Fishermen help soldiers reel in fun at local marina

By Holley Nees - bio | email

BROADDUS, TX (KTRE) - After a prayer and the national anthem, and before light fishermen and soldiers get their poles ready.

Mike Nashif created the event because he said, "Instead of...staring at the same walls, the opportunity to pop their pills and you know, drink alcohol, or whatever it might be, you know, they get to come out and enjoy the outdoors."

Most of the soldiers Nashif brings are injured and they are thankful for a chance to escape.

Greg Huggins is in the Army Reserve.  He said, "Every soldier last night had a smile from ear to ear.  You just couldn't beat anything like that."

Huggins calls it a blessing and his fishing partner said it's a way to show his pride.

"It's great to be an American and show your true patriotism," said licensed boater Randy Johnston.

Patriotism is why the owner of the marina jumped at the opportunity to host the event.

"It's exactly the kind of thing that we want to do.  We tried to find different things we can do to help and support the community, but you know, soldiers," said Jackson Hill Marina Owner Terry Sympson.

It is something he couldn't pass up.

Nashif said, "At the end of the day, when we're done, sitting back and listening to the stories of 'I caught the biggest fish,'" that's when it's all worth it, but  Sympson realizes we have a debt we can never repay.

"We can't even begin to do that, give back what they've given to us.  So, this is just, a no brainer.  I mean you just have to do it," Sympson said.

A peaceful day, where the only thing the soldiers have to fight is what they reel in.

Nashif said anyone who has ever raised their right hand is a soldier and therefore, eligible for this event.