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FISHING TRIP HELPS VETERANS HEAL

Because it's the little things in life ...

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 “Sometimes the simplest enjoyment can ease a troubled mind,” said VFW California State Commander Bobby Price, referring to San Diego’s OASIS Project.

OASIS—which stands for Overcoming Adversity and Stress Injury Support—offers a residential treatment program for veterans who suffer from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). When they expressed interest in partnering with VFW to plan a fishing trip, it seemed like the perfect fit.

“We wanted to give these veterans the opportunity to get out of their protected environment and set out to sea for a little simple enjoyment,” said Price.

After reaching out to H&M Landing and all its boat captains, the trip came together nicely.

“Captain Harlen Berk agreed to let us use his boat and arranged for all the veterans to get free fishing licenses,” said Price. “H&M Landing provided the fishing gear, and a VFW Military Assistance Program grant covered the food and part of the fuel.”

In September, 13 veterans took off from the coast of San Diego in search of albacore and yellow fin tuna, cod and other sport species.

“Seeing the faces of these men and women as they loaded up was very satisfying,” said Price. “But the biggest honor was talking to each of them and hearing their stories.”

One of the veterans was a survivor of the Ft. Hood massacre. He was shot 14 times and survived.

“They’re all so brave and have been through a lot,” said Price. “Their stories are unique, but, being veterans, they share an unbreakable bond.”

The fishing trip was such a success that Price hopes others will follow suit.

“Sometimes all you have to do is reach out,” said Price. “You’d be surprised what people are willing to do for our veterans. You just have to ask.”

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