Fishing for Freedom gives our military men and women a chance to enjoy the great outdoors by participating in a fishing tournament.
Fishing for Freedom is a fishing tournament that takes place annually on Lake Belton in Central Texas. It will be held this coming weekend, October 10th-12th. The foundation was started in order to give thanks to our hard working military men and women and enable them to enjoy the sport of fishing.
We caught up with Rick Smith of Marine Outlet of Texas, one of the organizers of the event. This year will be the ninth annual tournament, and the turn out each year is commendable.
They already have 1,000 heroes signed up for the free welcome BBQ Friday night, and 200 boaters and 274 soldiers from all military branches including retirees for this weekend. They expect to have up to 300 boaters compete at the actual event.
We asked Rick why an event like this matters, one that connects service men and women with fishing with Texas fishing opportunities. He humbly replied:
Today’s soldier is undergoing multiple deployments, many in harm’s way, creating a stressful environment both overseas and at home. Many civilians are looking for a way to say thank you to these military heroes. We believe that bringing civilians and the military together helps create bonds of friendship and a better understanding of these stresses. What better way to offer some R&R to our soldiers than to treat them to a genuine Texas BBQ and then take them for an exciting fun filled day of fishing on a Texas lake. Everyone comes away a winner.
The list of sponsors for the event is extensive and fund the entire event. There are multiple Fishing for Freedom events springing up around the country, but this is the original and they proudly do not charge an entry fee like most.
Rick would like to especially thank the following sponsors: Mary & Cliff Brown of Texas Boat World of Harker Heights, Mary Stout of Line-X of Harker Heights, Lisa Lorenz-Bass of Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area (BLORA) and Lisa Wilson of Marine Outlet of Temple who also represents the Troy Leos who operate the kid’s zone during the Friday night BBQ.
The testimonials for this event are gracious and appreciative. Many military personnel have written about how much they enjoyed the actual event as well as meeting fellow service men and women and hearing their stories.
I have gotten to know some of the “Wounded Warrior” &. others in the Warrior Transition Units. Some of their stories are truly heart-rending. The sacrifices made by many of our troops are incalculable…I just wanted to add my one voice to make sure YOU know how very much Fishin’ for Freedom is appreciated.
This weekend promises to have a solid turnout for the event. It is events like these that are important to maintain for our heroes to interact with non-military personnel, tell their stories and enjoy the simple pleasures in life; fishing and BBQ.
FREEDOM FOR FISHING
October 10th- Tournament Banquet BBQ Doors open at 3:00 pm, boating & fishing seminars start at 5:00 pm, dinner at 6:30 pm.
October 11th- Bass Tournament
Banquet night of Oct 10th held at the Killeen Convention Center
Fishing tournament on Oct 11th on Lake Belton