Fishing for Freedom II
Story by Sgt. Angela D. Green
602nd Maintenance Company
Hundreds of boats lined the shores and braved the cool breezes of the early morning and mildly choppy waters at the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area for the second annual Fishing for Freedom tournament Saturday.
Winners, Spc. Christian Garcia and Spc. Austin Morsette from 4th Platoon, 410th MP Company, partnered up with Paul Stokes, owner of Wholesalers Etc in Temple.
The Tournament was Morsette's first ever fishing trip which landed him his first catch.
The team was awarded $9,000 for their whopping 11.57 pounds of bass caught throughout the day.
The entire Stokes family has long been great supporters of the troops on Fort Hood and enjoys having the opportunity to spend time with Soldiers.
"Everybody really appreciates what they do. This is a great deal," said Stokes.
Texas Boat World of Killeen and Morale Welfare and Recreation on Fort Hood sponsored the tournament.
Rick Cayton, previous owner of Texas Boat World, started the competition as a way for people in the local community to spend time sharing their appreciation with the troops for all they do for their country.
Proprietor Clifford Brown, new owner of Texas Boat World, is delighted to inherit the responsibility and plans to have many more tournaments in the future.
"This really brings up the moral of the soldiers," Brown said, "and everyone was really excited about it."
Brown, a retired Warrant Officer and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, spent his final tour with the since-deactivated 544th Maintenance Battalion on Fort Hood.
He is also owner of Line-X spray-on bed liners in Killeen and is a seasoned bass fisherman.
Fort Hood Game Warden R. Volk and his posse were on site all day as well.
"Things have been really good," Volk said. "There have been no incidents at all for this tournament or the one before."
Volk and his men enjoyed the day watching everyone have a great time.
"It is a great thing for the military to come out and enjoy this kind of recreation. This is also enjoyable for us as well," said Volk.
As the fish were weighed in they were passed on to volunteers who put the fish into a giant aerated fish tank on a trailer.
After all fish were weighed in and rescued the Warden and his volunteers sought out a good location to release.
This year they only lost six fish.
Sgt. 1st Class Bill Noble from III Corps, captained the U.S. Army boat at the 2nd annual Fishing for Freedom tournament at BLORA Saturday. He said he caught a bunch of little fish, but only one 'keeper.' Photo by Sgt. Angela D. Green, 602nd Maintenance Company
Sgt. Heather Dicken from B Co, USA MEDDAC, proudly displays her catch at the 2nd annual Fishing for Freedom tournament at BLORA Saturday. Photo by Sgt. Angela D. Green, 602nd Maintenance Company