Temple VA hosts veterans fishing tournament

Posted at 10:33 AM, May 06, 2017
and last updated 2018-11-03 15:19:52-04

About 600 people, veterans, family and friends participated in a fishing tournament Saturday. 

The tournament hosted by the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System kicks off at 11 a.m. and will wrap up with a lunch award presentation around 1:30 p.m.

"We are looking to enhance the veterans' whole being," LaToya Skinner, a Voluntary Service Specialist at the Temple VA, said. 

So, the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System hosted a veterans fishing tournament at the Temple VA.

"It is helping me. It's something to do, better than sitting in the hospital or sitting at home," David Parris, a U.S. Army veteran, said.

David Parris, a Vietnam veteran, spent the day fishing for crappie, bass and catfish with other Central Texas veterans.

"I caught a five pound, twenty-two inch catfish, Mr. Winfrey over there, he caught a five pound, I don't know how long catfish, and we've caught a couple of small perch so far," Parris added.  

"It's a recreational therapy, it's a leisure therapy. So again, it definitely soothes the soul and allows us to kind of let loose," Skinner added. 

The type of soul soothing Parris believes can aide other veterans looking for help, too.

"Let me tell you something, the VA's done a lot for me," Parris said. 

"The activities that we are providing today are binding families and friends together. There's so many people out here interacting, so you're building new relationships," Skinner said. 

New relationships Parris encourages other veterans to grab a fishing rod and come take part in.

Tailgate with a Hero and Texas Park and Wildlife supported the event as well... providing lunch for everyone and bait and fishing rods for the veterans to use.

Tarrant Lake in Temple was recently stocked, and veterans will be awarded for the first fish, the biggest fish, smallest fish and most fish caught. 

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