A Central Texas fishing guide is running a special program that hits close to home for him.
In addition to his fishing trips for profit, Bob Maindelle sets aside time to take dozens of military kids who are separated from their parents due to a deployment or training fishing each year.
Bob Maindelle or Mr. Bob as the kids call him... is a former pastor in Killeen.
"When the war in Iraq broke out and I saw that kids struggled when their parents were gone for long periods of time," Bob Maindelle said.
He decided to start SKIFF, Soldier's Kids Involved in Fishing Fun... where he takes military kids with deployed parents out on the boat to fish.
"I knew that feeling of missing dad because I grew up a military kid as well," Maindelle added.
Mr. Bob says the goal of his program is to bring joy to Central Texas military families like the Brown family who is currently going through their fifth deployment. Lieutenant Colonel Brown is serving in Korea for the next eight months.
"I'm not their Dad, but being on the boat with a guy kind of doing guy stuff that mom doesn't know about I think the kids enjoy," Tammy Brown, a military wife and mother, said.
LTC Brown had the chance to FaceTime from Korea this morning and watch his kids fish.
"It's really fun because he gets to see what I'm catching," Noah Brown, LTC Brown's son, said.
"We've been in different places in the world, and this is probably one of the top fun things I think the kids have gotten to experience," Tammy Brown added.
And to their dad in Korea...
"We love you, we miss you and we hope you come home safe," McKenzie Brown, LTC Brown's daughter, said.
"I miss you, and I hope you come home safe," Noah Brown added.
McKenzie and Noah Brown caught a total of 50 fish Wednesday morning.
They encourage other military kids with deployed parents to take Mr. Bob up on his offer.
If you are a military family interested in participating in Mr. Bob's SKIFF program, you can contact him at 254-368-7411 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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