By Duncan Bartholomew
Once a year, the MT Warriors on the Water group takes requests – from our state and around the country – for veterans interested in a week-long trip to eastern Montana to take part in the world-class fishing provided on the Fort Peck Reservoir. These requests are vetted by appointees of the group with military backgrounds and the selected ones are given an all-expenses-paid trip to the event.
This year, two of the veterans caught a couple remarkable fish and stated that mounting them would be great but the cost, as always, was a concern. With that bit of news, several volunteers and Walleyes Unlimited members at the event simply took donations enough to mount the one and the chapters of Jordan and Miles City volunteered to divide the cost of the other.
When asked why we find this event so important, I can say only that it has enriched us far more than the bother of time and finance that comes with the activity. This year alone, all of the veterans stated the event had enriched their lives, and two of the veterans stated that the event had life changing effects to them. The event also has endeared us to many individuals who have become members to help and participate. On a personal note, it makes one feel so great at the end of the day to have taken part in a thing so much greater than oneself and to have shared the experience with so many great individuals and veterans.