JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The 13th Annual Oorah vs. Hooah Fishing Battle was won by the Marine team for the third consecutive time last weekend, giving Team Oorah bragging rights for another year.
The annual offshore fishing tournament which is hosted by Hope For The Warriors and sponsored by Dr. Richard Weisler, pits a team of 15 Marines against a team of 15 soldiers on the Vonda Kay out of Carolina Beach.
Celebrating 16 years of service, Hope For The Warriors assists veterans, service members and military families with a variety of programming including health and wellness, sports and recreation and transition services.
The tournament title is awarded to the team landing the largest fish. Not only did the Marines catch the largest fish they caught the most with 33 compared to 26 for the Army.
“The fishing battle was not only a great time catching fish and being out on the water, it served as a time to share stories and spend time with other veterans,” said Scott Griffith, U.S. Marine veteran and military veteran program coordinator for Hope For The Warriors.
“This is in fact the best therapy and medicine there is. Being around fellow veterans and friends, allows each of us to be back in our element and reminds us all that we have brothers and sisters that we can depend on that care about us and that understand one another.”
The competitors agreed with Griffith’s assessment, and many weighed in with their thoughts about the day.
“The fishing battle was much-needed camaraderie with other veterans that are going through the same mental issues I am at the moment,” shared U.S. Army veteran Jonathan Adams. “I loved just being able to be myself and what the military has changed me into and not having to ‘water it down’ for civilians so that way they don’t think I’m crazy. And most importantly it showed me that life is still worth living because the good times significantly outweighs the bad moments in life.”
“The fishing battle meant a lot to me. It brought out the camaraderie in the retirees, veterans, active duty in all the branches,” shared U.S. Marine veteran Stephen Long. “It made me miss being around all the military and brought tears to me when the day was over.”
The event has been an annual tradition for many years but has been delayed or cancelled in the past due to inclement weather.
“This is an event we look forward to year after year,” said Robin Kelleher, co-founder and CEO of the nonprofit organization. “Sometimes tropical weather can get in the way of a great day at sea but not this year! We know the value of pulling together military members for a day of fishing and fellowship and can’t thank Dr. Richard Weisler enough for his longtime support making this annual event happen.”
For more information on Hope For The Warriors, visit hopeforthewarriors.org, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.