My sister says I'm not the same brother who went to Vietnam. My wife says I won't let people get close to me, not even her.They are probably both right. Ask a vet about making friends in Nam. It was risky. Why? Because we were in the business of death, and death was with us all the time. It wasn't the death of, "If I die before I wake." This was the real thing. The kind boys scream for their mothers. The kind that lingers in your mind and becomes more real each time you cheat it. You don't want to make a lot of friends when the possibility of dying is that real, that close. When you do, friends become a liability. 

A guy named Bob Flanigan was my friend. Bob Flanigan is dead. I put him in a body bag one sunny day, April 29, 1969. We'd been talking, only a few minutes before he was shot, about what we were going to do when we got back to the world. Now, this was a guy who had come in country the same time as me. A guy who was loveable and generous. He had blue eyes and sandy blond hair.  When he talked, it was with a soft drawl. I loved this guy like the brother I never had. But, I screwed up. I got too close to him. I broke one of the unwritten rules of war. DON"T GET CLOSE TO PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO DIE. You hear vets use the term "buddy" when they refer to a guy they spent the war with. "Me and this buddy of  mine." 

Friend sounds too intimate, doesn't it? "Friend" calls up images of being close. If he's a friend, then you are going to be hurt if he dies, and war hurts enough without adding to the pain. Get close; get hurt. It's as simple as that. In war you learn to keep people at that distance my wife talks about. You become good at it, that forty years after the war, you still do it without thinking. You won't allow yourself to be vulnerable again.

My wife knows two people who can get into the soft spots inside me-my daughters. I know it bothers her that they can do this. It's not that I don't love my wife. I do. She's put up with a lot from me. She'll tell you that when she signed for better or worse, she had no idea there was going to be so much of the latter. But with my daughters it's different. My girls are mine. They'll always be my kids. Not marriage, not distance, not even death can change that. They are something on this earth that can never be taken away from me. I belong to them. Nothing can change that. I can have an ex-wife; but my girls can never have an ex-father. There's the differance. I can still see the faces, though they all seem to have the same eyes. When I think of us, I always see a line of "dirty grunts"sitting on a paddy dike. We're caught in the first gray silver between darkness and light. That first moment when we know we've survived another night, and the business of staying alive for one more day is about to begin. There was so much hope in that brief space of time. It's what we used to pray for. "One more day, God. One more day."
 
And I can hear our conversations as if they'd only just been spoken I still hear the way we sounded. The hard cynical jokes, our morbid senses of humor. We were scared to death of dying, and tried our best not to show it.  I recall the smells, too. Like the way cordite hangs on the air after a fire-fight. Or the pungent odor of rice paddy mud. So different from the black dirt of Iowa. The mud of Nam smells ancient, somehow. Like it's always been there. And I'll never forget the way blood smells, sticky and drying on my hands. I spent a long night that way once. The memory isn't going anywhere.
 
I remember how the night jungle appears almost dreamlike as pilot of a Cessna buzzed overhead, dropping parachute flares until morning. That artificial sun would flicker and make shadows run through the jungle. It was worse than not being able to see what was out there sometimes. I remember once looking at the man next to me as a flare floated overhead. The shadows around his eyes were so deep that it looked like his eyes were gone. I reached over and touched him on the arm; without looking at me he touched my hand. "I know man. I know." That's what he said. It was a human moment. Two guys a long way from home and scared to death.
 
God, I loved those guys. I hurt every time one of them died. We all did. Despite our posturing. Despite our desire to stay disconnected, we couldn't help ourselves. I know why Tim O' Brien writes his stories. I know what gives Bruce Weigle the words to create poems so honest I cry at their horrible beauty. It's love. Love for those guys we shared the experience with.
 
We did our jobs like good soldiers, and we tried our best not to become as hard as our surroundings.You want to know what is frightening. It's a nineteen-year-old-boy who's had a sip of that power over life and death that war gives you. It's a boy who, despite all the things he's been taught,knows that he likes it. It's a nineteen-year-old who's just lost a friend, and is angry and scared and, determined that, "some*@#*s gonna pay". To this day, the thought of that boy can wake me from a sound sleep and leave me staring at the ceiling.
 
As I write this, I have a picture in front of me. It's of two young men. On their laps are tablets. One is smoking a cigarette. Both stare without expression at the camera. They're writing letters. Staying in touch with places they rather be. Places and people they hope to see again. The picture shares space in a frame with one of my wife.. She doesn't mind. She knows she's been included in special company. She knows I'll always love those guys who shared that part of my life, a part she never can. And she understands how I feel about the ones I know are out there yet. The ones who still answer the question, "When were you in Vietnam?"
 
"Hey, man. I was there just last night."
 
So was I.  How about the rest of you vets-hits home doesn't it!

Share this article with others so they understand why many of today's veteran's behave the way they do, be it Vietnam or other conflicts, this is a common thread shared by all.