In the predawn hours of March 31, volunteers started arriving at Lake Ramona in Hiram to prepare for a day of honoring our Wounded Warriors and Gold Star families.
The registration area, parking detail, equipment area, aid station and boaters were all on hand to help our participants enjoy a relaxing day of fishing.
Fishing for Freedom proudly honors the wounded veteran and Gold Star families of the current wars by taking them out for a day of fishing. As the darkness gave way to light, you could see people standing in awe at the beauty of the place.
Family by family, the participants started arriving, getting their gear and walking down towards the tents near the shore where they got something to eat and drink. Most went straight to claim a boat or their spot on the lakeshore from where to do their fishing.
The 150 participants, from other parts of Georgia and neighboring states, came to enjoy quality time with their families or other veterans, as well as to bask in the hospitality and tranquility offered at this awesome place.
This unique experience allowed the participants to have fun without placing them in the spotlight, feeling uncomfortable or being surrounded by the media.
They were encircled by fellow veterans who knew what the wounded warrior had gone through, as well as the anguish of the Gold Star families. The veterans also wanted to try, even for just one day, to take away the participants’ worries and fears.
The American Legion Department of Georgia’s 5th District was the proud sponsor for this event in support of the Legion’s Heroes to Hometown program.
Lake Ramona is a private lake owned by the Waters family, whose dedication to supporting the wounded warrior was instrumental in the successful outcome of this activity.
Our district is extremely pleased to have so many Legionnaires, Legion family members, and a contingent of Sea Cadets, who selflessly gave their time to ensure this event was a success for all involved.
While walking around the area, one could see the smiling faces on the children and parents of the families. Some even became emotional, not believing how this simple event could bring them closer together.
You could tell that even the single participants had a super time, many actually caught fish and their smiles said it all. With the big, beaming smiles of the participants being evident, there can be little doubt that they really did feel their worries washed away.
The Fishing for Freedom coordinating committee would like to thank the following American Legion Post 294 members for volunteering at the event: John Hollner, Fred Hilley, Mickey Smith (SAL), Ed Richards, Jerry Johnson, Ricardo Roldan, Mabel Kim and Kimble Turner, Kim and John Burton, Dinorah and Luis Roldan. Without their unselfish commitment, this activity would not have been as successful.
The 3rd annual Fishing for Freedom event will be conducted in April 2013.
For additional information, contact Luis Roldan, Post 294 in Powder Springs, at 678-779-4060 or Lrroldan@aol.com.