Melbourne Beach, FL –-(Ammoland.com)- The Outdoor Adventure Conservation Fund (www.OACFund.org) and sport fishing boat owners and captains out of the Miami Marina gave a vote of gratitude and respect to five military veterans by hosting them to a day of fishing in honor of Veterans Day 2016.
The Veterans are members of Team Red, White and Blue (www.TeamRWB.org), a veteran’s assistance organization that worked with the OACFund to organize the event.
OACFund founder and president, Chris Chaffin said, “The third annual Miami Veterans Day Event met its goal of showing the vets that we appreciate their service and respect their contributions to and sacrifice for our country. They had a great day of fishing and camaraderie and were shown that all of us involved care about them.”
Chaffin went on to express his gratitude and appreciation for the boat owners, captains and mates who participated in this year’s event. “Our Miami event just couldn’t happen without these wonderful professionals who completely volunteer their time and expertise, along with all the costs of the fishing boat operations. They are another kind of hero, in my opinion, selflessly giving back to our them that we care.”
For this year’s event, the weather was perfect, the seas were calm and the fish cooperated. Among the five anglers, the group caught four sailfish, four Bonita, six King Mackerel and a snapper (which had its tail taken off by a shark as it neared the boat.)
The 2016 successful anglers were all from the greater Miami area: Luc Neree, Randy Newton, Harold Burgos, Steve Caceres and Mark Velez.
Newton summarized his feelings about the fishing trip, “I am still talking about this trip. Capt. Bouncer placed us on the fish and I got to check a sail fish off my bucket list. Going out with OACF is a must do for any veteran. Thank you for the memories and the amazing day on the water!”
Captain Bouncer Smith, for the third straight year, acted as the lead boat owner and operator, recruiting other area boats to accommodate the veterans. He captained Bouncers Dusky 33 (www.captbouncer.com). Captain Ray Rosher piloted the Miss Cheyenne (www.missbritt.com), Captains John Barker (Blue Waters II, www.fishingmiami.net) and Dean Panos (Double D, http://doubledcharters.com/) also volunteered their boats and services.
The Miami Beach Publix store at 1100 6th St., Manager Andrew Lions; (305) 535-2212 donated lunch for the veterans and boat crews. Monty’s Sunset Restaurant prepared a fish fry for the Vets, turning their catch-of-the-day into a delicious meal immediately upon their return to the dock.
Fishing and other outdoor activities are among the most asked for opportunities among returning veterans, especially those who have been wounded or suffered other injuries. Many veteran’s assistance organizations are now seeing and adopting the values offered by outdoor programs and activities, values such as independence, increased confidence, spiritual and physical healing, networking and the knowledge that others appreciate their service.
Veteran Harold Burgos characterized the event as terrific. “Thank you for the opportunity we had of being there… I had an awesome time and catching those sail fishes was above and beyond any past fishing experience.”
Elaine Seth, TeamRWB Ft. Lauderdale Chapter Captain said, “Our group of Eagles from Team RWB Ft. Lauderdale had an amazing day on the water with OACF at the 3rd Annual Veterans Day event. We sincerely appreciate the time, effort and professionalism of everyone involved from Chris Chaffin who organized the event to the Captains, support team and local businesses who contributed to make this event a success. We look forward to continuing this tradition and eagerly anticipate another over the top event with OACF next year. Thank You!”
Chaffin indicated the Veterans Day Miami Fishing Events organized by the OACFund are just a small way to say thank you to the nation’s veterans. “Watching these men and women smile, laugh and joke with each other, and tell their fishing stories back on the dock at the end of the day is a huge reward; but more importantly, you can see what it means to them.” He indicated there is some preliminary planning taking place for a new fishing event on the Indian River, near Melbourne, and that he’s already thinking about the next Miami event in 2017.
Chaffin also acknowledged the founding role of Dream Giveaway (www.dreamgiveaway.com) in creating OACF.
For more information on the Outdoor Adventure Conservation Fund, go to www.OACFund.org.
The Outdoor Adventure Conservation Fund:
The Outdoor Adventure Conservation Fund (OACF) connects people with the outdoors and encourages their active participation through hunting, fishing, shooting, camping, hiking and other traditional outdoor activities and pursuits. OACF provides grants that support events, programs, activities and other efforts by like-minded groups, organizations, agencies, companies and other entities that create and conduct such activities in a safe, positive environment and, overall, seek to develop a caring conservation ethic for the outdoors. OACF is the proud sponsor of the Miami Veterans Day Fishing event, started in 2014.
Team Red, White and Blue:
Team RWB’s mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.