The annual tournament pairs boaters up with wounded warriors to compete in a bass fishing tournament open to the public. Anyone with a valid boating license/registration and Maryland state fishing license can enter the tournament either with a partner of their choosing or one of about 40 wounded warriors who will enter the competition.
The wounded military veterans hail from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and are all at various stages in their recovery. Many are still rehabilitating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, MD and will be looking to get away from the hospital for a weekend to spend time relaxing on the water.
Injuries sustained range from loss of one or two and in some cases three limbs to traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Marines Helping Marines Fishing Tournament was started by two prior service Marine Corps veterans, Joby Poster and Eric Kowal.
Wounded warrior, Larry A. Draughn Jr., a medically retired Corporal with the Marine Corps has fished the tournament every year since its inception in 2009.
Last year Draughn received an opportunity of a lifetime, one that Kowal says he could not be more proud of.
Draughn received a two-year professional contract with Legend Boats to fish on their pro-staff team. Draughn also received his own boat. This year Draughn decided to help inspire another wounded warrior and has decided to partner with one of the injured veterans currently residing at the hospital.
"Every year the tournament gets better and better," Kowal said. "We have all sorts of support from local businesses to those in the fishing industry and everywhere in between," he said.
All the gear the warriors will use is theirs to keep and has been donated from various businesses such as The Hook Up Tackle, Lew's, and Wacky Worm.
All participants will receive an event t-shirt, goodie bags with fishing lures, and an event koozie. There will also be a bbq and entertainment at the Nauti Goose Restaurant immediately following the event.
The National Anthem will be sung by the girls of American Bombshells at 1:30 p.m.
For more information or to participate in the event please visit http://www.woundedmarinefishing.com or call Eric Kowal at 570-350-2818. There is also a "donate" tab on the site where you can make a monetary donation to help fund the cost of lodging, travel and meals for all the wounded warriors participating.
# # #
Semper Fi Marketing was founded in 2009 by former Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Eric Kowal. Semper Fi Marketing uses basic promotional techniques to achieve brand awareness for small businesses, veteran owned businesses, athletes, bands and other talent