WOUNDED VETERAN BASS FISHING TEAM
Support 2 Wounded Veterans reach their dream competing in the Amateur Bass Fishing Trails and Tournaments
We are committed to raising at least $1500 in contributions to help offset tournament entry fees and travel expenses for the Hookset Brothers fishing team, which consists of two recently medically retired Army NCOs who were both wounded in Iraq / Afghanistan Jan 2009 and July 2012. We are committed to fish the Bud Light Trail (Corsicana division) which consist of 5 tournaments and 1 championship. We also looking to add a few open tournaments and smaller scale tourneys on our local East Texas lakes.
Our mission is to bring awareness that developing or introducing a recreational activity into your life will give struggling veterans a fighting chance. It’s our goal to build Hookset Brothers as not just a two man fishing team but one day develop into being able to hold our own Bass Fishing tournament in which the proceeds go to organizations already in place that fund Recreational and Leisure trips for wounded soldiers and veterans (Operation Comfort , Operation Homefront). These goals take time and take effort and commitment not only from us but from others (sponsors, organizations within the community) and takes money. This is our ultimate goal – we are just in the initial baby steps of this goal – creating our Wounded Veteran Bass Fishing Team was the first step. We plan to fish local Tournament Trails to build our team, our brand, our vision and build the awareness and with that we feel we’ll have the credibility within the fishing community to be able to hold tournaments only for the purpose of raising funds to support those causes. We have also put out there in the fishing community if there are any veterans within our local areas that would like have a day on the Lake, we will do everything in our power and schedule to take you fishing so that you or they may enjoy what we have found helpful. Yes our initial steps are to be able to afford to fish the local Bass Fishing Tournament Trails which helps us but eventually gets us to our ultimate goal of helping other veterans. While I was in the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Fort Hood I was able to organize a benefit Bass Fishing Tournament that had 50 soldiers and 50 volunteers throughout Texas that donated their time and boat for that tournament which raised money for the Wounded Warrior Battalion on Fort Hood. This is part of that passion, one of the ways I know how to raise money and raise awareness.
We understand this will be met with resistance, as everything in life that is new there’s someone out there that feel they are better or that we aren’t doing enough or they’ve done more. But our mission is simple and our goals are clear. We know our objective, have a plan how to fulfill those goals and won’t stop because the very few have chosen to be negative. We are not trying to put ourselves over any other veteran as there are tons of veterans who need help or assistance and no 2 veterans or wounded Soldier are the same. We are simply trying to raise awareness and one day raise funds to help with the assistance we truly believe in and that is recreational sports and activities. And our way of doing it is from Bass Fishing which is a dual sword because it’s what we are passionate about and it’s what helps us COPE with our own PTSD struggles. If you don’t agree with our way or our statement or our goals please go about your business quietly and allow us to reach our goals.
If you have donated or sponsored us and do not agree with our intent and our mission and goals you may contact me and I will happily return whatever service or donation you provided. As we do not want anyone involved or attached to us that does not have faith in us.
This is not a get rich or become famous team. There are maybe a handful of people who have made bass fishing profitable. This is our therapy this is what we’ve found to combat our daily grind of dealing with our wounds internally and externally but we’re hoping to turn this into something bigger than us.
We are 2 Wounded Veterans who discovered that bass fishing was therapeutic for our PTSD. It allows us to cope with the daily struggles of having to isolate from family, friends and normal daily activities as well as the physical and mental effects from war.
With PTSD you’re very limited on how you handle daily stresses or lack of sleep, nightmares and flashbacks. Most of the time you sit alone because you are overwhelmed by even the tiny things. You beg for ways to distract your mind because the quiet only lets the horror creep back in. There’s no magic pill or counseling session that’s been known to cure PTSD – believe me many would have signed up for that. After years of counseling and medication that continues to put you in a state of mind where you can’t even father you own child or recognize emotions or wrong doings or that your family needs affections from you – this is what we’ve found that gives us that chance.
Both of us suffered 3rd degree burns, mild TBI / TBI while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Both of us have served a decade of service and endured 3 deployments each. Martin is a Purple Heart recipient.
Fishing brought back some of the normal feeling we were missing. In the Army you thrive on challenges and you succeed because you push your physical and mental limits – fishing brings out the challenge and we hope it helps. When being injured or wounded or with PTSD you lose your identity, you lost a lot of the things that made you “YOU”. You grieve the losing of a career because in most cases by the time you serve 10-15 years of service you’ve come to the conclusion you’ll fulfill 20 years of service. By the time you get out, medically retire out, or forced out the world has changed, educational requirements have changed and you’ve spent the majority of your life fighting for your country and other countries -you most likely couldn’t keep up with those changes. Soldiers who were about to escape PTSD or trauma or being wounded it’s a hard transition because the military is a different world and different standard – it’s a struggle to transition to the way of life.
Both were former points leaders with Texas Bass Anglers in Central Texas 2010 and 2011 and qualified for the Texas Federation Nation Top 6 tournament 2010 and 2011. Martin is a coalition pro staff member for Army Bass Anglers.
The team fishes the amateur bass fishing tournament circuit in Central and East Texas. Equipped with a 2013 Nitro Z7 and a 2013 Ranger Z18 with the latest lowrance electronics and powered by Navionics software.