Community gives back to wounded warriors

Out on the lake for the Fishing for Freedom event

More than 140 veterans flocked to the Tri-States June 1 and 2.

The veterans hit the water Sunday to test their fishing skills.

When Shawn Maynard learned about the Fishing for Freedom weekend, he didn't think it was for him.

But after trying it out, he's starting to come around to it.

"I'm not a huge fisherman, but just the community giving back, you know they recognize what we've done, they recognize that, and they want to do something for us," Shawn Maynard said.

Sunday was spent relaxing and fishing on lakes, which is what Fishing for Freedom is all about.

"It's great for guys that do come back with P.T.S.D or do have some issue because then it gives them an alternative to get out with people who really do care about them, do care what they have done, and it gives them a way to relieve stress," Maynard said. "Even if you don't catch anything. We were out there, and we just chit-chatted, the whole time. Somebody really wants to know your life story," he said.

Doug Hill served in the Navy and currently lives in Tennessee with his wife and son, who were there supporting him.

"The people of Quincy are great, they've taken good care of us," Hill said. "This guy over here took us into his home and has fed us and took us fishing. They do things for vets all the way from World War Two to the Korean War, Vietnam, all the way up to us coming back now. The people of Quincy are just treating us great," he said.

Both Shawn and Doug think that if there any veterans out there who haven't decided to get involved with Fishing for Freedom, to try it out.

"It was so much fun," Maynard said. "I ran into three guys that I deployed with back in 2008 and 2009 that I had never contacted, anything. And then last night at the banquet, I saw them for the first time. You never know who you're going to meet," he said.

"Go for it," said Hill. "I mean, it's a great event. They take people from all over the country. Just get online at "Fishing for Freedom", sign-up, and do it next year."