On Sunday June 6, Fishing for Freedom rode through town at approximately 1:30 p.m. There were approximately 50 trucks pulling boats. Each driver had volunteered to take a wounded veteran fishing in honor of their service to the country. The veterans and boaters were escorted by motorcyclist and emergency worker personnel workers through town and along their route back to Quincy, IL.
Prior to their arrival, community members gathered all along Main Street, eager to wave flags and cheer for the veterans, as they showed their appreciation. Chandra Beaver and her sons, Tanner and Landon, supported the cause by holding up a homemade sign that said, “Thank You Veterans,” while playing “Born in the U.S.A.” Chandra’s husband, Jeremy, also a veteran, volunteers each year to take a Fishing for Freedom participate fishing.
The group was escorted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, the Monroe City Police Department, and the Monroe City Fire Department.
The 2021 Fishing for Freedom was held on June 4-6 in Quincy, IL. The Fishing for Freedom event is held every year on the first weekend in June (Friday - Sunday) on the Mighty Mississippi and the Mark Twain Lake. The weekend was enjoyed with perfect weather and lots of laughter. As the trucks drove into town, smiles could be seen on the faces of those passing through.
Veterans attend the event from all over the nation. Inspired by the Army Bass Anglers, and fishing guides to take Warriors out for a day of tournament bass fishing. With assistance from a network of anglers throughout the region and caring local and corporate sponsors. Trophies were awarded for the top teams and all participating warriors received tackle packets.
Fishing for Freedom is modeled from similar events that are occurring across the nation. It is a no entry fee bass, catfish and crappie tournament that pairs professional anglers, avid tournament fishermen, and fishing guides with the Warriors (Active Military and Veterans) in a buddy bass tournament format on a local fishery. The purpose of the event is to let the American Heroes know how much we appreciate their service and sacrifice and assist in their continued rehabilitation and well-being.
By their very nature, outdoor recreational activities are extremely therapeutic and have been shown through recent examples to make a difference in the Warrior’s lives. Although angling is only one of those outdoor activities, it is one that can help the returning Heroes escape the hardships of combat deployments and begin the process of assimilation back into to everyday life.