HS Tech Group sponsored the winning team. John Shumate of Finksburg and James Bricker of Cockeysville were the captain and co-captain of the boat that took out Marine Zachary Stinson of Chambersburg, Pa., and won the Marine Helping Marine tournament for a five fish limit of just over 26 pounds of bass.
Wounded veterans of all branches of the Armed Forces participated in a bass fishing tournament with both pro and semi-professional anglers at the Anchor Marina in North East, MD on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 19, 2012.
Marines Helping Marines Foundation
Veterans from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., participated as a two-man team in a fundraising tournament that benefited the Marines Helping Marines Foundation which helps fund weekend retreats for wounded veterans in outpatient care and assists military service members and their families in time of need.
This was the fourth year the event was held and was the second time the event was held in Maryland. The two previous events were held at Lake Hopatcong, N.J.
The veterans participating have sustained injuries ranging from traumatic brain injury to amputation of one or two legs, and in some cases, loss of arms as well.
Corporal Larry Draughn was one of the Marine Corps veterans who had participated in the tournament each year. Draughn lost both his legs and two fingers only one month before the inaugural event in 2009. Draughn, an avid fisherman before he joined the Corps, was paired up with pro angler Dave Wolak. Since then, Draughn has continued to fish competitively and was recently named a member of the Legend Boats pro staff and received a two-year contract with the company. He also received his own bass boat, and he has been profiled on the new NBC Sports reality series “The Ultimate Fishing Experience.”
“The story of Larry is truly one of success,” said Eric Kowal, one of two organizers of the fishing tournament. “To go from a hospital bed to fishing just five weeks after such a traumatic experience and then saying ‘I’m not gonna stop til I’m a pro,’ is just incredible,” said Kowal.
Travel, lodging, meals and gifts for the wounded veterans were paid for by donations made to this event.
The wounded warriors get to keep all the equipment they are provided with.
Kowal said “We are trying to give these heroes one weekend out of the hospital so they can meet new friends, have a good time and in the process, help raise funds to benefit other wounded veterans.
A barbecue was held at the Nauti-Goose Restaurant, 200 Cherry Street, North East, MD, 21901. The girls of American Bombshells sang the National Anthem and Pin Ups for Patriots assisted with event raffles.