Veterans dove into a weekend full of trout fishing Friday at Harmon's Cabins on the North Fork River, thanks to the Potomac Highlands Wounded Warrior Outreach, an all-volunteer group that organizes wholesome outdoor activities for military members who have been injured in combat.
The event is part of a project sponsored by the West Virginia Order of the Eastern Star.
"People want to help," said Bill Armstrong, the acting president of the Potomac Highlands Wounded Warrior Outreach. "You just have to show them how to help."
The Inter-Mountain photo
by Chad Clem
Potomac Highlands Wounded Warrior volunteer Karac Seech and wounded warrior Kevin Mercer enjoy the sun and the North Fork River at Harmon’s Cabins.
Armstrong - as well as his staff, including Robert and Loretta Lunceford - work with local businesses to earn the funds that allow wounded veterans to enjoy their experience to the fullest at absolutely no cost to them.
The wounded warriors were welcomed this week with insulated totes and coolers filled with assorted fishing items, hats, pocket knives, flashlights, snacks and West Virginia food items. Each veteran is accompanied by a volunteer, who will offer assistance and instruction during their fishing experience. Dinner and entertainment is on the docket for tonight at the Ruritan Building near the cabins. The fishing weekend is scheduled to last through Sunday.
The Potomac Highlands Wounded Warrior Outreach is funded exclusively by donations, and 100 percent of the funds go to the Wounded Warriors. The fishing weekend was made possible by donations from small businesses in the area, including Valley Head and Walmart in Elkins, among many others.
The outreach is designed to help veterans transition back into civilian lives and events like these help them and their families acclimate back into that lifestyle.
"The community-based activities help provide a feeling of ease," said Staff Sgt. Todd Agurs, one of the Wounded Warriors who attended the fishing weekend. "It allows you to let your guard down and relax."
"These guys paid for us; this is a way for us to pay them back," said James Savage, a veteran himself and the Worthy Grand Patron of the West Virginia Order of the Eastern Star, who helped coordinate the weekend, as well as a Wounded Warrior Spring Turkey Hunting event in Pendleton County earlier this spring. "It's important that we do as much as we can for our veterans."
Later in the summer, the Wounded Warriors will travel to Canaan Valley, where they will be able to partake in horseback riding, caving and other activities.
For more information on The Potomac Highlands Wounded Warrior Outreach, check out their website at www.potomachighlandswoundedwarrior.com.
Contact Chad Clem by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.