Wounded warriors reel in healing at fishing tourney

By Jessica Healey | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | July 30, 2014

Several Soldiers from the Warrior Transition Battalion participated in a fishing tournament June 26 to 29 in Sargent, Texas.

The eighth annual Sargent Tournament of Heroes event was hosted by the non-profit corporation, Patriot and Heroes Outdoor Adventures.

Once a year the fishing community of Sargent, Texas, invites wounded warriors to fish and enjoy a weekend dedicated to the heroes of America’s armed forces.

“It was a great time for us to link up with other warriors and hear their similar stories and concerns,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Timothy Sifuentes, WTB. “The trip was relaxing; we had no worries and just got on the boat and enjoyed the water.”

Approximately 80 wounded warriors from several military installations participated in the event.

Patriot and Heroes Outdoor Adventures is an organization dedicated to taking wounded warriors on hunting and fishing trips, as well as other outings. This not only provides a fun trip, but also assists in the healing process through the great outdoors, as well as creates a peer group for mutual assistance, according to the organization’s official website.

A local Sargent, Texas, couple hosted the Soldiers during the trip. Sifuentes said he was very grateful for their hospitality and generosity.

“I’d like to give special thanks to Mike and Debbie ‘Mama’ Cole,” he said. “Our experience with them was nothing short of outstanding.”

Prizes were awarded in the form of trophies for a variety of categories during the tournament.

Staff Sgt. Todd Mattila, WTB, was awarded the trophy for the largest Speckle Trout weighing nearly five pounds.

“Our boat caught more than one hundred fish that day. Only about 45 fish were keepers. It was a great day of fishing and relaxation in Sargent Texas,” Sifuentes said.

Sea trout and Red Snapper were among other catches worth keeping during the fishing trip.

“It was great to see the thoughtfulness that was put into this event,” Sifuentes said. “There aren’t words to describe the thanks we’d like to give to this thoughtful group of caring people.”

For more information about Patriot and Heroes Outdoor Adventures, visit www.patriotsandheroesoutdoors.com.