For the fourth consecutive year, The American Legion’s Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW) program covered the cost of lodging for wounded veterans attending the sixth annual Walleyes for Wounded Heroes Fishing Retreat hosted by the Kentucky Wounded Heroes program. The $10,000 OCW grant allowed more than 100 wounded veterans to stay at Little Ted’s Cottages and Family Resort in Marblehead, Ohio, while enjoying a four-day fishing retreat on Lake Erie last month.
The Kentucky Wounded Heroes fishing retreat in Marblehead has grown over the past six years from an initial 12 participants to the now 104. And Chuck Reed credits much of the growth to the support of the Legion’s OCW program.
“Without The American Legion, we wouldn’t be able to reach half the folks that we do for this particular event. The American Legion’s Operation Comfort Warriors program allows us to include many, many more of our wounded heroes in trips like this,” said Chuck Reed, founder and director of Kentucky Wounded Heroes, and a retired state police officer who served as a Marine and Kentucky National Guardsman.
The wounded heroes who attended the trip were Korean, Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans from Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Georgia. The walleye fishing event is one of several fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities that the Kentucky Wounded Heroes program – a nonprofit which is made up of an all-volunteer staff of wounded heroes – conducts yearly for military veterans, law enforcement, firefighters and EMS members who have been injured in combat or in the line of duty.
Reed said most of the participants of the walleye fishing retreat were military veterans who also had a career in law enforcement as “public service is on all of our systems,” he said. Reed too stressed again that the Kentucky Wounded Heroes program is “extremely grateful to The American Legion and what they do for our veterans. This (fishing retreat) is just evidence. Because of The American Legion, my goodness we are able to serve so many more folks.”