Wounded Warriors go Fishing

By: Mark Vaughn Email
By: Mark Vaughn Email

Panama City Beach- Fishing remains pretty good in many places in the Gulf of Mexico, and some true American heroes found that out first hand through the Wounded Warriors Fishing Trip.

The wounded warrior fishing trip has become a big part of the annual Bay Point Billfish Invitational, and even though the oil spill postponed the Billfish tournament, it didn't stop some wounded veterans from enjoying a day of fishing.

Marine Corp. Staff Sergeant Lance Hickman and Army Specialist Aaron Cahill both suffer from injuries sustained in the Middle East.

"I was injured in 06 by a roadside bomb." Staff Sergeant Hickman said. "I have a traumatic brain injury, is one of my injuries. It's a struggle here from time to time, because I have trouble with my memory and things like that."

"We wound up hitting a roadside bomb hiding in a pile of rocks. It kind of diverted us to the left and hit the front end of our truck. We all managed to walk away. having some issues with my back, and mild traumatic brain injury and stuff of that nature," added Specialist Cahill.

The Freedom Alliance has been honoring soldiers that were injured during combat. They bring the soldiers and their families to Bay County and treat them to a week of family fun.

"The stuff me and my wife have been able to do has just been awesome," Cahill said.

The week of activities culminates with a good old fashioned fishing trip for the soldiers. Staff Sergeant Hickman and Specialist Cahill rode on the 61 foot "Cat 'N' Round," with Captain Bob Miley. It was a chance to catch some fish and enjoy a day without having to think about their injuries.

"It's a true blessing to be out here with wonderful people today." Hickman added. "Great weather, great seas, just a beautiful day."

State and Federal waters are still open within 9 miles of the coast, so the oil leak in the Gulf didn't stop these guys from catching their fill of Red Snapper and Amberkack.

"We were able to take them out and show them a good time, and just really say thanks for everything they've done for us," Bay Point Marina Director Steve Arndt said.

The day was about more than just reeling in the big one, it was about giving back to those who have given so much. This was the third year the Bay Point Marina played host to the Wounded Warriors fishing trip.

In total the group caught 18 Red Snapper, and two Amberjack. For more information on the Bay Point Marina, or Freedom Alliance please visit their websites with the links provided.

For More on Captain Bob Miley and the "Cat 'N' Round please call (850) 866-0890


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