News Icon

News: 80+ wounded warriors hit the Potomac during bass tournament

Story by Sgt. Rebekka HeiteSmall RSS Icon

Fishing for friends and bass Staff Sgt. Rebekka Heite

Heads of cabbage travel their way on a rotisserie in preparation for the barbeque after the fishing during the Third Annual Reel American Heroes Fishing Tournament Aug. 18, 2013. Participants started at the Hope Springs Marina, but were allowed to fish anywhere, so long as they made it back on time.

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. – Approximately 80 wounded warriors participated in the third annual Reel American Heroes Fishing Tournament on Aug. 17, 2013, starting at the Hope Springs Marina in Stafford.

The tournament was open to wounded, injured or ill warriors, disabled veterans and combat veterans. Each warrior was paired with a local bass angler and the team competed together.
Though the tournament got off to a slow start with most teams fishless, the participants didn’t let it get them down.

“We’ve caught a whole lot of friendship,” said Ron Morris, local bass angler and participant.

Many of the local bass anglers participating in this year’s tournament also competed in last year’s tournament.

“Many boaters returned from last year,” said Nelson Martinez, logistics director, Reel American Heroes Foundation.

RAHF, an all-volunteer organization, organized the event with the assistance of key sponsors and the Wounded Warrior Regiment on Quantico. WWR helped connect the RAHF with the wounded warriors who participated.

“This is the greatest tournament ever,” said Calvin “Catfish” Hunter, a Vietnam veteran and one of the local bass anglers. “When I came back from Vietnam, this didn’t happen.”

Each wounded warrior had their own reason for competing.

“When you get out on the water, you don’t think about the pain,” said Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Evans, a participant currently stationed at Fort Detrick, Md. He was injured responding to a potential vehicle-born improvised explosive device on his first deployment and again on his last deployment.

Tralene Hunston, participant, said she competed in the tournament “to get out and meet other wounded warriors.” Hunston served for four years in the Marine Corps.

Reel American Heroes Foundation started hosting the tournament three years ago after the executive director, Ron DeFreitas, met a wounded veteran who had lost both his legs six weeks before he was scheduled to retire.

“My goal is to help them get through therapy and back to normal lives,” he said. “It changed my life trying to help these folks so they can have better lives.”


Connected Media
ImagesFishing for friends...
Approximately 80 wounded warriors participated in the...
ImagesFishing for friends...
Two participants in the Third Annual Reel American...
ImagesFishing for friends...
Two local bass anglers teach a wounded warrior to fish...
ImagesFishing for friends...
Fishing poles stand by for their wounded warrior prior...
ImagesFishing for friends...
A wounded warrior holds up two bass he caught during the...
ImagesFishing for friends...
Tackle boxes full of fishing tackle are stacked and...
ImagesFishing for friends...
Ribs travel their way on a rotisserie in preparation for...
ImagesFishing for friends...
Heads of cabbage travel their way on a rotisserie in...

Web Views

Podcast Hits

Public Domain Mark
This work, 80+ wounded warriors hit the Potomac during bass tournament, by SSgt Rebekka Heite, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:08.17.2013

Date Posted:08.20.2013 11:03

Location:STAFFORD, VA, USGlobe



  • Army
  • Marines
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • National Guard




  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Flickr