HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Sixteen veterans and activity duty military personnel took advantage of a beautiful South Mississippi day on Monday. It was the annual Soldier's Angels Fishing Fun trip.
This year's fishing adventure included wounded and combat warriors from Mississippi and neighboring states. They put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms, but on this day, the worries of war were far away.
"I think he happened to be at the wrong place at the right time," said wounded soldier Norris Galatas, as he pulled up a nice size drum fish.
The fish were really biting. It seemed every time a line went out it came back with a fish on it.
"I'm having a great time," said wounded soldier Ellis Martin.
Galatas echoed his words, "It's enjoyable especially seeing my old buddy Ellis Martin again after several years of separation we were in Walter Reed together. And we were in the same brigade over in Iraq back in 2005."
Norris Galatas and Ellis Martin each received a purple heart after being severely injured in combat by improvised explosive devices.
"We both suffer from nerve damage on our right leg and foot and abandonment injuries from the scrape metal," said Galatas.
It's something that forever changed their lives, but each man is determined not to let their injuries rule their lives. Events like the fishing trip help.
"I think it's great cause a lot of the soldiers just need to relax sometimes and stop worrying about what's happened in the past and just come out and have fun," explained Martin.
"They deserve this. They deserve much more," said Jeanne "Granny" Graeser.
Graeser runs the local chapter of Soldier's Angels and put together the day of fishing with help from Sure Thing Fishing Charters.
"We do it just to say, thank you to the men and women of the armed services. I really wish we could do more. We wouldn't be able to do any of this if it wasn't for these guys and gals going over there and putting their lives on the line for us. So even from a fishing stand point we couldn't enjoy this liberty," explained Sonny Schindler, of Sure Thing Fishing Charters.
It's a thank you well deserved and appreciated with the bonus of a good day's catch.
Following the morning of fishing the soldiers were treated to lunch sponsored by the Southern Anglers organization.
Sid LeBlanc of the Boat-House Storage took the crew out to coverage video of the event.