WINNECONNE – Some professional anglers were among those giving back to veterans in Winneconne Saturday.
The Wounded Warrior/Retired Veteran Fishing Event took place on Lake Winneconne.
When Jerry Steif and his son-in-law heard about the event, they couldn’t pass it up.
“It was awesome. I didn’t even know I was eligible for doing any of this because of my status,” said Steif.
“This is the least we can do…offering them a day of fishing here on Lake Winnneconne, just to get their minds off, maybe, some of the struggles they went through within the war and while they were in active duty,” said Jeff Nuechterlein, professional walleye angler.
More than 40 veterans participated in this year’s event.
“All of the pros that are here today have donated all of their equipment, their boats. We also got quite a few donations from some local businesses,” Nuechterlein said.
Nuechterlein said the free fishing event wouldn’t be possible without help from the community.
“I [fish] on a professional level. I’ve got some skill for walleye fishing and today’s about the rest of the vets that are out here,” said Danny Steffens.
Steffens is also a veteran. He spent three years in the Marine Corps and said he wasn’t always treated with respect.
“I never got thanked for my service until I was 47 and it was hard to take because you figured you were there to care about something or about your own country or whatever and the people just didn’t care about you being in the service at that time,” Steffens said.
It’s a memory Steffens will never forget. But it’s also a reminder to give back and say thank you to those who have given so much to their country.
After the fishing trip, each veteran got a chance to take home their very own tackle box.